Rare Breeding Birds Panel
RBBP - the secure information archive on the UK's rare breeding birds - Twitter: @ukrbbp
Rare Breeding Birds Panel - April 2018
April - 2nd update:
After a huge irruption of Hawfinches into Britain last autumn, there has been some speculation that some birds might stay to breed. It is interesting that many of the visiting birds have found the sites used by Hawfinches in the past, and some of these wintering sites were (or are close to) historical breeding sites. Birders should check these sites this spring to see if Hawfinches have remained in potential breeding habitat. We have guidelines on recording breeding evidence for Hawfinches (see here). Please ensure that all reports of Hawfinches in breeding habitat are reported, with breeding evidence codes, to county recorders (ideally on BirdTrack) promptly. These records will then be summarised for RBBP in due course. Photo left courtesy of Andy Hay/RSPB.
The 2018 breeding season is well underway for many species and those which migrate to breed in the UK are either here already or on their way. Who knows what will turn up where? It is important to be cautious when reporting potential breeding pairs of species on the RBBP list, and we have updated our guidelines - which can be read here. 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 in due course. There are still a few counties who have not sent data in for 2016; these are listed on the right. The most up to date position with 2016 submissions can be checked here.
in the UK in 2015. Full details are presented in the annual report of the UK Rare Breeding Birds Panel in the December issue of the journal British Birds.
Our most recent report, published in British Birds in December covered the 2015 breeding season. Overall, a total of 100 rare or scarce species was recorded breeding, or showed signs of breeding. The report presents, for the first time, long-term population trends for most of our regularly breeding rare species. The species showing the greatest increase over the last 25 years is the Little Egret, while that with the greatest decline is Golden Oriole. The totals and trends for 2015 are used in the latest State of the UK's birds. You can see the total numbers of pairs for all the species recorded, and the trends where it has been possible to calculate them, here. Please note that there are some caveats around these trends, detailed here.
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.