News of an apparent Pacific Diver Gavia pacifica at Farnham Gravel Pits, near Knaresborough in Yorkshire, broke on 29 January 2007, although the bird had apparently been present for about two weeks by this stage.
Pacific Diver has, in the past, been considered a subspecies of Black-throated Diver, but the two species have been split by the American Ornithologists' Union. The two forms are known to coexist without hybridising in some areas.
For the time being, BUBO Listing will treat Pacific Diver as an acceptable provisional species for lists of all authorities. Should the record not be accepted by any at a later stage, relevant records will then be deleted from lists.
To counter a general point of confusion, Ruddy Shelducks should NOT be counted on any lists using the BOU authority, as BOU has this species only on Category B. There have been no records considered acceptable since 1946, so unless you were listing back then, take it off your list! You can always make a different list using a UK400 or Birdwatch Magazine authority if you’re desperate to count it.
An American Robin found in Bingley in January 2007 (although probably present from several weeks earlier) represents the first Yorkshire record.
In January, the astonishing news broke that a Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens had been seen, trapped and ringed at a landfill site in Gloucester. Unfortunately, it was not seen again. This was a species which had been predicted to occur in Britain, following previous records from the Canary Islands and Morocco.
BUBO Listing is adding Glaucous-winged Gull as a provisional species to lists of all four authorities, in advance of official acceptance. Should the record be rejected then the species will be removed, along with any records of it.
The annual report of the British Birds Rarities Committee was published in the January 2007 and February editions of British Birds, covering the year 2005. The non-passerine species, covered in the January edition, included such highlights as the Barrow’s Goldeneye in Aberdeenshire, the Green-backed Heron in Anglesey, the Spurn Audouin’s Gull and Pacific Swift, the incredible country-spanning Belted Kingfisher and the influxes of at least 53 Laughing Gulls and six Chimney Swifts.
The passerine section, in the February edition, included such memorable species as the Lincolnshire Buff-bellied Pipit, the Grey-cheeked Thrush in Hertfordshire and also the 2004 records of Rufous-tailed Robin and Chestnut-eared Bunting. If you’re not a BB subscriber (and if not, why not?) then you can order a copy of the report from www.britishbirds.co.uk.