Rare breeding birds in the UK in 2009

Published on 05 September 2011 in Main articles

Icterine Warbler, by Dan Powell

The 36th report of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel presents details of the status of rare breeding birds in the UK in 2009. The report includes details of 86 species or distinctive races that bred (or showed signs of doing so) in the UK in 2009, four more than in 2008. Two species appear for the first time (Ring-billed Gull and Pallid Swift) and five of the 86 did not feature in the 2008 report (Little Bittern, Subalpine Warbler, Waxwing, Bluethroat and Common Redpoll). A feature of recent years has been the number of rarer herons attempting to breed. Eurasian Bitterns continued their increase and range expansion in 2009, while Little Egrets topped 800 pairs for the first time. Cattle Egrets probably bred for the second year in a row, and two sites in southwest England held Little Bitterns, although no breeding was recorded in 2009. Other highlights included Corn Crakes and Cirl Buntings holding their own, breeding Icterine Warblers and record numbers of Cetti’s Warblers. A review of the RBBP list means that this is the last report that will feature Gadwall (this species, together with others including Little Tern and Cetti’s Warbler, is discussed in depth in this report) but five new species are to be added: Arctic Skua, Long-eared and Short-eared Owl, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Willow Tit.Gadwalls, by Dan Powell