RBBP News - ARCHIVE 2007-2013

05 September 2013 - Common Cranes breeding in Scotland.

A pair of Common Cranes fledged one chick in NE Scotland in both 2012 and 2013. These records are the first confirmed breeding by Cranes in Scotland for hundreds of years, although there have been recent records of summering pairs elsewhere in northern Scotland and breeding may have occurred in Caithness in 1997. Those details were not made available to RBBP at the time but have since been documented in The Birds of Scotland (Forrester et al. 2007).

Cranes returned to breed in England in 1981. The new RBBP report confirms that 11 pairs bred in 2011, with an additional eight pairs present. Breeding occurred in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Yorkshire.

See the modern history of Cranes breeding in the UK as published by the Rare Breeding Birds Panel within British Birds by selecting Common Crane within the new Explore Reports feature on this website (see below).

Our thanks to RSPB Scotland for the use of photograph on the left of one of the Scottish breeding Cranes with a chick.

04 September 2013 - The latest report from the Rare Breeding Birds Panel is now available in the September issue of British Birds (see right).

The new report by RBBP, covering the 2011 breeding season, is now available to subscribers of British Birds, and can be ordered separately from BB via their website www.britishbirds.co.uk. This report includes details of 88 rare breeding species including record numbers of Quails reported in 2011, and signs of continued declines in the numbers of some resident passerine species, such as Bearded Tit and Dartford Warbler, following the run of colder than usual winters.

05 July 2012 - Latest RBBP report is published this week

This week the latest report from the Rare Breeding Birds Panel is published in British Birds. The July issue of BB includes the full report of the 2010 breeding season. Details of 99 rare breeding species are included, with extended analysis of the status and trends of Slavonian Grebe, Wryneck and Red-backed Shrike, plus analysis of the 2010 surveys of both Capercaillie and Hen Harrier. For the first time, RBBP provides an update on five species which have been added to the list of species covered, as we now believe their UK populations lay below 1,500 pairs: Arctic Skua, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Willow Tit. The report includes records of several species which bred or attempted to breed in 2010 which do not normally feature in our reports. such as Pink-footed Goose, Macaronesian Shearwater, Great White Egret, Purple Heron, Long-tailed Skua, Marmora's Warbler and Subalpine Warbler.

Great White Egret is included in the RBBP report for the first time ever, as in 2010 there were two potential breeding pairs. It has now been confirmed that this species has bred in Britain for the first time in 2012 - see the full story: First breeding of Great White Egret in Britain

To access additional information on Water Rails in 2010, follow the link here

To order a copy of the report, or to see subscription offers for British Birds, please go to the BB website: www.britishbirds.co.uk

08 December 2011 - Updates to the RBBP website published today

A new spreadsheet allowing the entry of all data to be submitted to the Panel is now available via Recording Forms.

31 October 2011 - Updates to the RBBP website published today

Following the publication of the most recent report of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel, covering 2009, some additional data and minor corrections have come to light. These are now available via the Annual Reports link on the left hand panel, along with updated additions to both the 2007 and 2008 reports. These amendments, coupled with the reports published in British Birds form the definitive totals and status of the species covered by RBBP to the best of our knowledge up to and including 31st October 2011.

New species recording guidelines for both Common Crane and Wood Sandpiper are also published today; see Species Recording on the left hand panel.

1 September 2011 - Latest RBBP report is published today

Today the latest report from the Rare Breeding Birds Panel is published in British Birds. The September issue of BB includes the full report of the 2009 breeding season. Details of 86 rare breeding species are included, with extended analysis of the status and trends of Gadwall, Little Tern and Cetti's Warbler. This report also includes explanations of the criteria used to determine what is a "rare breeding bird" and the reasons why we have added five new species to the list (see News 31st August 2011, below). For each regularly breeding species a clear and concise species banner now provides key information at a glance: the current UK population estimate, the Birds of Conservation Concern status (red/amber/green) and an indication of the Panel's coverage of the whole UK population in 2009.

To order a copy of the report, or to see subscription offers for British Birds, please go to the BB website: www.britishbirds.co.uk

31 August 2011 - New recording guidelines for 5 species added to the website

With effect from the 2010 breeding season, the Rare Breeding Birds Panel will now report on five new species: Arctic Skua, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Willow Tit. All of these species are now believed to have UK breeding populations of less than 1,500 pairs and so more detailed monitoring and reporting has been advised by RSPB and JNCC.

To assist with the standard collection of breeding evidence for these species, we have compiled some tables to help interpret information collected in the field. These can now be accessed on the new link Species Recording alongside existing guidelines for Hobby and Spotted Crake.

It is our intention to add new species recording guidelines on a regular basis and any such additions will be notified through this News page.

12 August 2011 - Revisions to the list of species covered by RBBP; request for data for 2010 by 31st December 2011

The list of species for which RBBP requests data has been revised and each species recategorised in one of 6 new divisions, to aid reporting. Species are either native or non-native breeders in the UK, and within these groups they are classed as Regular, Occasional or Potential breeding species. This website has been updated to reflect these changes; see in particular Data Submission and Species List (select from the banner to the left).

Data on rare breeding species which bred or attempted to breed in the UK in 2010 are now being collected and collated by the Panel Secretary. Would all observers ensure they have reported any such records to the local county bird recorder, and would all bird recorders and others who have rare breeding bird data for 2010 please submit the information to the Panel Secretary (see Contact Us) by no later than 31st December 2011.

08 December 2010 - New member of the Panel

Andrew King, county bird recorder for Breconshire in Wales, has joined the Rare Breeding Birds Panel as a third independent member. More information on The Panel page.

30 September 2010 - Website update

A number of additions have been made to the website, including a new page about recording Non-native Species and updated additions and corrections to all the Panel's published Annual Reports covering 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Brief resumes of recent Panel meetings have been added to the About RBBP page and there have been a number of other minor updates.

30 Aug 2010 - Request for information on the 2009 breeding season

The Panel's report on rare breeding birds in 2008 is published in the September 2010 issue of British Birds. Data are now being requested for the 2009 season to allow compilation of the 2009 report, which will be published in summer 2011. The Panel's report on rare non-native breeding species is being compiled at present and is expected to be published in January 2011. this will cover the three years 2006-2008. All RBBP reports up to and including the 2007 season are available to download from this website; click on Reports from the menu on the left.

Please note that the first of what will eventually be a complete list of species specific guidelines has been added to the Species Information page. The first species covered is Hobby, and it is hoped that these guidelines will help county recorders and observers provide more accurate information on Hobby populations in an area. Comments and suggestions for improvements are very welcome: please contact the Secretary.

30 Jul 2010 - Both Purple Heron and Little Bittern confirmed breeding

Feeding flights at Dungeness by Purple Herons have confirmed that the pair there have bred and have young birds. And now the RSPB have issued a press release indicating that Little Bitterns have bred at their Ham Wall reserve in Somerset - feeding flights were also occurring, and now a juvenile has been seen. This is the second confirmed breeding by Little Bitterns in the UK.See www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=2219.

27 May 2010 - New species added to the list of breeding birds in the UK: Purple Heron

A pair of Purple Herons present at the RSPB's reserve at Dungeness, Kent, are now believed to be incubating eggs and, if this is proven, this will be the first confirmed breeding record of Purple Heron in the UK. The RSPB issued a press release; see www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.asp?id=tcm:9-252299. In 2007, three birds, two males and a female, were recorded at Minsmere in Suffolk during May (documented in the RBBP report "Rare Breeding Birds in the UK in 2007" (British Birds 103:17-18)). The birds were displaying and thought to have built a nest, but heavy rain and flooding in early June is thought to have stalled any breeding attempt.

07 August 2009 - Some highlights of the 2009 breeding season from the Rare Breeding Birds Panel

To populate its extensive archives and to help write its annual reports, at the end of each breeding season the Rare Breeding Birds Panel collates data largely from the county bird recorder network and species studies, and the large number of contributors inevitably means that there is some delay between the sightings of the birds and published records. However, during the course of each breeding season, the Panel becomes aware of some interesting records and now that the 2009 breeding season (for most species) is at an end, it is appropriate to share just a few of the highlights of the 2009 season which have come to the attention of the Panel.

First breeding attempt by Ring-billed Gull in Britain A mixed pair of Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis and Common Gull Larus canus was found at a nest in Scotland in June. The bird was sitting on a nest but it was not possible to see the contents and follow up visits could not confirm the presence of eggs or chicks. This is the first British record of a nesting attempt by Ring-billed Gull, although for a number of years there has been speculation that the vagrants of this North American species recorded in Britain may actually stay on this side of the Atlantic and settling in a colony of Common Gulls seemed the most likely eventuality. As the photo (above) demonstrates, this has now indeed happened.

This follows the identification of a hybrid Ring-billed/Common Gull along the coast of Co. Down in Northern Ireland early in 2008. The bird was ringed and the ring number confirmed that it had been ringed in 2004 on the Copeland Islands off Co. Down. An adult Ring-billed had been recorded holding territory in the gullery there that summer, so it would appear that it bred with a Common Gull and at least one chick fledged. For further information see www.habitas.org.uk/cbo/sightings2008.htm. In addition, there have also been some records of Ring-billed Gulls summering in Eire in recent summers, so it may be that other breeding attempts have been made in the British Isles.

Great Bustards rear chicks in Wiltshire The re-introduction of Great Bustards Otis tarda by the Great Bustard Group www.greatbustard.com reached an important milestone this year with the hatching of two broods of Great Bustards on Salisbury Plain in early June. Attempted breeding was first confirmed in 2007, when eggs were first laid, but these proved to be infertile.

Icterine Warblers breeding in Highland Until this year, there had been just three records of confirmed breeding of Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina in the UK, all in Scotland: in 1992 (Highland, fledged young seen 29th July), 1998 (Highland, female trapped with brood patch) and 2002 (Orkney, at least four young fledged in July from a nest found in June). Already this year, however, there have been two confirmed records of breeding and other territorial males singing at several sites, all in Highland, Scotland.

Common Crane rears young in the Fens After the first breeding attempt by Common Crane Grus grus in the Fens in 2007, this year a pair of Cranes has successfully reared young at the RSPBís Lakenheath Fen reserve.

Marsh Harrier nests in Northern Ireland 2009 has seen the return of Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus as a breeding bird to Northern Ireland. Two young fledged from a nest at the end of June/beginning of July. The last recorded nesting in the province was in the 19th century.

Invasion of Common Quail Lastly, many counties have seen influxes of Common Quail Coturnix coturnix with calling males widely reported. The BTO/Birdwatch Ireland/SOC Bird Atlas project is collecting these records and we would encourage all observers to log any records they have of singing Quail with this project (www.birdatlas.net) and/or with their county recorders, so that as full a picture of the numbers and distribution of this species in 2009 can be gained.

18 June 2009 - Mid-summer news from the Rare Breeding Birds Panel

Perhaps the most significant event in terms of rare breeding birds reported this summer so far is the successful hatching of two Great Bustard chicks from the reintroduction scheme on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. This scheme is in its 5th year and these are the first Great Bustard chicks to be hatched in the UK for 177 years. For more information, see www.greatbustard.com. Data for the next report of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel, covering the 2007 breeding season, are being collated and analysed at the moment, and this report will include feature articles on the species subject to reintroduction programmes in the UK.

The third edition of Birds of Conservation Concern (Eaton et al. 2009) has recently been published, and extensive use of the annual statistics on rare breeding species published by RBBP has been used in determining the status of all regularly occurring species in the UK.

Copies of the new pamphlet are available via this link Birds of Conservation Concern 3 and the full report is published in the June 2009 issue of British Birds Click here. Also available is a handy list of red and amber listed species: Birds of Conservation Concern 3 red and amber lists.

Since the publication of the last Birds of Conservation Concern in 2002, seven species considered by RBBP have moved from the Amber List (medium conservation concern) to the Red List (high conservation concern) owing to increased concerns about their status in the breeding season. These are Temminckís Stint, Ruff, Whimbrel, Fieldfare, Redwing, Golden Oriole and Hawfinch. All have suffered a severe decline in their breeding populations in the last 25 years, or, in the case of Fieldfare and Redwing, in the longer term. The first five are mainly northern breeders on the edge of their range in the UK; Golden Oriole is a southern breeder which has retreated following a period of higher numbers in the 1980s and 1990s. Hawfinch seems to have suffered like some other, more numerous, woodland specialists.

Just four species have seen their conservation concern status improve as they move from the Red List to the Amber list: Common Quail, Stone-curlew, Wood Lark and Scottish Crossbill. Common Quail has shown a recovery from historical decline and both Stone-curlew and Wood Lark have recovered part of their former ranges. Scottish Crossbill is re-categorised because of a review of its population size since a survey in 2008 (not yet published).

One species has been newly listed as of High Conservation Concern owing to a population decline of over 50% in the last 25 years: Arctic Skua, formerly Green listed. Seabird 2000 documented this decline (Mitchell et al. 2004) and the drop in numbers has continued, bringing the population within the range where it may need to be added to the RBBP list.

These classifications will be used by RBBP in their forthcoming review of the species list.


Eaton MA, Brown AF, Noble DG, Musgrove AJ, Hearn R, Aebischer NJ, Gibbons DW, Evans A & Gregory RD (2009). Birds of Conservation Concern 3: the population status of birds in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. British Birds 102: 296-341.

Mitchell PI, Newton s, Ratcliffe N & Dunn TE (2004). Seabird Populations of Britain and Ireland. Poyser, London.

10 March 2009 - Recent news from the Rare Breeding Birds Panel

(1) The next report of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel, covering the 2006 breeding season, will be published in the April 2009 issue of British Birds.

(2) The Panel have recently published new recording standards which give observers and county bird recorders guidelines for the submission of records to RBBP. These will be distributed in a number of magazines this spring, and are also available to view at Recording Standards

(3) The Panel's report covering the 2005 breeding season is now available to view alongside all our previous reports. These can all be found via Annual Reports on the side bar to the left, or Click here

(4) Records covering the 2007 breeding season are being collected and analysed now for the next RBBP report. County recorders should ensure that data for their recording areas are submitted to the Panel Secretary by no later than 31st May 2009.

02 September 2008 - FOURTH confirmed breeding of Eurasian Spoonbill in modern times

It was confirmed yesterday that a pair of Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia have succesfully fledged three young from the Kirkcudbright area of Dumfries & Galloway, in southern Scotland. A pair has been present since June, and three recently fledged young birds have been seen begging for food from the adults, confirming that they were locally reared. The photograph shows one of the adult birds, taken by Keith Kirk. No nest has been found. This is the first successful nesting in Scotland. Previously in the area nest building and display had been recorded at Mersehead, also in Dumfries & Galloway, in 2000. Although the pair returned in 2001, there was no other breeding activity observed.

The following summarises the main nesting attempts in the UK since the formation of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel in 1972. Prior to the first known nest in 1998, the last known breeding of Spoonbills in the UK was in around 1668. In most years since the mid 1990s there have been summering birds at a number of widepsread sites; only records involving nests or nest building are listed here. More detail of all these events is documented in the Panel's Annual Reports. Click here

1989 - Suffolk - nest building.

1996 - Cheshire & Wirral - nest building.

1997 - Cheshire & Wirral - nest building at the 1996 site.

1998 - Suffolk - first confirmed breeding for 330 years: two eggs laid but lost, thought to have been predated. Two young birds seen at the site later in the year are thought to have been visitors from the continent.

1999 - Lancashire & North Merseyside - first successful breeding in modern times: three eggs laid, two hatched and subsequently fledged. Nest building also recorded in both Norfolk and Suffolk but no eggs laid.

2000 - Norfolk and Dumfries & Galloway - nest building.

2002 - Suffolk - ten nests built but again no eggs thought to have been laid.

2004 - Cumbria - nest building.

2006 - Suffolk - nest building.

2007 - Suffolk - two pairs built two nests and eggs were laid in at least one of these.

2008 - Dumfries & Galloway - third confirmed breeding: three young fledged. More information can be obtained from www.dumfriesandgallowaynaturalhistory.co.uk/thisMonth.asp

01 September 2008 - Website update

Additions and corrections to the 2005 report have been added to the Annual Reports page, or via the link here. View late additions and corrections to published report for 2005

23 July 2008 - New breeding species for the UK: Cattle Egret

News is released today that a pair of Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis has bred this year in Somerset, fledging at least one young. This is the first breeding of this species in the UK and follows the unprecedented influx of Cattle Egrets during the last winter and early spring into south-western counties of England. [Postscript: the Somerset Bird Club subsequently confirmed that a second pair had nesting successfully in the county, with one juvenile being seen at a second site.] Cattle Egrets, as their name implies, forage around herd animals in drier habitats than other herons. They are familiar birds of the African plains, picking off insects disturbed by the passage of large animals such as Wildebeest but, as in Somerset, they are just as happy following Friesans, and will even hitch a ride on the animals. Cattle Egrets have a wide global distribution, and have extended their range considerably in the 20th century. They are quite common in south-west Europe, particularly Spain, and have been increasing in France. Over the past twenty years, the similar Little Egret Egretta garzetta has firmly established itself as a breeding species in England. Although some may point to this record as being a result of global warming, especially following on from the colonisation of other species from France, such as Little Egrets and Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti, other species with similar European ranges (e.g. European Serin Serinus serinus and Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis) have not established breeding populations. Indeed Cattle Egret colonised the Americas in the late 19th century, and then spread both north to south-east Canada and south to Chile and Argentina. The successful over-wintering of Cattle Egrets last winter would, however, have been aided by the mild weather.

Cattle Egret becomes the ninth new species (where breeding has been confirmed by presence of eggs and/or young) to be added to the breeding avifauna of the UK since 1981 as the list below shows:

1981 - Common Crane Grus grus

1982 - Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus

1984 - Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus

1984 - Parrot Crossbill Loxia pytyopsittacus

1995 - Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

1996 - Little Egret Egretta garzetta

2001 - Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena

2004 - Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos

This list excludes hybrid pairs, non-native species and species which formerly bred and which have been subject to re-introduction programmes. The Panel is preparing reference data on first breeding by species for posting on this website in the future. More information on these records is available from the reports of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel (see side panel for link to Annual Reports).

11 July 2008 - Black-winged Stilts in Cheshire not successful in fledging young

The pair of Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus at Neumann's Flash in Cheshire hatched three eggs on 28th May but unfortunately two chicks died soon afterwards and the remaining chick was predated on 20th June.

28 May 2008 - Black-winged Stilts hatch three young

The pair of Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus nesting at Neumann's Flash in Cheshire hatched three young today.

22 May 2008 - Black-winged Stilt nesting in England

A pair of Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus is nesting at Neumann's Flash in Cheshire and the RSPB have set up viewing facilities under their "Aren't Birds Brilliant" scheme. This is only the seventh time that this species has attempted to nest in the UK (see below). Only two previous attempts have been successful in fledging young (1945 and 1987). Full details of viewing here www.rspb.org.uk/brilliant/sites/cheshirestilts/index.asp

Nesting attempts by Black-winged Stilts in the UK (from RBBP files):

1945 - Nottinghamshire

1983 - Cambridgeshire

1987 - Norfolk

1993 - Cheshire

2005 - Suffolk

2006 - Lancashire

7 May 2008 - News of the next RBBP report and additions to the website

The next report of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel, covering 2005, is to be published in the June 2008 issue of British Birds (volume 101, number 6). This report presents details of the status of 79 species of rare and scarce native breeding birds which bred or attempted to breed in the UK in 2005. It includes references to the impact of climate change on our rarer breeding birds and also provides a European perspective for some species such as Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia and Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus. Full details of the numbers and distribution of Marsh Harriers Circus aeruginosus, which were the subject of a full nationwide survey in 2005, is presented. We report a record total of at least 363 breeding females. County totals for four less scarce species (Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius, Little Tern Sternula albifrons, Barn Owl Tyto alba and Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis) in 2005 can also be downloaded via the Species Information panel.

To obtain a copy of the report contact British Birds at Unit 3, The Applestore, Workhouse Lane, Icklesham, East Sussex TN36 4BJ. See www.britishbirds.co.uk for further details.

The most recently published RBBP reports covering rare and scarce native breeding species in 2003-04 and rare non-native breeding species in the three years 2003-05 have been added to the Reports section of the website, from where they can be downloaded as PDFs.

The recording areas used by the Rare Breeding Birds Panel in its reports can now be viewed from the Reports page or here --> RBBP Recording Areas.

The list of species considered by the Panel has been updated to include Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis because of a breeding attempt in 2004 which has only recently come to light. More details on this unusual event will be available on this website in the near future.

17 December 2007 - Changes to the RBBP List

Over the last year, RBBP has been reviewing the species considered by the Panel and has made a few small changes which come into effect with the submissions by county recorders covering the 2006 breeding season.


Three new species have been added: Shoveler Anas clypeata, Water Rail Rallus aquaticus and Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes. Full details of breeding status and sites are requested for these species, which have been added as they are not well monitored by other surveys.

It is recognised that for Water Rail especially the numbers recorded are closely affected by the monitoring effort. And in some parts of the country, when specifically looked for, Water Rail has been found not be a particularly rare species, apparently being found in even quite small nutrient-rich wetlands. Thus on the islands of Colonsay and Oronsay (Argyll), 19 territories were found in 2006, and a survey of wetlands in Kent in 2003 located 250-300 territories. Nevertheless inclusion by county recorders of any records they receive from potential breeding sites would be most welcome. This would at least help identify the sites which hold breeding Water Rails and may assist in the design of possible future national surveys for this species. As Water Rail is not covered by any of the established monitoring programmes the Panel would like to encourage regular annual recording at specific sites, with the possibility of censusing using playback of calling birds.

Change from category A to category B

Cettiís Warbler Cettia cetti has been moved into the less scarce species category (B) meaning that a county total only is required for those counties where there are more than ten pairs or ten sites. In 2004, a new maximum total of 1,137 singing males was reported in the Panelís report but even this number is probably an underestimate. This compares with just 332 Ďpairsí reported in the 1994 report. Of the 30 counties holding breeding Cettiís Warblers in 2003-2004, only 11 held ten or fewer pairs. Following further mild winters, it is expected that numbers will be even higher when the figures for 2005 are analysed and published in BB next spring.


In addition, the following four species are to be removed from the Panelís list, also effective for records covering the 2006 breeding season: Barn Owl Tyto alba, Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis, Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus and Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra. These species are all on Schedule 1, and were consequently added to the Panelís lists in 1996 along with all other species on Schedule 1. However, in the ten years since then, data submitted to the Panel have not been able to produce useful statistics on their status in the UK. Kingfisher and Common Crossbill are both relatively common and widespread and are monitored by BBS, with Kingfisher also by WBBS. There is now a specific Barn Owl Monitoring Programme run by the BTO. Unfortunately there are no regular monitoring programmes for Crested Tit. Very few Schedule 1 forms are submitted and the two county recorders which have this species in their areas receive very little data which allow RBBP to make any assessment of population size or even distribution. The 2005 report will include a summary of the data received for these four species during the years 1996-2005.

29 October 2007 - RBBP Report on rare non-native breeding birds in Britain to be published in British Birds November 2007 issue

The latest Report of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel is published in the November issue of British Birds. This report covers 2003, 2004 and 2005. Information on 25 species is included in this report. The report presents an extended review of breeding Eagle Owls in the UK. The first recorded breeding attempt by this species was in Moray in northern Scotland in 1984. Breeding has been regular in northern England since 1997 when one or two pairs have bred each year. Full details of the productivity of the pair which bred in Yorkshire during this period are given: 23 young were fledged between 1997 and 2005, with 2001 being the only year when no young were reared.

A copy of the November issue of British Birds containing this report can be purchased from British Birds, Unit 3, The Applestore, Workhouse Lane, Icklesham, East Sussex TN36 4BJ. See www.britishbirds.co.uk for further details.

June 2007 - 2003-04 RBBP Report now published in British Birds June 2007 issue

The latest Report of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel has now been published in the June issue of British Birds. This report covers 2003 and 2004. A total of 90 species is included, with up to date figures of breeding pairs for all of these, ranging from Ring-necked Duck, Yellow-legged Gull, Pectoral Sandpiper, Shore Lark and Red-backed Shrike with just single confirmed breeding pairs to ten species with populations of over 1,000 pairs. Two examples are included here to whet your appetite.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus

2003 One site: one pair. 2004 Two sites: 2 to 3 pairs. It is encouraging that birds are returning to the site used since 1999 and producing young in most years, two pairs being present in 2004. A second site was also occupied in 2004, making this one of the most productive years on record for Green Sandpiper.

Scotland, N and W
Highland 2003 One site: one bird displaying in April and a pair alarm-calling with young close by in June.
Highland 2004 Two sites: (1) two pairs alarm calling with young present; (2) one pair also alarming, on two dates.

European Serin Serinus serinus

2003 Three sites: 1 to 3 pairs. The confirmed breeding record in Norfolk was the first for that county, while another breeding attempt was reported elsewhere in the same county. Both are documented by Bloomfield (2004). It is speculated that the prolonged spells of warm and sunny weather in spring and summer 2003 contributed to this occurrence. This was also the first confirmed nesting reported to the Panel since 1996, when a pair bred in Kent.

England, SE
Essex 2003 One site: one singing male on 3rd August.

England, E
Norfolk 2003 Two sites: (1) pair bred at Holkham, fledging at least two young; (2) pair built nest and were seen copulating near Norwich, but no further evidence of breeding was recorded.

Additional data from these years are available. For county totals of Little Ringed Plover, Barn Owl and Common Kingfisher Click here.