Rare Breeding Birds Panel
RBBP - the secure information archive on the UK's rare breeding birds - Twitter: @ukrbbp
Rare Breeding Birds Panel - March 2017 update
Latest News February & March are busy months for the RBBP, as data received for our next report are checked and loaded onto our database. By early March we had received records from most county recorders. Six counties in Britain, plus Northern Ireland, are still to get in touch with an update on their timescales. RBBP would like to include all areas in our national analysis, on behalf of the birders who diligently submit records on BirdTrack or directly to recorders. The up to date position as to which counties have sent data in already can be viewed here: data received for 2015 so far. If your local county has not yet participated, why not contact the county recorder and see if they could do with some help? A lot is expected of county bird recorders, and RBBP is very grateful to them all for the hard work they do, voluntarily, on behalf of ornithology.
Happening now So far, data from about 85% of recording areas for 2015 have been submitted by county recorders and these records are being merged in with all the other data RBBP receives, including returns from nest records, Schedule 1 licences, reserves data and species studies. The 2015 report will be published in British Birds in the autumn but there are a LOT of records to check, which is why data need to be submitted in good time; we really appreciate receiving records by our deadlines.
Also in March the Panel will be meeting to review the list of species we cover, to look at the next report and how best to improve the quality of records sent to us. We are planning to launch a new and much improved website later in the year, but the development of that is dependent on any free time between processsing 2015 records and starting on the 2016 dataset!
Featured species: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. The rarest of the three breeding woodpeckers in the UK has suffered a large decline in recent years, and was added to the list of species considered by the Panel only in 2010, by which time it was believed the population was between 1,000 and 2,000 pairs. EVERY record of this species between February and July could indicate the presence of a breeding pair, and records of drumming or calling birds are especially useful. so please report all your records to county recorders or on BirdTrack. However, these small birds become increasingly difficult to find as the leaves come out so the best time to look for them is in the early spring. Occasionally they come to garden feeders, as shown in the photo (right) taken in Yorkshire by Ted Marston.
Unfortunately, because of its rarity, some sites where this species is known to occur can become popular with birdwatchers and photographers. In all cases, the Birdwatchers' Code should be observed - always putting the welfare of the birds first. In particular, repeatedly playing a recording of bird song or calls to encourage a bird to respond should be avoided as it can divert a territorial bird from other important duties, such as feeding its young. Never use playback to attract a species during its breeding season, unless part of a recognised species survey.