The BBRC annual report needs little introduction to regular readers, since it is now 60 years since our national rarities committee was first established. Andy Stoddart looks back over the first six decades in his ‘BBRC birthday’ BB eye on pp. 548–550 but I wanted to take a few lines to look to the long-term future. What will BBRC’s 100th report look like? Quite possibly the species composition will be substantively different from the line-up you see in this issue. The latest climate predictions from the UK Met Office suggest that changes in climate in the last 60 years could be dwarfed by those in the next 40 – and that will surely have a similarly major effect on bird populations and distributions. Writing in a recent issue of BTO News, James Pearce-Higgins flagged up the possibility of species such as Black Kite and Western Bonelli’s Warbler colonising the UK in that timescale. The impact of climate change on vagrancy is hard to predict, but it seems that the rate of new additions to the British List is unlikely to slow down, as Paul French observes in his introduction to the current report (pp. 556–558). The exchange of species between the BBRC and the scarce migrant reports seems likely to continue as well, reinforcing the importance of maintaining a rigorous approach to our (currently) more regular rarities – and more widely the importance of the huge volunteer effort in recording rare and scarce birds generally. This issue is essentially a tribute to all the people who contribute, mostly in their spare time: observers, county recorders, the BBRC team and all the other people listed on p. 558. Not forgetting the key role of Steve White and Chris Kehoe in pulling together the scarce migrants report. Part 2 of the 2017 report has been waiting patiently on my desk for a while, and will feature in the next issue.
548 BB eye: Sixty years of BBRC Andy Stoddart
551 News and comment Adrian Pitches
556 Report on rare birds in Great Britain in 2018 Chas Holt, Paul French and the Rarities Committee
629 My patch