07/05/2004
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Woodchat Shrike subspecies Lanius senator badius added to British List

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Woodchat Shrike subspecies Lanius senator badius admitted to the British List.

The British Ornithologists' Union Records Committee (BOURC) has admitted the Mediterranean race of Woodchat Shrike, Lanius senator badius, to the British List following the occurrence of an adult male of this subspecies at Portland, Dorset on 10 May 1986 (sight record).

This is the first, and to date, only British record of this subspecies of Woodchat Shrike which is known to breed only on Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands. It is distinguishable mainly by the absence of (or greatly reduced) white primary patch, and this feature was accurately detailed in the written descriptions submitted to support the record. Other features are the slightly less black on the forehead and a slightly heavier bill, but these two features are difficult to determine in the field and are best considered as 'in the hand' features.

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Eric Meek, Chairman of BOURC commented, 'Once again, consideration of this record illustrated the importance of taking comprehensive field notes. One observer's attention to detail allowed the members of BOURC to be unanimous in their acceptance of this new taxon for the British List. Although this record predates the era of 'digiscoping', even today observers should be aware of the advantages of taking notes as well as photographs.'

The British List remains on 566 species.

(Category A = 543; Category B = 14; Category C = 9).

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: BOURC/BBRC