Species for which descriptions or other documentary evidence is required
Any species not on the Shetland List
National Rarities (‘BBs’)
These records are assessed by the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC). Full descriptions are required for these species, and they should be submitted to BBRC via the County Recorder, so a copy can be kept for the record. Description forms are available from the County Recorder. Some observers object to writing descriptions, and few people enjoy writing them. However, they are invaluable in providing an archive for the future, proving to future generations that unusual occurrences were properly appreciated at the time and were not just recorded on hearsay.
Species on the Shetland List which are considered by Scottish Birds Records Committee (effective from 1st January 2017)
White-winged Black Tern
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Species considered by Shetland Bird Club Records Committee (effective from 1st January 2017)
The list of species considered by the Shetland Bird Club Records Committee (SBCRC) was revised with effect from 1st January 2015. To maintain consistency, analysis of local occurrences was undertaken: as a general rule, any species that had occurred on average more than five times per year over the last ten years was removed from the SBCRC list, and any species that had occurred fewer than five times per year over the last ten years was retained (or added if necessary). This resulted in the addition of eight species to the local description list (Smew, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Common Buzzard, Hoopoe, Shore Lark, Pallas's Warbler and Rose-coloured Starling), and the removal of Tundra Bean Goose (along with sinensis Cormorant and littoralis Rock Pipit which, although not strictly meeting the criteria outlined above, were considered frequent enough, but generally under-reported).
The SBCRC deals with a large number of local rarities each year, so in an effort to streamline the process for observers and SBCRC alike, a new 'category' of local rarity has been introduced. Species marked with an asterisk * will be circulated by the Shetland Bird Club Records Committee without the need for additional documentation based on information and photographs in the public domain, although written descriptions of these species are always welcome.
Written documentation will be required for all species in the list below if no photographs exist.
Taiga Bean Goose
Black-throated Diver *
Great White Egret
Great Crested Grebe *
Common Buzzard *
Spotted Crake *
Little Ringed Plover
American Golden Plover *
Pectoral Sandpiper *
Buff-breasted Sandpiper *
Grey Phalarope *
Barn Owl ('pale-breasted' only - 'dark-breasted' Barn Owl is considered by BBRC)
Short-toed Lark *
Shore Lark *
Long-tailed Tit (although certain races considered by BBRC)
Greenish Warbler *
Pallas's Warbler *
Dusky Warbler *
Blyth's Reed Warbler
Marsh Warbler (autumn only)
Dipper (British race only - 'Black-bellied' Dipper is considered by BBRC)
Arctic Redpoll ('Coues's only - 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll is considered by BBRC)
Ortolan Bunting *
Local rarity descriptions can be fairly concise, but it is important to make sure that any ambiguity is removed from the description. Try and make sure someone else sees the bird if possible - a multiple observer record is always regarded as more reliable.
The SBCRC reserves the right to request descriptions and/or more details for species not on the above description list in certain circumstances.
We do not want to lose genuine records merely because they are unsupported by descriptions.