BBRC on the look-out for a new member



The British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) is seeking a new voting member in 2018, to replace Chris Batty. Chris joined the Committee in 2007 and will thus have completed an 11-year stint when he retires in August. His contribution has been characterised by a forensic eye for detail, intricate knowledge of in-depth identification features of all British rarities and a deep understanding of Britain's birding and twitching. We are delighted that Chris will maintain his links with BBRC and help out as an advisor and contributor to reviews as needed.

The BBRC nominee for the resulting vacancy is Dave Pullan. Originally from Yorkshire, where his first rarity find was an inland adult Sabine's Gull at Knotford Nook gravel-pits, Dave first visited Shetland, and Fair Isle in particular, in search of Snowy Owls and migrants at the age of 14, and has returned regularly since. He became the first RSPB summer warden at Loch of Spiggie, Shetland, and his first rarity find there was an Aquatic Warbler at Sumburgh in 1980. Several consecutive autumns were spent on Out Skerries in the 1980s, where his finds included Blue-winged Teal, Great Snipe, Black-eared Wheatear, Rustic and Yellow-breasted Buntings. Elsewhere in Shetland, quality finds have included Hudsonian Whimbrel and Ivory Gull.

Conservation work then took Dave to Speyside in the Scottish Highlands where he has been based for over 30 years, frequently birding in Highland and along the Moray coast. He now works as a freelance wildlife tour guide and has birded in over 50 countries on six continents, with extensive travels in Europe and North America (as well as Japan, China, Thailand and India to name a few). Scottish finds have included Steller's Eider, Black Scoter, Terek Sandpiper, Wilson's Phalarope and Pied Wheatear, while he played a key role in the identification of Britain's first Short-billed Dowitcher at Rosehearty. Dave currently serves on the Scottish Birds Records Committee.

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While Dave has the support of BBRC, we are very keen to encourage further nominations of potential candidates with suitable experience. The key aspects of that experience are as follows:

  • a widely acknowledged expertise in identification;
  • proven reliability in the field ;
  • a track record of high-quality submissions of descriptions of scarce and rare birds to county records committees and BBRC;
  • experience of record assessment;
  • regional credibility;
  • the capacity to handle the volume of work involved in assessing upwards of 700 web-based records per year;
  • the capacity to work quickly and efficiently.

Further nominations should be sent to the BBRC chairman (chair@bbrc.org.uk) before 30 June 2018, with a proposer and seconder, a brief summary of the nominee's experience and the written agreement of the nominee. After this date, if we have received further nominations, a voting slip and list of all candidates with relevant details will be sent to all county recorders and bird observatory wardens for an election, as per section 2.2.3 of our Constitution (see www.bbrc.org.uk/constitution). 

For extra information, contact Paul French at chair@bbrc.org.uk.