15/11/2005
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Masked Shrike admitted to Category A of the British List

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A Press Release from the British Ornithologists' Union Records Committee and British Birds Rarities Committee.

Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus: Juvenile, Kilrenny, Fife, 29th October - 14th November 2004

Admitted to Category A of the British List

The British Ornithologists' Union Records Committee (BOURC) has admitted Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus to Category A of the British List following the occurrence of a juvenile at Kilrenny, Fife on 29 October - 14 November 2004 (sight record, trapped, photographed).

Masked Shrike: Kilrenny, Fife. (Photo: Paul Hackett)

Masked Shrike: Kilrenny, Fife. (Photo: Andy Warr) Masked Shrike: Kilrenny, Fife. (Photo: Tom Tams)

There have been several previous claims, including an adult seen at Bamburgh, Northumberland on 22 October 1961. One of the reasons for rejection at the time was the unusually late date. With date no longer being an issue, this record was recirculated with the Kilrenny file but, due to insufficient detail in the description, was felt by the Committee not to meet the standards necessary for acceptance of a first for Britain.

This record is one of the last of the Hastings Rarities to occur since its removal from the British List.

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The species is unknown in captivity.

Eric Meek, Chairman of BOURC commented "With records in the 1980s from Finland and Sweden, both also in October, it was probably only a matter of time before Masked Shrike was accepted onto the British List. The timing, east-coast locality and the fact that this species is unknown in captivity all made this a relatively easy decision for the BOURC. With Rüppell's Warbler Sylvia rueppelli already an established vagrant to Britain we await the arrival of an Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum to complete the south-east European triumvirate!"

The British List now stands at 573 species - (Category A = 551; Category B = 12; Category C = 10).

BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' UNION

The Natural History Museum, Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 6AP, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1 442 890 080
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7942 6150
Email: bou@bou.org.uk
Website: www.bou.org.uk/www.ibis.ac.uk

British Birds Rarities Committee

Bag End, Churchtown, Towednack, Cornwall TR26 3AZ.

Written by: BOU/BBRC