Recent Decisions

There is only one accepted record of Lesser White-fronted Goose in Yorkshire, at Pulfin Bog, Brandesburton and the Tophill Low area from 28th January to 12th April 1996 (British Birds 90:461). I saw this at Hempholme on 15th February 1996 with five Tundra Bean Geese. There were two other accepted records that year at Glencaple, Dumfries & Galloway, on 2nd and 3rd January and at Slimbridge from 5th January to 22nd March. The BBRC report included the following comment ‘The credentials of the Dumfries & Galloway and Gloucestershire birds are probably good but the Yorkshire one is perhaps a little more doubtful’.
Where this comment came from is a mystery. Most likely it was an off the cuff comment by the report compilers (comments attributed to Ken Shaw and Graham Walbridge). I wrote the comments for several BBRC reports many years ago and those were very much a personal contribution. The Glencaple bird was with Barnacle and Pink-footed Geese whose breeding ranges do not overlap with Lesser White-fronted Goose. Tundra Bean Goose is sympatric with Lesser White-fronted Goose. So, if any of this trio were to be singled out for some doubt it would surely have been more logical to target the Scottish individual.
Slimbridge birds, which accompany Eurasian White-fronted Geese, have traditionally been regarded as rock solid with others varying in their credentials. However, dodgy individuals, such as the one with Greylag Geese at Saltholme Pools, Cleveland, on 15th June 2006, generally have something obviously wrong with them. eg. wrong season, plumage problems, accompanying Greylag Geese or colour-ringed. The Yorkshire bird had no such problems and most observers seemed very comfortable with the record.
Sixteen years later, and quite out of the blue, the 2012 BBRC annual report reduced the statistics for accepted individuals by one to reflect the off the cuff comment made sixteen years earlier (British Birds 106:574). Craig Thomas has confirmed that the YNU were not consulted and Nigel Hudson, the BBRC Secretary, seemed unaware of the issue when I raised it with him on 8th December 2014. What on earth is going on? The BBRC generally behaves impeccably. This is clearly essential to retain the support of all the counties in England, Scotland and Wales. However, it seems to have fallen rather short on this occasion. Hopefully they will now clarify the situation and allow Lesser White-fronted Goose to remain on the Yorkshire list. It is certainly staying on my list! I trust that the YNU is vigorously pursuing the matter.
Dave Britton, Marske-by-the-Sea, December 2014.

As we do not envisage any problem with this bird being accepted by BBRC those who have seen it may add it to their Yorkshire list with immediate effect. Masked Shrike should be added to your electronic Yorkshire list below Woodchat Shrike.

ITS OFFICIAL! (posted - January 28th 2014)
The drake Baikal Teal seen at Flamborough on 15th April 2013 has now been officially accepted by BBRC. We had already advised people that this bird should be deemed countable for the purpose of the Yorkshire Listers League so please make sure you have let us know if you saw it.

There has been some debate about the origin of this bird, largely because of the displaced secondary on the right wing, but this is far from unusual as looking at wildfowl on your local wetland will soon reveal. The occurrence during mid-April fits nicely with the passage of wild birds as they return from Korea (where most of the world population winters) northwards to their breeding grounds where they usually arrive in late April.Given the overall circumstances of this bird we feel there is no reason why this bird should not be counted for the purposes of the Yorkshire Listers League with immediate effect, so if you were lucky enough to see this bird please let us know now so we can add it to your tally. Baikal Teal should be added to your copy of the Yorkshire list after Gadwall.

The first-winter Collared Flycatcher present at Spurn from 30th August - 1st September 2010 has now been formally accepted by BBRC and is thus deemed countable for the purpose of the Yorkshire Birding Listers League. If you saw it please let us know now so we can add it to your tally.


  1. Saw Baikal Teal as well so 375!

    John Law

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