Rare breeding birds policy

The following is a list of species for which sightings and photos during the breeding season will not necessarily be made public on the CBWPS Cornwall Birds website.

We appreciate that the inclusion of some of the species on this list is debatable, with sites being well known, records published in reports etc, but it is hoped that birders will understand the need for sensible compromise.

Sightings of species in circumstances in which they are highly unlikely to be breeding or other cases may well be included on the sightings page at the County Recorders discretion, eg raptors at feeding sites and birds considered to be on passage.

We of course are highly interested in breeding records of any of these species and indeed of the commoner birds in our county. Breeding records and birds seen in the breeding season should be sent in to the normal bird-news email address (and marked ‘sensitive’ if possible for rare breeders) or direct to the County Recorder. Records can also go to the BTO/Birdtrack.

The species on this list are included for one of four reasons:

  1. Listed as especially vulnerable by the RBBP in their Guidance on the reporting of Rare Breeding Birds to Bird News Information Services.
  2. Listed by the RBBP in their Species list.
  3. Listed in Schedule One of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
  4. Breeds in very small numbers in Cornwall and therefore considered vulnerable.
  • Little Egret (RBBP) – (March to July) at potential inland breeding sites (heronries).
  • Ruddy Duck (RBBP) – all year
  • Montagu’s Harrier (RBBP, Schedule One, vulnerable) – (Apr to July)
  • Goshawk (RBBP, Schedule One) – (March to July)
  • Peregrine (RBBP, Schedule One) – (March to July)
  • Little Ringed Plover (RBBP, Schedule One) – (March to July) at potential inland breeding sites only.
  • Chough (Cornwall Vulnerable) – (Mid-March to July) except at any authorised watchpoints.
  • Nightjar (Cornwall vulnerable) –  (Apr to July) – except obvious passage migrants. May be reported as eg ‘West Cornwall’ or ‘Location Withheld’.
  • Redstart – (Cornwall Vulnerable) (May to July) but general area may be given
  • Cetti’s Warbler (RBBP, Schedule One) – (Apr to July)
  • Dartford Warbler (RBBP, Schedule One) – (Mar to July) however likely to be extended year round due to fragile population
  • Any additional scarce species discovered to be breeding from the RBBP/Schedule 1 list which do not normally breed in the County (eg Spoonbill etc)

PLEASE also respect the above criteria when posting about any of the above species to Social Media (Twitter/Facebook etc) during the breeding season – ie don’t post locations and seriously consider not mentioning at all, and consider carefully for the species listed below too. Likewise never reveal breeding locations of birds by private message etc online.

Information on the following species may also be withheld if there is thought to be a possibility that they are breeding/vulnerable to disturbance –

  • Cirl Bunting (Schedule One) – (March to July) – birds in regular areas may be reported eg as SE Cornwall/Roseland; all others will be withheld.
  • Water Rail (RBBP) – (March to July)
  • Quail (RBBP, Schedule One) – (March to July)
  • Stone Curlew (RBBP, Schedule One)
  • Turtle Dove – (March to July)
  • Barn Owl (Schedule One)
  • Long-eared Owl (RBBP, vulnerable)
  • Short-eared Owl (RBBP)
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (RBBP, vulnerable) – (March to July)
  • Woodlark (RBBP, Schedule One) – (March to July)
  • Black Redstart (RBBP, Schedule One) – (Apr to July)
  • Firecrest (RBBP, Schedule One) – (Apr to July)
  • Any other species eg Kingfisher, Dipper etc in circumstances where visitor pressure may cause problems to the nesting birds.

Don’t forget it is illegal to disturb or photograph any Schedule 1 species at the nest in the UK without a licence. Equally it is also bad practice to disturb or photograph any species at the nest without total due care and consideration – the birds welfare is paramount and disturbance can lead to desertion or encourage nest predators.

djc 18/03/19