Thursday, 14 January 2021

Latest BBRC work in progress summary

As I did back in July last year I've reviewed the latest WIP report and put together the below summary mainly to help me digest the report. 

First thing of note for me is that the Lancashire Eastern Black-eared Wheatear I have on my life list is still in circulation so remains vulnerable as part of my life total. I remain hopeful that this will eventually be accepted and I can then underline it unlike the Cackling Goose I had pencilled in and had to remove once the BBRC eventually refused to accept the particular record.

Is it an Eastern Black-eared Wheatear?

The oldest record now still in circulation is a Northern Treecreeper from Spurn in October 1959

The oldest record accepted in this latest update is an Alpine Swift from 1964.


HELD RECORDS (Waiting on taxonomy or ID criteria)

Black-eared Kite .Siberian (Eastern) Common Tern, Great grey Shrike (Homeyeri)

All of which are currently not evaluated

and there's also two Eastern Yellow Wagtail records from 2016 being held by the BBRC



Thrush Nightingale reports form the Isle of May 2018 and Shetland 2019

A Lesser Grey Shrike report from the Highlands in May 2020

The 1996 Dawlish Warren South Polar Skua was finally deemed Not Proven 

A Booted Eagle report from Worth Marsh in Kent from April 2020

The Brown Booby reported 100km from Edinburgh at sea also fell into the "not proven" bracket

Four different reports of Barolo/Boyd's Shearwater from Lancashire, Scilly and Caithness all failed to convince the panel and remained not proven. These being reports from 2018/19

A Pacific Diver report from Hampshire didn't make the OK list and the same outcome was handed out to a Fudge Duck in Hertfordshsire and a Blue-winged Teal in Cornwall all from 2020.

A total of thirteen NOT PROVEN reports.


The OK'd reports

Only one report was put into the holding zone of Category D and that was the Bufflehead in Hythe Kent on 19th April 2020. The bird will be moved to Cat A or Cat E depending on the panels views on how it came to be at Nickolls Quary.

The Paddyfield Pipit from Sennen in Cornwall has been accepted to species by the BBRC and sent to the BOURC to be considered as a FIRST FOR BRITAIN. The obvious concern is how did it get here and that as a first will be left for the BOURC to establish if that's at all possible. 

A Giant Petrel seen at two places along the north-east coast on 2nd July 2019 has been accepted to group and forwarded to the BOURC.

The Brown Booby seen at Swalecliffe in Kent on 19th August 2019 is now accepted and as such should be confirmed by BOURC as a first for Britain taking the title from the Cornwall bird.

The 1996 South Polar Skua record from Dawlish Warren was found to be not proven however the record from Dorset later in the January of 1996 has now been accepted and forwarded to BOURC.

Two records from 2001/02 have also been accepted.

Two Eastern Yellow Wagtail records have also been sent to the records committee  and also OK'd and sent to BOURC are aged records of North American Night Heron (2017) and North American Horned Lark (2001)


The other accepted records of note include the Staines Reservoir North American Horned Lark of 2017/18 which has been accepted to group status. I'll take it on my list as accepted to group tho and await IOC recognising it as a split.

The Scopoli's Shearwater that was seen well in between the 9th and 11th of August between Fife and Lothian. Another two reports from Norfolk on 15th August were also accepted. 

A Barolo/Boyd's type Shearwater was accepted from Cape Cornwall in September and a Zino's/Fea's/Desertas Shearwater was also accepted as passing Filey earlier in September. There remains fifty reports of Barolo/Boyd's in circulation dating back to 1967 and a couple of Zino/Fea's/Desertas remain on the IC list from last year.

The Zino's seen on the Scilly Paleagic in July last year still sits in the in circulation group but has been submitted to specific species as opposed to the group above.

The July sighting of Black-browed Albatross was accepted from Filey Brigg whilst three reports from 2020 remain in circulation along with one from 1985 and one from 2016.

The Yelkouan Shearwater report from Dawlish Warren in July remains in circulation whilst the earlier bird at Portland is strangely missing from the WIP report. I dipped this bird but had a fantastic day at Portland all the same. I wonder if the report has yet to be submitted as it was a headline bird as a potential second for Britain.

Other noteable accepted reports that would be life ticks for me include:

White-throated Sparrow (Cornwall)

Terek Sandpiper in Lothian and Linclonshire

The Killdeer on Lundy back in March last year

The Greater Sand Plover that was in Lothian from June 27th to July 6th last year.

American Herring Gull in Devon was a two day bird  on 25th and 26th January although the bird was seen again on 14th Feb.

Sooty Tern was accepted from four sites last year one being the Sizewell sighting that I dipped.

Calandra Lark and River Warbler on Fair Isle in June and they also had a Song Sparrow accepted from April.

Sardinian Warbler in Cornwall in April (I note also no reference to the Winterton sighting)

Shetland had an Eastern Subalpine Warbler back in April the only accepted from last year at this point with another eleven still in circulation although only six are from 2020. A bird I still need following the recent IOC split and having dipped one at Landguard in the past.

A Cackling Goose was accepted from Loch of Skene in February 2020.

Of course many others reports have been accepted with a total of 130 OK's on this latest WIP report.


In terms of  IN CIRCULATION which is the reports that the committee is still considering there are still a total of 460 on this latest WIP.

The biggest one as far as I'm concerned is the Lammergeir which forms five of the 460 reports as it was sighted first in Oxfordshire back in June before the summer sightings in Derbyshire where I first connected with it. It was then reported in Leicestershire, Norfolk and Sussex where it eventually set off back to France. I note that no reports for Lincolnshire are pending which is strange as that's probably where it showed best in all it's travels across the UK.

There's clearly no issue with ID here. DNA has even proved the birds parentage and it now just leaves the powers that be to decide if being born in the wild to a wild father and a mother that was released fourteen years ago and has since raised four broods in the wild is wild enough. 

We know what it is and where it came from..we even know where its parents came from.

Other interesting IC's include 

Five seperate Cackling Geese dating back as far as 2011 with just two from last year pending.

Three Band-rumped Storm-Petrels from Pendeen and Porthgwarra dating back to 2009.2018 and 2020

Porthgwarra also has a report of Trindade Petrel ending from July 2018.

The exciting White-chinned Petrel report from Orkney back in May is still in circulation and I guess will involve all ten members.

The Frigatebird from October 2018 on the Isle of Wight still remains in circulation.

Lundy had a Sora in September and that too is still being circulated along with Cornwalls Sociable Lapwing.

Two Upland Sandpiper reports remain in circulation from Cornwall in 2019 and Skokholm Island in 2020 and again I note no report yet of the Suffolk sighting from last year.

The Hudsonian Godwit that spenT most of November in Fife is yet to be accepted and remains in circulation with the 460 other reports.

A report of Long-toed Stint submitted back in 2011 from Sussex remains in circulation still. 

Royal Tern is another bird still in circulation from June 2019 on the Hayle estuary in Cornwall.

A Bridled Tern on Lundy last August is still being considered.

A Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the New Forest last November is being circulated too as are both the Kent and Sussex reports of Nighthawk from last year.

The much debated Lesser Kestrel report from Yorkshire in 2019 remains in circulation and is joined by the spring bird on Scilly from last year which should see a quicker route to being OK'd.

One of the most interesting reports is that of Eleonora's Falcon at Heacham Norfolk from 7th October until 4th November 2020. I'll follow this one with interest after dipping the Winterton bird that as yet hasn't made the official report file. I don't recall any published sightings of the Heacham bird and to my memory we could still travel to Norfolk back in October so I'll be interested in seeing more detail of this report. Many a lister would have welcomed the chance to add this elusive bird but let's see how the circulation goes.

The Tiree Yellow-bellied Flycatcher has been submitted and remains IC. as does the Tennessee Warbler on Yell and the Blackpoll Warbler on Mainland Shetland.

The House Crow that spent time in Kent last year remains IC too.

Green Warbler was reported from Fair Isle in June last year and that remains IC at this point.

Three different Aquatic Warblers are IC from last year. Lundy, Dorset and Hampshire all represented here.

Sykes's Warbler have two reports still being considered. One from my home county of Essex dating back to 2002 and another from Caithness in 2017.

No fewer than five Lanceolated Warbler reports are being considered along with Pallas's Grasshopper Warblers.

Scotlands crowd pleasing Western Orphean Warbler forms part of the 460 records still being debated or still to be debated as is the Nothumberland Asian Desert Warbler.

Eleven Eastern Subalpine Warblers remain on the IC list dating from 2004 - 2020

A Moltoni's Warbler on Shetland is awating it's acceptance as are any of the four reports of Short-toed Treecreeper all from Dungeness in 2020.

Thrushes account for seventeen of the 460 reports that remain in circulation and include Black-throated,  Siberian, White's, Swainson's and Eyebrowed. with no 2020 records yet moved to OK.

Two Thrush Nightingales remain IC from June 2020 and August 2020.

Shetlands East Siberian Wagtail from October last year is added to a list of Wagtails in IC that includes another fourteen birds.

Two Tawny Pipits have made the WIP with one in Sussex and one in Porthgwarra last year being reported.

White-throated Sparrow and Rose-breasted Grosbeak make up the last of the more interesting reports.


So that's my summary of the latest WIP file

I found it interesting to study and make the above notes and await the next one.

I am left wondering why some reports take so long to gain acceptance and why some are left so long in circulation ...can that much really change over time?  I guess if you're waiting for DNA results then yes or if you've put it out to an overseas expert more familiar with species maybe but I would have thought many of the 460 could be agreed upon without too much debate.

You can view the full WIP report here ......BBRC

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