The UK400 Club has updated its list for Britain and Ireland. As a result, BUBO Listing has updated the underlying base list for the UK400 authority.
The UK400 Club now recognises 646 species, including four species previously listed as 'provisional' by BUBO Listing - Glaucous-winged Gull, Long-billed Murrelet, Olive-tree Warbler and Canada Warbler - as well as Masked Booby and Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross.
Conversely, the new UK400 Club list no longer includes Brown Skua or Eastern Orphean Warbler.
The UK400 Club's website can be accessed by clicking here.
British birders were left somewhat in shock with the news of another new British species. On Friday 29th June, a sub-adult Yellow-nosed Albatross was apparently picked up on Brean Down, Somerset. It was taken to a nearby animal rescue centre, kept overnight and released the following day. It appears that no birders were aware of this turn of events until Sunday 1st July! Sea-watching will presumably be a popular pastime in the Bristol Channel over the next few days...
Read more courtesy of Burnham-on-Sea.com.
UPDATE: The tale of the albatross gets stranger! It is claimed that a Yellow-nosed Albatross was present on a small fishing lake at Manton in North Lincs on 3rd & 4th July, apparently being photographed by fishermen (see the Lincs Bird Club website. News only came out on 11th July. If this albatross was indeed photographed at this site, then it suggests that the bird might reappear again.
Note that Yellow-nosed Albatross has been recorded off Norway and Sweden during the last few weeks also. The number of individuals involved is not entirely clear. Whilst it is just about possible that all records refer to the same bird, it seems more likely that at least two birds are in north-west Europe at present.
A White-tailed Lapwing has been found at WWT Caerlaverock. As this is the first British record for 23 years, a large gathering seems inevitable. A quick check of BUBO Listing shows that, as of time of writing (11:00 on 6th June), only two BUBO Listers have White-tailed Lapwing on their British Lists (BOU). How many more lists will this feature on by the end of the day?
The previous records are from Warwickshire (1975 - 7 days), Dorset (1979 - 1 day), Durham (1984 - 1 day) and Shropshire (1984 - 2 days). Might not be sensible to assume it will hang around too long...
Update 22:30 Mon 18th June:
White-tailed Lapwing now recorded by 40 BUBO listers, following a good weekend showing at Leighton Moss.
The records committee of the British Ornithologists' Union (BOURC) has admitted to category A of the British List the Long-billed Murrelet present at Dawlish, Devon, from 7th-14th November 2006. Given the number of observers, the quality of the photos of this bird, its previous vagrancy history (in North America and in Switzerland!) and the absence of this species from captivity, this decision was perhaps not a huge surprise!
BUBO Listing has, up until now, allowed records of this species on all British List authorities as a "provisional" species. The "provisional" status has now been removed from BOU and our "official British & Irish" authorities. The species is still treated as provisional on UK400 club and Birdwatch magazine based lists, until such time as new information comes to light (please Contact Us if you can update this).
See the BOU press release.
The latest potential addition to the British List occurred in mid-May 2007, when a Masked Booby was reported off St Catherine's Point, Isle of Wight, on 19/5. Amazingly, what was presumably the same bird was belatedly reported from the region of the Channel Light Vessel two days earlier. Could this also be the same bird seen on the Portsmouth-Bilbao ferry in September 2003? Probably not - the Bilbao bird was reported as a sub-adult whereas the recent records have been said to have involved a "juvenile" or an "immature". How many of them are there in European waters? The chances of this bird becoming twitchable seem fairly remote, but stranger things have happened...
BUBO Listing has not yet added Masked Booby as a "provisional" addition to any authorities because we tend to reserve this for species where there appears to be absolutely no question of the identity of the bird. At time of writing, there are not sufficient facts in the public domain for us to make this assessment, although by all accounts the bird was seen by experienced observers. However, if any BUBO Listers have been lucky enough to have seen the bird then get in touch and let us know.
Stop press: presumably the same bird was reported off Porthgwarra, Cornwall, on 25th May. Going the wrong way, unless it's off to Grassholm...