West Midland Bird Club

Studying Birds in Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands since 1929

Recent Sightings

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: secretary@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk - (Cover cost + P&P) 

Description Species

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.  

WMBC Checklist

British Ornithologists' Union - The British List

BOU - The British List wmbc-2016-cover

County Recorders



Nick Pomiankowski - Email: staffs-recorder@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk

22 The Villas, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 5AQ



Chris Hill - Email: warks-recorder@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk

17 Brampton Crescent, Shirley, Solihull, B90 3SY


West Midlands

Kevin Clements - Email: west-mids-recorder@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk

26 Hambrook Close, Dunstall Park, Wolverhampton, WV6 0XA



Steven Payne - Email: worcs-recorder@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk

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!