Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Yorkshire List Increases Again

It's on the list!
As expected (see Yorkshire Birding volume 20 page 74), the British Ornithologists’ Union’s Records Committee has adopted recommendations by the Taxonomic Sub-committee that Eurasian Stonechat Saxicola torquatus should now be treated as three species: European Stonechat S. rubicola (added to Category A), Siberian Stonechat S. maurus (added to Category A) and African Stonechat S. torquatus (removed from Category A; extralimital). This of course means that the Yorkshire list has now increased by one and that many Yorkshire listers will have gained an extra species. European Stonechat is of course a reasonably common in the County whilst nowadays Siberian Stonechat is recorded almost annually. For the purpose of the Yorkshire Listers League Table we need to know if you have seen Siberian Stonechat in Yorkshire so we can add one to your tally, although in the case of the majority of observers we do have this on record and have altered the list accordingly. However, if you are unsure if this has been done for you or not (eg. your total given in the League Table does not tally with your own copy) then please let us know immediately. For those who have a copy of the list which currently does not contain Siberian Stonechat at all, this should be inserted below (Eurasian) Stonechat which should be now named European Stonechat.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Latest Issue now on sale
for contents details see latest issue section

Sunday, 18 December 2011

more on that goose............

Re the Scaling Dam Red-breasted Goose, whilst the age is encouraging its behaviour and locality are quite incompatible with likely BBRC acceptance and it is clearly much less likely to be wild than the Nosterfield Nature Reserve bird of February 1998. That individual was originally accepted by the BBRC based on its sighting at Dormans Pool, Cleveland, on 7 January 98 (BB 92:563). Unfortunately, this was only seen by birders from outside of Cleveland. Some locals were so peeved that they (disgracefully) lobbied against the record and had it overturned. Had it been widely seen by Teesside birders, keen to add a new species to their county lists, this would undoubtedly not have happened and the Nosterfield bird would very likely have been accepted the following year. It had not been submitted in time to be accepted alongside the Dormans Pool sighting. Scaling Dam Reservoir has had numerous records of escaped waterfowl. During the last six years, Baikal Teal, Speckled Teal, Grey Teal, Wood Duck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, White-faced whistling Duck, Lesser Whistling Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Bar-headed Goose and Hooded Merganser have all been seen. It also has very small numbers of feral Pinkfeet and the occasional feral Barnacle Goose. Those that lobbied against the Dormans Pool (Nosterfield) bird might now be regretting that as they can hardly pursue the Scaling Dam bird which is obviously much less likely to be wild than the earlier bird. They have clearly been hoisted by their own petards!
Post from Dave Britton

Thursday, 8 December 2011

'Taiga Feet'?

The goose thought by many to be a 'Taiga Bean' with a Pink-foot.
A damned good November finished in style for Yorkshire birders when a Desert Wheatear was relocated at Bempton. Although the bird, a male had been present since at least 20th, news was slow to come out and it wasn’t until the final weekend of the month that the crowds began to gather. Although this was not the first Desert Wheatear in the county this autumn (one was at Loftus earlier in the month), it did allow some birders to brag off four species of Wheatear in East Yorkshire during the month. Northern, Isabelline and Pied had all been seen at Spurn of course and birders there were one again left wondering just how much longer they will have to wait for their 'just deserts!' And so into December and with 'Dessy boy', still at Bempton, a probable 'Taiga Bean Goose' just up the road, and a first-winter Red-breasted Goose just a little bit further up the road there was still plenty of reason for Yorkshire birders to visit the coast. Indecently, the latter continued to be the subject of much debate as regards to its validity but with news that the assumed wild south coast bird (also a first-winter) had left the Brent’s and joined up with Canada’s (as did the Spurn bird of 1978) it certainly made sense to go and see it.