BOU Big 600

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).

Mugimaki Flycatcher photo by Mick Turton

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…



10 responses to “BOU Big 600

  1. Philip Andrews

    Hi John – this will also be dependant on what is removed from the British List in the meantime (Slender-billed Curlew) or if there is a re-appraisal of the nature of the arrival of ship-assisted Yankee passerines. I am sure the BOU wouldnt ideally want #600 to be a re-appraisal of an old file or a split (Northern Harrier, American Black Tern etc).


  2. thedrunkbirder

    Hi Phil. Not sure the BOU are happy with splitting American Black Tern, Northern Harrier might be a better split. As for Mugimaki, the decision at the time made no sense anyway so it’s probably righting a wrong.

  3. Outsiders worth a gamble: Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana (formerly Muscicapa cyanomelana) or Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus (formerly Muscicapa thalassina)?
    Mike Blair
    OSME Listmaster

  4. thedrunkbirder

    Blue and White Flycatcher would be a real stunner. As for Verditer, just as stunning but a rank outsider.

  5. I’m going to be boring and suggest Thayer’s Gull or Slaty-backed Gull for the 600!!

  6. I’m not sure if kicking out the Mugimaki Fly was the wrong decision at the time John. At that time there was, apparently, a lot of trapped far eastern birds being shipped over into Europe…and many…[it was said]…were just being released at various ports. This doesn’t mean that the UK bird was a release job…but it certainly didn’t help its cause…!

    I think Theresa May was in charge of migration at that time too….

    ps…i hope that for the folk who saw the UK bird it is accepted tho…!

  7. thedrunkbirder

    Bloody Larophiles… always thinking of the next pervy gull tick.

  8. Black-throated Accentor. Preferably in my garden

  9. thedrunkbirder

    Rob, they seem to like steaming piles of shit… horse shit so get a load of manure dumped in the garden and Bob’s your auntie’s live in lover!

  10. Sparky is good at producing steaming piles of shit, so I’ll carry on letting him dump in the garden and see what happens. What could possibly go wrong?

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