As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 8 February 2019

New to Britain: Falcated Duck

The British Ornithologists’ Union Records Committee (BOURC) has added the following species to the British List:

Falcated Duck Mareca falcata
Adult, Welney, Norfolk, 9 to 27 December 1986; same Pitsford, Northamptonshire, 15 February to 5 April 1987; same Welney, Norfolk, 20 August to 8 October 1987; same Thrapston/Ringstead, Northamptonshire, 12 December 1987 to 6 March 1988 (photographed).

Falcated Duck has been considered for admission to the British List on a number of occasions over the years during which time it remained in Category D (Ibis 135: 493-499; 153: 227–232; 154: 212–215; 160: 190–240; 160: 936-942).

As is often the case with wildfowl, the issue was not of identification (which is relatively straightforward) but to decide the origin of individuals, which could either be from the wild or escapes from captive collections, as the species is kept widely.

After the careful consideration of a number of plausible candidates the Committee decided, by a two-thirds majority, that the Welney, Norfolk bird, first seen in December 1986, subsequently observed at sites in Northamptonshire and again at Welney, until March 1988, was eligible for Category A.

Falcate Duck breeds in Mongolia, eastern Siberia and north-east China. Migrates south to winter in northern India, south and eastern China, south Korea and Japan.

It should be placed after Gadwall Mareca strepera on the British List.

Further details will be published as part of the BOURC’s 50th report due to be published in Ibis in October 2019.

These changes will be published as part of the BOURC’s 50th report due to be published in IBIS in October 2019. Upon publication of this change, the British List stands at 619 species (Category A = 601; Category B = 8; Category C = 10).

5 February 2019

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