Changes to the British List (Jan 17)

30 January 2017

The British Ornithologists’ Union Records Committee (BOURC) is pleased to announce the addition of the following subspecies to the British List:

View the British List

‘Caspian’ Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus fuscus
First-calendar-year, Jenny Brown’s Point, Silverdale, Lancashire/Merseyside, 11 December 2011 (found dead, specimen at National Museums Liverpool, accession number LIV.2014.50, DNA analysis).

There have been a number of claims of this subspecies in Britain. Although some of these were trapped, DNA evidence was not obtained to confirm their identity. DNA evidence has been used to confirm a record of this taxon in Europe (Ibis 156: 799-811), and established the sub-specific identity of the Jenny Brown’s Point bird as the first record for Britain.

Breeds in Cyprus, the Middle East, Iran and Afghanistan, east to south-east Kazakhstan and north-west China, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa.

‘Iberian’ Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava iberiae
Second-calendar-year, male, Filey, Yorkshire, 22 April 2015 (sight record, photographed).

‘Iberian’ Yellow Wagtail has also been claimed to have occurred in Britain before, but without descriptions or photographs that allowed the elimination of intergradation between iberiae and other subspecies in south-west Europe. In the case of the Filey bird, photographic evidence, supported by a transcription of the call, confirmed identity of the record.

Breeds in the Iberian Peninsula and south-west France, and north-west Africa, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa.

Other decisions

American White Ibis Eudocimus albus
First-calendar-year/second-calendar-year, Sevenoaks, Kent, 19 November 2014 to 2 April 2015 (sight record, photographed) and (same) Holland Haven, Essex, 12 May 2015 (sight record, photographed).

This record has been placed in Category E.

The identification was established for this record, but the origin was less clear. There is no evidence for trans-Atlantic vagrancy of the species. In contrast, it is kept widely in captivity in Europe, where it has bred successfully. Thus the balance of evidence suggested a captive origin for this record.

Further details of these decisions will be published as part of the BOURC’s 47th report expected to be published in Ibis in October 2017. Upon publication of these decisions, the British List stands at 605 species (Category A = 587; Category B = 8; Category C = 10).

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