With the Eastern Black Redstart at Margate in Kent causing a stir as a potential split, according to British Birds magazine the BOU British list currently stands at 596. With White-winged Scoter, two putative Alder Flycatcher and few Yelkouan Shearwater under consideratin BB wonder what the 600th species will be. I thought I’d wade in with my predictions.
First though I think it’s worth looking back at D.I.M Wallace’s list of Possible Future Palearctic passerine vagrants to Britain (BB Vol 73 (1980) Pages 388 – 398) where he considered 25 species likely to make it. Chandler S Robbins also in BB (Vol 73 (1980) Pages 448 – 457) predicts some Nearctice landbird vagrants to Europe which I will cherry-pick here to see if I can’t make an educated guess as to Britain’s 600th.
So back to Wallace’s list, I have struck through species already accepted.
Blyth’s Pipit, Whistling Nightingale (Rufous-tailed Robin), Siberian Blue Robin, Eversmann’s Redstart, Daurian Redstart, Grey-backed Thrush, Pale Thrush, Gray’s Grasshopper Warbler, Menetrie’s Warbler, Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler, Sooty Flycatcher, Grey-steaked Flycatcher, Brown Flycatcher, Narcissus Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Brown Shrike, Daurian Jackdaw, Daurian Starling, Oriental Greenfinch, Pallas’s Rosefinch, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Black-faced Bunting, Meadow Bunting, Yellow-browed Bunting and Chestnut Bunting. You will see a couple of species on there also in category D of the list but more of that later.
From Robbins list there are a few that have made it such as Grey Catbird, Belted Kingfisher, Philadelphia Vireo, Bay-breasted Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler and Savannah Sparrow with for example Canada Warbler in Ireland and Least Flycatcher to Iceland. If you register at British Birds you can read the full article (though Wallace’s is missing at the moment).
You’ll notice that I deliberately didn’t strike through Mugimaki Flycatcher as it’s one of those currently on Category D. I think, as I’ve said earlier, that this species should surely be reviewed in light of another trapped in Italy this autumn. As for my best guess I think Mugimaki will be that 600th bird. Over to you…