Rare Breeding Birds Panel
RBBP - the secure information archive on the UK's rare breeding birds - Twitter: @ukrbbp
Rare Breeding Birds Panel - May 2018
The 2018 breeding season is now well underway and we hope that all birders are out there logging instances of breeding and potential breeding birds of all types! Remember to include a breeding evidence code with your records so that county bird recorders know that they have a breeding record - important for county bird reports and, if it is a rare breeding bird species, then that information can be collated at the end of the season for the annual submission to the Rare Breeding Birds Panel. It is early to know what rarer species will be found this year; perhaps there will be new sites found for breeding Little Bitterns (photo, left, thanks to John Crispin).
You can see the RBBP guidelines to recording and reporting rare breeding birds 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.
We have recently written a Privacy Notice, to comply with the new data regulations, and you can read it here.
We are now down to the last three recording areas who have not provided any information for the 2016 breeding season - see the image on the right. The most up to date position with 2016 submissions can be checked here. We are already collecting data for the 2017 season and we're pleased to state that some records have been sent in already. So here's a big thank you to recorders for Staffordshire, Cleveland, Fair Isle and the Clyde Islands!
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.