Report on scarce migrant birds in Britain in 2016: non-passerines

Published on 04 August 2018 in Main articles

By Steve White and Chris Kehoe

Abstract This report summarises the non-passerine scarce migrant birds recorded in Britain in 2016. It was a record year for two species: Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis, with a remarkable total of 192 birds, and Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis, with a new peak of 63 (all males, so this figure probably underestimates the real total by some margin). Following a record year in 2015, American Wigeon Mareca americana mustered its third-highest total (28 records) and 72 records of Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus ranked as the fourth best year for that species. It was also a good year for Wilson’s Storm-petrel (30 records, all but three at sea off Scilly), the best year since 2009. For some species, 2016 was particularly poor with numbers falling well below the long-term mean. For example, Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis managed just three new birds, down on an already disappointing six in 2015. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus continues its inexorable descent into BBRC territory with just nine recorded in 2016, and just nine new Ring-billed Gulls Larus delawarensis were reported, the lowest total since 1979 (and only three of these were first-winters). Six Alpine Swifts Tachymarptis melba was another meagre showing.

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Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus, Marazion, Cornwall, February 2016. Graeme Willetts