British Birds July 2020

Published on 01 July 2020 in Latest issues

Great bird reserves: Skokholm The Pembrokeshire island of Skokholm is where Ronald (R. M.) Lockley carried out pioneering studies on the Manx Shearwater and, in 1933, opened the first bird observatory in Britain. Skokholm’s seabird colonies are of national and international importance and the island is also renowned for migrants and vagrants, and has several ‘firsts’ for Britain and for Wales to its credit.

Little Terns breeding at Blakeney Point: understanding the past informs the future Little Terns have long bred at Blakeney Point, in Norfolk. Over 100 years of data show that numbers peaked between the mid 1950s and late 1970s. Poor productivity in the past is chiefly related to predation of eggs and chicks, and management measures are now in place at Blakeney Point.

From the Rarities Committee’s files: The Bardsey pipit A large pipit on Bardsey, Caernarfonshire, on 11th May 2016 was identified as a Blyth’s Pipit and accepted as such by BBRC. However, following correspondence from outside the Committee, the record was revisited and the bird reidentified as a Richard’s Pipit. This article describes the bird and addresses the identification issues raised.

The first British record of ‘Continental Cormorant’ A specimen of ‘Continental Cormorant’ Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis from Orkney in March 1873 meets the recognised criteria and becomes the first British record of this subspecies.

Genetic analysis of the Avoch ‘Slender-billed’ Curlew A claim of Slender-billed Curlew from Highland in 1960 was found not proven by BBRC at the time. A feather from the bird was rediscovered recently; genetic analysis confirms that, as suspected, the bird was a Eurasian Curlew.

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Letters, News & comment and Recent reports complete the July issue.

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