Club members are reminded of the need to submit their records as promptly as possible. Records are also welcome from casual observers. The records are not just used to provide data for the annual report; they provide a solid database used in bird conservation in the county. Without this knowledge, our understanding of Durham’s birds, their habitats and sites where they are in need of protection would be so much less.
Scarce & Rare Records
In presenting the annual report, it is the intention of the Records Sub-Committee that a high standard of accuracy should be achieved. Observers are reminded of the need of full and complete descriptions of uncommon and difficult species as well as those listed as British Birds Rarities. Such descriptions will greatly reduce and simplify the work of the Committee as it becomes increasingly demanding in time, effort and expense to refer back to the observer if more information is required. Field descriptions written
Black Grouse (Hilary Chambers)
before reference to any text books, should be submitted as soon as possible after the bird has been seen, together with details of the locality, date, time, weather conditions, optical aids used etc. A standardised description form can be downloaded here.
The Records Sub-Committee no longer employs a two-tier system for records of scarce and rare birds.
The following species, effective as of 1st January 2021 no longer require a description: Tundra Bean Goose, Red-crested Pochard, Red Grouse & Black Grouse (away from upland locations), Goshawk (coastal), Long-tailed Skua, Balearic Shearwater, Bearded Tit, Yellow-browed Warbler, Water Pipit, Cetti's Warbler, Great Egret, and Spoonbill. Though any current serving county or assistant county recorder reserve the right to remove records if they see a reason to do so.
Species now requiring descriptions effective as of 1st January 2021 include: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Turtle Dove.
See the following species which now require a full and detailed description in all cases, note that the recorder(s) will not be chasing anyone for descriptions. If you wish for your records to be included in annual reports it is the observers/finders responsibility to write a description:
Bewick’s Swan, Taiga Bean Goose, Snow Goose, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Surf Scoter, Black Guillemot, White-billed Diver, Cory’s Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Wilson’s Petrel, Leach’s Petrel, Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, White Stork, Glossy Ibis, Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Montagu’s Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Turtle Dove, Spotted Crake, Corncrake, Common Crane, Stone Curlew, American Golden Plover, Dotterel, Temminck’s Stint, Kentish Plover, White-rumped Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Grey Phalarope, White-winged Black Tern, Sabine’s Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, Red-footed Falcon, Golden Oriole, Woodchat Shrike, Chough, Penduline Tit, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Crested Tit, Woodlark, Short-toed Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Greenish Warbler, Pallas’s Warbler, Radde’s Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Rose-coloured Starling, Icterine Warbler, Barred Warbler, Firecrest, Nightingale, Bluethroat, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-flanked Bluetail, Citrine Wagtail, Olive-backed Pipit, Common Rosefinch, Richard Pipit, Parrot Crossbill, Serin, Cirl Bunting, Ortolan Bunting, and Little Bunting.
Decisions on the records of all these species will be determined on a three-quarter majority vote. It must be emphasised that any record which is rejected does not necessarily mean that a bird has been misidentified, but usually that there is insufficient information to convince the Sub-Committee. All records of species considered by BBRC are forwarded to their Secretary as soon as possible together with any additional information the Sub-Committee may have. It is the policy of Durham Bird Club to abide by the decision of BBRC. The annual report contains no records that have been rejected by BBRC although occasionally records are included where the decision is still awaited.
Siberian Accentor (Helen Jackson)