County Description Species

National Rarities

Descriptions of national rarities should be sent to the County Recorder who will forward them to the BBRC for appraisal. These descriptions should be submitted on BBRC forms that are available from the County Recorder and on the CBWPS and BBRC websites. Please enclose copies of field notes and photographs where possible. These species are in bold red in the daily sightings pages and often elsewhere.

County Rarities

This is for species that do not fall within the criteria for national rarities but are still rare enough at a county level to require verification before being accepted into the county database. The identification of most county rarities is quite easy for experienced observers and consequently we have tried to keep the list of Group A species requiring a full description to a minimum. However, new species are regularly being “downgraded” by BBRC, so the list grows. A full review is carried out regularly by the county rarity committee and the species requiring a description in either Group A or B may be significantly amended.

Descriptions are not required for sightings of Group B species, provided the bird or birds have been seen by three experienced observers who are known to the Rarities Committee the names of whom should be included when details of sightings are submitted. Alternatively a clear photograph may suffice. These arrangements have been introduced to eliminate the need for unnecessary descriptions of easy’ rarities, without compromising the integrity of the county records. In some cases, the County Recorder may require descriptions for other species, for example if reported for an unusual date or location.

County rarities (Groups A and B below) are in bold blue in the daily sightings pages and often elsewhere. 

Group A – Species requiring a full description

Bean Goose Rough-legged Buzzard Dusky Warbler
Black Brant Golden Eagle Lesser Whitethroat (except curruca)
American Wigeon (female/juv) Black-winged Stilt Icterine Warbler
Lesser Scaup American Golden Plover Blyth’s Reed Warbler
Surf Scoter White-rumped Sandpiper Marsh Warbler
Black Grouse Red-necked Phalarope Arctic Warbler
White-billed Diver Long-tailed Skua Bluethroat
Wilson’s Petrel White-winged Black Tern Yellow Wagtail (not flava/flavissima)
Night Heron Roseate Tern Citrine Wagtail
White Stork Caspian Gull Olive-backed Pipit
Honey Buzzard Red-footed Falcon Twite
Black Kite Penduline Tit Common (‘Mealy’) Redpoll
White-tailed Eagle Greenish Warbler Lesser Yellowlegs
Montagu’s Harrier Pallas’s Warbler Any unusual subspecies
Goshawk Radde’s Warbler

Group B – Species not normally requiring a description, provided the bird(s) has been seen by at least three experienced observers who are known to the Rarities Committee – please submit names of observers with the record details.


Bewick’s Swan Dotterel Richard’s Pipit
Pink-footed Goose Kentish Plover Shore Lark
Snow Goose Temminck’s Stint Short-toed Lark
Egyptian Goose Buff-breasted Sandpiper Red-rumped Swallow
Ruddy Shelduck Pectoral Sandpiper Wood Warbler
American Wigeon (male) Black Guillemot Siberian Chiffchaff tristis
Green-winged Teal Sabine’s Gull Barred Warbler
Red-crested Pochard Ring-billed Gull Melodious Warbler
Ring-necked Duck Kumlien’s Gull Waxwing
Smew Little Owl Rose-coloured Starling
Ruddy Duck Long-eared Owl Nightingale
Quail Alpine Swift Red-breasted Flycatcher
Leach’s Petrel Bee-eater Tree Sparrow
Cormorant (sinensis) Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Scandinavian Rock Pipit littoralis
Purple Heron Ring-necked Parakeet Hawfinch
Glossy Ibis Golden Oriole Common Rosefinch
Spotted Crake Red-backed Shrike Serin
Corncrake Great Grey Shrike Ortolan Bunting
Common Crane Woodchat Shrike Cirl Bunting (outside core range)
Grey Partridge Hooded Crow Little Bunting
Stone Curlew Bearded Tit Plus any uncommon races


Change log:

Grey Partridge (away from the known release site) added 1st Jan 2018

Yellow-legged Gull removed 1st Jan 2018

Great White Egret and Cattle Egret removed as County Rarities 1st Jan 2019

Update from BBRC 1st April 2019 – relating to all records from 01/01/19

Arctic Redpoll and Subalpine Warbler (all sp) Re-instated as BBRC species from Group A

Lesser Yellowlegs and Arctic Warbler downgraded from BBRC species to County assessed species