Submission of Bird Records
for the West Midland Bird Club Annual Report
Your records are vital to the production of our Annual Report - The Birds of Staffordshire - Warwickshire - Worcestershire and the West Midlands - Therefore, you are encouraged to submit them, ideally throughout the year and certainly by the end, to the appropriate County Recorder, preferably using the BTOs Birdtrack or using Excel, MS Word etc. Alternatively, enter your records onto WMBC record slips - available at Local Branch indoor meetings or by post from your County Recorder (enclosing SAE)
What information is required
Basically, any records that you have are valuable and should be sent in. However, their value can easily be enhanced by adding detailed information. All of the information required to submit a full and accurate record is available in our booklet:- A Checklist of the Birds of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands and Guide to Status and Record Submission. This booklet is provided to all members or available from the Club Secretary:-
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - (Cover cost + P&P)
Each year the Rarity Committees of the 4 counties consider which species require some form of confirmation when records are submitted – these are the Category A species as listed in the back of the Annual Report. The requirements for confirmation can change as species become commoner or rarer. In order to keep you better informed of changes to status, a list of Category A species can be downloaded as a PDF and this will be updated regularly. Download list of Description Species.
What should my description include
Not every description need be equally detailed, the amount of detail required being a function of the status of the species involved and the degree of difficulty in its identification. The golden rules are to: write your description on the spot; avoid preconceptions and record only what you see. An exhaustive description of an unfamiliar bird, however, should contain enough exact elements to ensure absolute proof of identity.
Submit your records
Never be put off from submitting your records, even if there is an element of doubt in your mind that your identification of a species may not be entirely correct. The County Recorders, together with their teams are available to assist in such matters. Always keep in mind that your records are of great importance in developing the understanding of the birds of our region.
British Ornithologists' Union - The British List
Nick Pomiankowski - Email: email@example.com
22 The Villas, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 5AQ
Chris Hill - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
17 Brampton Crescent, Shirley, Solihull, B90 3SY
Kevin Clements - Email: email@example.com
26 Hambrook Close, Dunstall Park, Wolverhampton, WV6 0XA
Steven Payne - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6 Norbury Close, Redditch, B98 8RP
Social Media- The Risk of Disturbance to Rare Breeding Birds
In this age of high interest in Birds and Birding, the social aspect can be a pleasurable part of the scene, in respect to informing your fellow birders of your sightings and experiences.
One of the most ever more popular ways of doing this, is through various Social Media outlets, including Twitter. Generally this is favourably received and reciprocated. However, there are times when restraint should be shown, in regard to rare and locally rare Birds, especially during the breeding season. With all good intentions meant, the news put out, could be visible & available to the ‘wrong hands’, be it an egg collector, bird persecutor, irresponsible photographer or….an irresponsible twitcher! A careless tweet or other social media post could lead to undesirable attention or disturbance to breeding birds, a nesting area or site!
The West Midland Bird Club supports and encourages sensible use of Social Media by users, in regard to the rare and locally rare birds that could be encountered in the Club’s region. Being a responsible Birder, includes having a duty to protect the very birds we have pleasure in watching. Below is a list which includes ‘Schedule 1 Birds’ (Species fully protected by law and it’s a criminal offence to disturb during the breeding season) + other species of particular interest. Be very cautious when considering to Tweet out, etc, sightings of these species during the breeding season, in fact the best policy is, ‘íf in doubt -don’t put it out’.
What Steps can you take to Protect Breeding or Suspected of Breeding, Rare and locally Sensitive Species?
* Consider that the breeding season runs from the beginning of March to late
* Singing birds on territory, in suitable habitat, displaying birds, birds seen in
pairs etc should all be considered as potentially breeding.
* Familiarize yourself with the lists of birds below.
* Try and curb the need to socially put out sightings of sensitive species, even
if the site information is vague.
* If unsure, seek advice of a more experienced birder friend.
* Don’t consider some sites as ‘save’ e.g.Managed Nature Reserves, to socially
Report out rare birds, that might be breeding.
Schedule 1 Species
Schedule 1 species are protected by law and it is a criminal offence to disturb these birds during their breeding season.
Below is a list of Schedule 1 species, and a few additional species that due to their rarity should be treated the same as Schedule 1 birds.
Avocet Chough Green Sandpiper Merlin Barn Owl
Cirl Bunting Greenshank Montagu's Harrier Shore Lark Bearded Tit
Common Crane Greylag Goose Osprey Short-toed Treecreeper Bee-eater
Common Crossbill Gyr Falcon Parrot Crossbill Slavonian Grebe Bewick's Swan
Common Rosefinch Hen Harrier Penduline Tit Snow Bunting Bittern
Common Scoter Hobby Peregrine Snowy Owl Baillon's Crake
Corncrake Honey-buzzard Purple Heron Spoonbill Black Grouse
Crested Tit Hoopoe Purple Sandpiper Spotted Crake Black Kite
Dartford Warbler Kentish Plover Quail Stone-curlew Black Redstart
Dotterel Kingfisher Red Kite Temminck's Stint Black Tern
Eurasian Eagle-Owl Lapland Bunting Red-backed Shrike Velvet Scoter Black-necked Grebe
Fieldfare Leach's Petrel Red-necked Grebe Whimbrel Black-tailed Godwit
Firecrest Little Bittern Red-necked Phalarope White-tailed Eagle Black-throated Diver
Garganey Little Gull Red-throated Diver Whooper Swan Black-winged Stilt
Golden Eagle Little Ringed Plover Redwing Wood Sandpiper Bluethroat
Golden Oriole Little Tern Roseate Tern Woodlark Brambling
Goshawk Long-tailed Duck Ruff Wryneck Cattle Egret
Great Bustard Marsh Harrier Savi's Warbler Spotted Flycatcher Capercaillie
Great Northern Diver Marsh Warbler Scaup Cetti's Warbler Great White Egret
Mediterranean Gull Scottish Crossbill Serin
Other Rare Breeding Birds that should be considered as above.
Arctic Skua Golden Pheasant Long-eared Owl Red-crested Pochard Turtle Dove
Common Goldeneye Goosander Nightingale Redstart Twite
Common Pochard Hawfinch Nightjar Wheatear Water Rail
Corn Bunting Golden Plover Pied Flycatcher Ring Ouzel Willow Tit
Eurasian Wigeon Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Pintail Short-eared Owl Wood Warbler
Gadwall Little Egret Ptarmigan Shoveler Yellow-legged Gull
How to Submit Records of Rare Breeding Birds.
It goes without saying, that records of rare breeding birds are important to submit, to contribute to the full Avifauna of the West Midland Bird Club Area. The safest way of doing this, is through the BTO Birdtrack Website All records of rare breeding birds are filtered out of the public viewing, relevant parts of the website.
Another appropriate way of submitting information, is direct to your relevant county recorders. Contact information can be found on our county recorders page.
Thank you for reading this information, tell your fellow Birders about the details and enjoy your Birding!