THE RULES - Yorkshire Birding Listers League

The Yorkshire List 2018

To standardise lists and to help allow for comparisons in the Yorkshire Birding Listers League Table part of our policy has always been to follow the decisions of the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU) for the purposes of taxonomy (as well as formal acceptance of species onto the British list). As most of you will be aware the BOU announced some time ago that as of January 1st 2018 they would follow the taxonomic decisions of the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) and of course this has now come into play. So how does this  effect the Yorkshire Birding Listers League Tables? We will try to sum this up in simple terms and hopefully clarify a few issues that we are being regularly asked about.

Firstly to say that the new BOU list order has changed considerably since we first published the Yorkshire Birding Listers League list and whilst you can update your current list by following the instructions given below you may prefer to obtain the newly updated Yorkshire Birding Listers League List (Excell file) and fill it in from scratch. You can obtain a copy in the usual way by emailing   Once you have filled it in please return a copy to us to allow your inclusion in the Yorkshire Listers League Table. Alternatively if you prefer to update your current list then please let us have any additions you have made or better still email us a copy.
Here are the main changes:

● Bean Goose: Now split into two species, Tundra Bean Goose Anser serrirostris and Taiga Bean Goose Anser fabalis.  Both have been recorded in Yorkshire. Taiga Bean Goose should be inserted before Pink-footed Goose in the list and Tundra Bean Goose below Pink-footed Goose.

Tundra Bean Goose is an annual and quite regular winter visitor to Yorkshire, however, Taiga Bean Goose is very scarce so please make sure if you have added the latter to your list that your record has been accepted by the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union (YNU) or generally believed acceptable if still awaiting ratification.

● Fea's Petrel: With the adoption of the new list this complex is now split into three species, Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae, Zino's Petrel  Pterodroma madeira and Desertas Petrel Pterodroma deserta . We will now record these three species on the Yorkshire list as Fea's/Zino's/Desertas Petrel (see below) and it should remain in the same place as previously occupied by Fea's/Zino's eg directly below Fulmar.

Frustratingly the three said species are near impossible to identify in the field and even though some British records are of extremely well photographed birds none are currently deemed acceptable to one of the three species. This is where we have allowed good old Yorkshire common sense to prevail! if you are lucky enough  (or have been already) to see one of these classic petrels go past you can still punch the air rather than contemplate suicide because we are happy for you to count it as one on your Yorkshire list. Of course for you to get two additions on your list from this group you would have to get two of the three accepted to species level and to add three then you would need all three accepted to species level. Far more chance of platting sawdust one would suspect!

● Two-barred Greenish Warbler (also known as Two-barred Warbler): Two-barred Warbler Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus is now split from Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides and thus given full species status. It should be placed below Greenish Warbler on the list.

In Yorkshire there is just one accepted record of Two-barred Warbler, a bird at Filey during October 2006. If you saw this bird then you can of course add it to your Yorkshire list.

● Stejneger's Stonechat: Stejneger's Stonechat Saxicola stejnegri is now split from Siberian Stonechat  Saxicola maurus and thus given full species status. Stejneger's Stonechat should be placed below Siberian Stonechat on the list.

In Yorkshire there is currently just one accepted record of Stejneger's Stonechat,  a bird at Spurn during October 2016 so those who made the rather lengthy journey to the Point can now add it to their Yorkshire list.

● Isabelline Shrike: The Isabelline Shrike complex has now been split two ways, Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus (also known as Isabelline Shrike) and Turkestan Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides (also known as Red-tailed Shrike) Daurian Shrike should be placed below Red-backed Shrike on the list and Turkestan Shrike below Daurian, however, as there are currently no accepted records of either in the County (see below) we will currently record it on the Yorkshire list as Daurian/Turkestan Shrike.

The current situation in Yorkshire is that none of the previous records of 'Isabelline Shrike' have been accepted to the new specific level which means there are currently NO accepted records of Daurian or Turkestan Shrike in the County. We are told that all records  of 'Isabelline Shrikes' will eventually be reviewed by the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) so this situation may eventually change, however, we are led to belive that this is not going to happen any time soon. With this in mind we are quite happy  to allow the 'Yorkshire Birders common sense rule' to apply again and as such if you’ve seen one or the other (eg an 'Isabelline Shrike') in the County then you can count it as one, but only as two when you have seen accepted records of both Daurian and Turkestan.

That's pretty much it apart from to remind everyone that despite their earlier stance the IOC  now consider Thayer's Gull Larus glaucoides thayeri  a sub-species of Iceland Gull and thus its status remains unchanged from that previously given to it by the BOU. The IOC  have also kept the redpolls as three species, Common Redpoll  Acanthis flammea, Lesser Redpoll Acanthis cabaret and Arctic Redpoll Acanthis hornemanni  and thus their status also remains unchanged from that previously given to them by the BOU. To summarise then for the purpose of the Yorkshire Listers Leauge Table the status of all the above mentioned in this final paragraph remains the same.

Well, we've said it before but will repeat it here, birders can count whatever they want on their personal lists but the purpose of having rules for the Yorkshire Listers League Table is to allow comparisons and we would like to think we have made this possible.

Thanks and good Yorkshire birding!