Rare Breeding Birds Panel
RBBP - the secure information archive on the UK's rare breeding birds - Twitter: @ukrbbp
Rare Breeding Birds Panel - late July 2017
LATEST NEWS The main role of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel is to collate, archive and report on the definitive status of the 90 or so rarer species of breeding birds which nest in the UK in any one year. Each breeding season there is a stream of novel and interesting news, and the immediate reports from the bird information services and from the RSPB, often neatly summarised in news items by British Birds. 2017 is proving to be an exceptional year for rare breeders, with at least six pairs of Black-winged Stilts nesting in southeast England (and a record total of 13 young now fledged), Spoonbills nesting for the first time in Yorkshire, and Cattle Egrets nesting in Cheshire & Wirral, Dorset and Somerset. There are singing (and in some cases, breeding) Savi's and Marsh Warblers. And since late June, a party of Bee-eaters (photo left by Neil Calbrade) has been in residence at a quarry in Nottinghamshire. Breeding has now been confirmed there with young being fed in one of three nesting burrows. Since RBBP began reporting rare breeders in 1973, there have been just five previous instances of confirmed breeding with young fledging on three occassions (Co. Durham 2002, Isle of Wight 2014 and Cumbria 2015). Will this year prove to be the fourth successful year?
Meanwhile, many of you are finding your own rare breeders. Please remember:
(1) to post all your sightings on BirdTrack or directly to county recorders - and include codes for breeding evidence, so that RBBP and county recorders know if the record is of confirmed, probable or possible breeding, important for calculating the annual populations, and essential for your records to be included in the European Atlas. For more information on that project see a href="http://www.ebba2.info" target="_blank">EBBA2. The BTO have set up a very useful website to help focus fieldwork efforts (all species, not just rare breeders) in Britain and Ireland: Gapfinder.Using the BirdTrack website, you can add a six-figure grid reference or pinpoint the sighting on the map. Similarly, if you use the BirdTrack smartphone app, the record will be allocated an accurate location. For some tips on how to use BirdTrack in this way, download our PDF Recording of breeding evidence and rare breeding birds using BirdTrack.(2) do not post photos of birds you find on social media - respect the breeding birds and minimise disturbance by reporting only as in (1) (3) remember the Birdwatchers' Code of Conduct, keeping disturbance to a minimum and remembering that most RBBP species are specially protected undert Schedule 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act, meaning that it is illegal to disturb them at or near a nest without a licence.
During the 2017 breeding season we have been including a TIP OF THE WEEK here on our home page. Each tip has suggested an activity that birdwatchers could take part in to help find and record rare breeding birds. This year we've given hints for recording Quail, Little Egret, Honey-buzzard, Goshawk, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Greenshank, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Firecrest, Cetti's Warbler, Willow Tit and Hawfinch. If you found any of these (or other rare breeding species), please ensure that you submit the records to the local county/regional bird recorder directly or via BirdTrack. You can download a short guide on using BirdTrack to submit records of rare breeding birds here. All such records will be collated for compilation into the annual return by county recorders to RBBP.
This month's featured species: all rare breeding waterfowl, such as Pochard (see photo right). Most species will now have young at or near the nest, be incubating second or third broods, or have even left the breeding areas. Any waterfowl, such as Pochard, Shoveler, Pintail, Garganey and Black-necked Grebe, could be found in July with young on the water. Sometimes patient observation is required to see the chicks as they are often kept in cover for much of the time.