Rare Breeding Birds Panel
RBBP - the secure information archive on the UK's rare breeding birds - Twitter: @ukrbbp
Rare Breeding Birds Panel - August 2018
At this time of year some species have finished breeding and others still have dependent young; often it is in July/August that rarer birds that have secreted themselves away in the countryside make themselves known - as happened last year when it was discovered that Night Herons had bred in Somerset, the first confirmed breeding for that species in the UK. We will summarise some of 2018's news later this month.
So this is the time for birdwatchers to look carefully at the sites around them and check known breeding sites so that the fullest information is collected - and then ensure it is documented and submitted to the relevant county or regional recorder. Pochards (left) and other ducks can appear with ducklings now, proving that they have bred at the site where perhaps only pairs were seen in the spring. RBBP data shows that breeding populations have risen in the last 30 years although there is a hint of a recent decline and there has been a loss of range too - the species no longer breeds in Scotland or northern England.If you find a breeding rare bird please follow our guidance, check this document here. and please remember these three important principles:
(1) if you find a rare bird in breeding habitat, consider whether it might actually be breeding there and whether the birds might therefore be at risk of disturbance;
(2) do not publicise the birds or the site (either locally or via the national bird information services) unless you are sure that there are suitable viewing opportunities which will not disturb the birds in any way;
(3) always inform the county/regional bird recorder and submit details of your sightings to the recorder so that they can be stored locally and with the Rare Breeding Birds Panel.
To fulfil our aims to curate and safely archive all records of rare breeding birds in the UK, for the conservation of those species and for the benefit of UK ornithology, we rely on birdwatchers reporting their sightings to county recorders and those recorders collating them and sending them on an annual basis to the RBBP Secretary. We would like to encourage any one with records of species on the RBBP list recorded in breeding habitat in 2017 to submit them to county bird recorders immediately so that they can be made available to RBBP by the deadline at the end of November this year.
Our most recent report, published in British Birds in December covered the 2015 breeding season. The report for 2016 is currently being prepared using data from county recorders and other available sources; the report will be published in British Birds in November. You can buy a digital copy of the issue of British Birds containing the report for £4.99 via the Apple Appstore or Google Play: search for British Birds magazine. Alternatively, you can buy a paper copy (£7.50): from British Birds directly.
We have recently written a Privacy Notice, to comply with the new data regulations, and you can read it here.