Rare Breeding Birds Panel
RBBP - the secure information archive on the UK's rare breeding birds - Twitter: @ukrbbp
Rare Breeding Birds Panel - 2019: Autumn update
Please ensure full details of any rare breeding birds in breeding habitat are submitted promptly to county bird recorders.
Some snippets from the 2019 season.
The two main functions of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel are to maintain the definitive archive of all rare breeding birds in the UK and to publish their findings annually (see below). As such, definitive lists and numbers for all species are not available for up to two years after the breeding season. Some information is shared with the Panel through the season and some news is made available during the season to the media, and is broadcast by the bird information services. An example is the confirmed breeding of Savi's Warbler in Wales (photo left by Steve Culley). With the number of singing Savi's Warblers in low single figures each year, and given their preferred habitat of dense reedbeds, it is very unusual to be able to prove breeding. Sightings at the RSPB reserve of Cors Ddyga on Anglesey were firstly a singing male (from mid June), then a second bird and finally proof obtained by seeing food being carried to feed young in an hidden nest. The last confirmed breeding by Savi's Warblers in the UK was in Sussex in 2010. The Welsh record is just the sort of record which makes birding exciting and worthwhile, but any breeding season record of a rare breeding bird is equally important for the ornithological record and for RBBP. Take Shoveler (picture right by Allan Drewitt): there are about 1,200-1,300 breeding pairs in the UK but we only know this because of diligent recording and record submission by birders. So records of Shoveler pairs in suitable breeding habitat (probable breeding) or females with broods (confirmed breeding) are equally important and the observer should make sure the county recorder is informed. Similarly, records of single Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers and Willow Tits in suitable breeding habitat between February and July (possible breeding), even where there is no other evidence to suggest breeding, are vitally important to allow us to assess the status of these species.
Some other highlights of the 2019 season: Cattle Egrets bred in at least five counties; Ruff: two confirmed breeding records in one year is unusual; Green Sandpiper proved breeding (first time since 2011); Iberian Chiffchaff: several territorial birds, one of which may have bred (still to be confirmed). Also the reintroduced White Storks in Sussex laid eggs but the pair failed to rear any young.
Rare Breeding Birds Panel reporting - the archive and the next report.
All 43 reports published by the RBBP covering 1973 to 2016 are available to download from this website (select Annual Reports from the menu on the left). These reports were all published in the monthly journal British Birds and we are grateful to them for permission to make these reports available. You can also explore the species accounts within these reports using the Explore Reports option. At present this only covers 1973-2010 but work is underway to bring this up to date.
The next report will cover 2017 and will be published in the December issue of British Birds.
Information for county recorders and others who submit data to RBBP. Please send 2018 data by 30th November 2019.
Data are now being collected and collated for the 2018 report. By 1st September we had already received data from eight recording areas and we thank them for their prompt submissions: Dumfries & Galloway, Fair Isle, Isles of Scilly, Leicestershire & Rutland, Northern Ireland, Staffordshire, Suffolk and the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands. We also have some datasets from species specialists and institutions such as RSPB reserve data. Full instructions and guidance can be found by selecting the Data Submissions tab on the left. We ask that all remaining data is submitted by 30th November 2019; failing that we would be most grateful if we could be notified of when data will be available to allow us to plan for when the species data can be collated and analysed ready for preparation of the 2018 report on rare breeding birds.