normal Lady Amherst's Pheasant

7 years 1 month ago #833 by Ben Millar
Replied by Ben Millar on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
Ben Miller wrote:

Ben Millar wrote:

Funny fact for my namesake Ben Miller - I grew up in Tring!!


What a coincidence.

I don't recall any namesakes! When were you in Tring? Which school did you go to?

Cheers,

Ben


I was in Tring from birth in 1976 up until I left Tring school at 18.
My folks still live there, and we often go back.

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6 years 1 month ago #931 by John Jennings
What is the current situation regarding listing these birds now as I see that LGRE has added one to his British year list this year.

John

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6 years 1 week ago #1058 by Lee Evans
Replied by Lee Evans on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
Not sure of your interest John but as 4 males currently survive from at least 1999 and are clearly part of the once well-established Bedfordshire population, I don't understand the nature of your question. The birds remain an integral part of the UK list until the very last individual expires. I still run trips to see these last surviving individuals but costs are high and it is extremely difficult keeping birds at feeding stations with so many Common Pheasants, Muntjacs, Magpies and other creatures in competition. Also, due to continued trespassing at the main site and the breaking down of fences, security has been reinforced and General Motors are taking firm action against those birders we know are gaining access (the area is on CCTV and I can identify most individuals breaching the security fence; typically 2 individuals involved with Bird Dissemination are involved and others from Cheshire/Staffordshire). A number of visiting twitchers have been caught red-handed scaling the fence in the early hours and this really has not gone down very well and because of this, the future of at least two birds is now of very grave concern as GM take a very dim view of these actions and breaches of security, particularly as a number of motor manufacturer's utilise the site to test prototype vehicles.

Outside of Bedfordshire, a further 5-12 males of captive origin survive in the wild but were NOT part of the original introduction and stock. These are therefore not considered countable.

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6 years 1 week ago #1059 by John Jennings
Hi Lee

You know my interest as you can see that I am currently second on the list. This is the first time I have joined the list and I have done it because there appear to be rules regarding what you can or cannot list (i.e BOU rules).

Now using those rules this is what BOU says about Lady A's qualification.

C6 - Former naturalized species – species formerly placed in C1 whose naturalized populations are either no longer self-sustaining or are considered extinct, e.g. Lady Amherst's Pheasant Chrysolophus amherstiae.

Now using that statement how can you list Lady A as part of the BOU rules.

Whilst we are on the subject. How can you also count the Radipole Hooded Merganser which has been rejected by BOU.

You count what you like with your UK400 club but surely within the restraints of the BOU rules you should comply with them and take off both Lady A & Hooded Merganser from your list.

You may think I have a vested interest in you taking off two species so that I can get closer on the list but you have no fear of me catching you up as I work in the week so will always miss loads of species. My only target this year (which will be my last twitching year) is to reach 300 but I will do it totally under the BOU rules, which I hope you will do also.

John

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6 years 1 week ago #1060 by Lee Evans
Replied by Lee Evans on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
I have had this conversation with some members of the BOURC and they seem to understand (like me) that Lady A in Bedfordshire is COUNTABLE until the last remaining individual of the post 1966 stock dies out. This seems logical and sensible but I do agree that Lady A is finished, after all I haven't seen a female since Year 2000.

There are countless lists on BUBO BOU admitting the Radipole Hooded Merganser to their lists and hence why I added it. However, as you will see from my UK400 Club list also on BUBO, that I don't count it and it is not (currently) countable. However, I personally feel that this bird is a natural vagrant rather than an escapee and NOBODY knows its merits other than itself. It turned up the very morning after a bird in exactly the same plumage was last seen on The Azores - relocating bird perhaps. Portland has proven its ability to receive far-flung vagrants from elsewhere in Europe next day (eg last year's Stejgener's Stonechat)

And you may be well out with your assumptions. Spending nearly 6 months of the year tour leading and guiding around the globe, YOU are in a better position than me to chase UK rares, even if you can only travel at weekends - nobody has more commitments or is busier than me. Remember I have a wife and 4 cats to fulfil, numerous businesses to run and countless birders to answer and help

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6 years 6 days ago #1061 by John Jennings
Like you Lee I also feel that the Radipole bird is genuine but as of yet BOU haven't accepted it and until they do I won't count it. Likewise the L.A as a catergory 6 shouldn't be tickable either.

Whether you think it is right or wrong has no bearing on this isue as we still should abide by the rules as they stand and then complain with a good case why the other two species should be asccepted onto the lists.

If after that they change their stance on these birds then count them but if not you shouldn't consider them on the BOU list.

John

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6 years 9 hours ago #1063 by James Emerson
The official British list is made up of both Category A, B and Category C species. As Lady Amherst's Pheasant is in Category C (the number is merely a sub-division), then any left in the wild from their naturalised population are still part of the British list and therefore countable. Lee even says that he has spoken to BOURC members who confirm that this is the case.

To be clear I haven't seen Lady A's in Britain, nor am I likely to now, so I don't have a vested interest in their tickability, I just don't understand why you don't think that you can count a C6 species.

Regards,
James

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5 years 11 months ago #1066 by John Jennings
Hi James

Thanks for the clarification regarding Lady A's. I was always under the impression (wrongly by the look of it) that once a species was declared non sustainable that it was no longer tickable. It looks like I now stand corrected.

Regarding the Hooded Merganser at Radipole. How is that bird tickable when it has not been accepted by the BOU.

John

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5 years 11 months ago #1068 by James Emerson
Hi John.

I can understand why that would seem to be the case. You could quite reasonably claim that as Lady A's Pheasants are now going extinct, that the population was never self-sustaining. However, as the decline was at least partly down to human interference, I think the general line is that the population was self-sustainable for a reasonable period, which justifies their position on Category C. With regards to ticking them, the key part on the BOU website is that the birds that are left are derived from a self-sustaining population, so they are OK. The only other option would be for BOURC to decide that the population was never self-sustaining, at which point it would have to be removed from Category C and moved to Category E. To put it another way, if a 15th generation born-in-the-wild pheasant was OK to tick twenty years ago, why wouldn't a 25th generation born-in-the-wild pheasant be tickable now? (obviously I have made up the number of generations, but I think it illustrates the point).

I agree with you that if you are keeping a strict BOU list (i.e. using BOU taxonomy and decisions) then you shouldn't count the Radipole Merganser as it was rejected by BBRC.

Many people keep a not-so-strict BOU list, using the taxonomy but counting birds that they feel were identified correctly/were wild, but were rejected. The problem here is that if some people put on a strict list and some don't then it makes comparison less valid.

All the best,
James

John Jennings wrote:

Hi James

Thanks for the clarification regarding Lady A's. I was always under the impression (wrongly by the look of it) that once a species was declared non sustainable that it was no longer tickable. It looks like I now stand corrected.

Regarding the Hooded Merganser at Radipole. How is that bird tickable when it has not been accepted by the BOU.

John

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5 years 11 months ago #1069 by John Jennings
Thanks James

I can see why there is confusion regarding the Lady A's but not the Merganser.

I spoke to Lee about the Merganser at the Dusky Thrush site but he just seemed to pass it over.

As far as I am concerned this year list is using BOU rules and while I now accept the lady A argument I can't accept the Merganser one and this bird (although like quite a few other birders I suspect that this is an acceptable one) should not be ticked by anyone, including those birders whose only excuse is, "well Lee has ticked it so I will".

It doesn't say much for their own minds when they can't make a judgement based on the rules we appear to be working to.

I have seen the Merganser but I am not ticking it, not on my life list or my year list, until it has been accepted by the BOU (which I feel will never happen).

Regards
John

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4 years 5 months ago #1210 by Nick Moss
Replied by Nick Moss on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
I can understand the ambiguity - BBRC themselves said that they had no idea about the provenance of the Radipole Hoody - if I recall despite placing it in Cat E they actually added "make your own mind up".

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4 years 5 months ago #1211 by Jim Clarke
Replied by Jim Clarke on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
In terms of the Radipole Hooded Merganser's origin does it not seem odd that a bird that would have had to have had a strong enough migratory urge to set it on a journey over the Atlantic has subsequently shown no significant movements at all? Can you think of any comparable example of presumed wild Nearctic wildfowl in Britain behaving in this way? The only examples that come to mind are Black Duck that have hybridized with local Mallard. American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup all show seasonal movements; lots of returning winterers but any resident birds at all?

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4 years 5 months ago #1212 by Nick Moss
Replied by Nick Moss on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
I do partly agree with this, but if it was the case that it was from a captive generation of Hoody that had lost its migratory instinct, then what was it doing exhausted and in a storm drain near Chesil Beach - surely it had just arrived from somewhere other than a water fowl park. But who knows?

There are many year round Tufties at Radipole as well. Again, I have no answer but thi scan happen in birds. Such as with the Titchwell BW Stilt.

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4 years 5 months ago - 4 years 5 months ago #1213 by Jim Clarke
Replied by Jim Clarke on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
A short trip from a nearby wildfowl collections by a bird unused to the outdoors seems more likely than a midsummer trans-Atlantic crossing. In this regard it might be worth considering how difficult it might have found changing from 12 months of the kind of diet mentioned here;

www.freewebs.com/waterfowlgarden/hoodedmerganser.htm

"They should be fed a sea duck diet with high protein pellets a must, they will also take live foods such as meal worms and crickets with relish."

to a natural diet of fish, crayfish, frogs, mud crabs, clams, aquatic insects, and insect larvae?

Time of arrival; not strongly indicative of wild origin. Circumstances of discovery; debatable. Subsequent behavior; not strongly indicative of wild origin. Of course no one will ever know with absolute certainty, but on available evidence, and for such a nationally rare (as a presumed wild) bird, that is common in captivity (cheaper then Goldeneye, about half the price of Smew) then it doesn't seem to have much going for it.
Last edit: 4 years 5 months ago by Jim Clarke. Reason: Information added

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4 years 2 months ago #1242 by Nick Moss
Replied by Nick Moss on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
Changing tact slightly, what actually happens when the last Lady A dies?

Will it always remain part of the British List as an extinct species on C6, or does it get removed from the British list (such as here on BUBO).

A lot of people will lose a tick if the latter is the case.

May seem a silly question, but when I ask people many are unsure. Some say it will always remain even after extinction.

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4 years 2 months ago #1243 by James Emerson
Hi Nick.

Given that C6 caters for birds that category C species that are no longer self-sustaining or considered extinct then Lady Amherst's Pheasant will remain in C6 (and therefore on the British list) once the last one dies out (as will Golden Pheasant and Ruddy Duck).

The only scenario where it would be removed would be if the BOURC were to review the complete history of the species in Britain and deem that it was never self-sustaining. I have never heard any official suggestion that this has been or would be considered. The wording of C6 suggests that it is possible for a species to be classed as self-sustaining at one point and then decline (e.g. as a results of external factors like development), rather than having to be self-sustaining indefinitely.

Regards,
James

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4 years 2 months ago - 4 years 2 months ago #1244 by Nick Moss
Replied by Nick Moss on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
Thanks for that James, i thought that too, but Great Auk (being the obvious example) is'nt on the list.
Last edit: 4 years 2 months ago by Nick Moss.

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4 years 2 months ago #1245 by James Emerson
Great Auk is on Category B of the British list, which is the category for species recorded between 1800 and 1949 but not since then. Category A is only for species that have been seen from 1st Jan 1950. Category B is part of the British list, but that is only of interest really if you have been birding/twitching for more than 65 years!

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4 years 2 months ago #1246 by Nick Moss
Replied by Nick Moss on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
I know, but it is conceivable that someone has seen one, but can't add it on BUBO as (unless I'm mistaken) its not on the list. I thought the British list included Cat A, B and C.

Not trying to be pedantic here James, I appreciate your response. Just trying to understand why Lady A will still be on the list once the last bird dies.

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4 years 2 months ago - 4 years 2 months ago #1247 by Jim Clarke
Replied by Jim Clarke on topic Lady Amherst's Pheasant
More surreal than pedantic; if anyone saw the 1840 Great Auk please raise your hand.
Last edit: 4 years 2 months ago by Jim Clarke.

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