Chilham Hooded Merganser

16 Oct 2009 20:04 #248 by Ian Bennell
I was informed 2 days ago that in the latest edition of BB that this bird has been accepted to Cat A. I dont subscribe to BB and on further research on the internet I can't find anything to say if it has been accepted or not. The only reason I ask is that if it has then I get a nice armchair tick and the Surrey Brown Shrike becomes my 400th BOU bird. Please help!

Ian

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17 Oct 2009 03:37 #249 by Andy Musgrove
It has indeed been accepted, although you really ought to subscribe you know!

It's a bit of an odd one this. Basically, as I understand it, BBRC doesn't accept any records prior to the first one accepted by BOURC, which was in the Outer Hebs in 2000. But since then, any birds that get submitted to BOURC and don't show obvious signs of captivity have a good chance of being accepted. So the accepted records are Oban Trumisgarry (Outer Hebs) 2000, Newbiggin (Northumb) 2002, Haroldwswick/Burrafirth 2006, and the two in the 2008 report which I've temporarily mislaid but were the one on Tayside and the one in Kent (but the Radipole bird is considered non-acceptable due to its bread-addicition).

A bit unsatisfactory in some ways, as many birds pre-2000 were probably pretty similar in credentials to the Kent bird I'd have thought? But them's the rules. Similar situation with Buffleheads really.

Of course, BUBO Listing doesn't impose rules. You can have whichever birds you like, so long as you give a date and place and are prepared to defend your choice!

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17 Oct 2009 04:49 #250 by Ian Bennell
Many thanks Andy for your reply. I'd love to subscribe to BB but money and storage space are the reason I don't at the moment! Well i'm glad it has been accepted as the Brown Shrike becomes number 400 on BOU list!

Cheers a happy Ian.

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21 Oct 2009 05:41 #254 by John Martin
As Andy says, the two Hooded Mergs in this year's (excellent - you really should subscribe, though after 31 years I can confirm that they do take up a lot of shelf space) BBRC report are the Tayside female 26 Oct-15 Nov 2008 and the ad female Chilham 4-10 Dec 2005. The comments with the records seem to me to be fair and balanced and include: 'the fact that BOURC saw fit to give [the Outer Hebs bird] the benefit of the doubt does not mean previous records did not involve potential vagrants, nor that every subsequent sighting should be regarded as any more credible. The simple fact is that the majority of Hooded mergansers seen in an apparently wild state in Britain and Europe will have escaped from captivity. However, some may be completely innocent of this charge, but deciding which individuals deserve recognition and which should be damned will never please everyone.' It goes on to say that the Dorset bird did itself no favours by outstaying its welcome, but points out that some wild birds have behaved in a similar way so it might even be OK despite its puddle duck antics.

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