Forum Posts

ojcampbell25
Jun 14, 2022
In Updates from the EBRC
Hi everyone I am posting here to inform you that the recent circulation of the EBRC, mainly dealing with records submitted from Dec 2021 to May 2022 has very recently been completed. Reflecting the very good standard of submissions the result was, for the first time in quite a while, complete acceptance for all submitted records. The list of accepted records is at https://www.uaebirding.com/ebrc (scroll down) and many of these are already in the annotated checklist maintained by the hyper-efficient Tommy on behalf of the EBRC and available from https://www.uaebirding.com/bird-checklists. Many thanks to all observers who sumbitted records and to Mark and Tommy for handling most of the underlying paperwork. A list of decisions has already been sent to the Sandgrouse team for publishing in the next Sandgrouse (https://osme.org/sandgrouse/, should be out in Aug - Sept this year). We are also, as usual, preparing a summary of recent records to go to the Around the Region section of the next Sandgrouse; thanks to Ahmed for leading that one. One final thing - whilst we are grateful for each and every RBR submitted by the UAE birding community (and by visiting birders; one such visitor submitted 3 such records in the last batch!), we would very much like to receive records on a timely basis - ie not in the last week before circulation is due to start. Therefor, if you are lucky enough to find an RBR species, please, please, please submit the record in good time. This is easy to do - just get the downloadable form at https://www.uaebirding.com/report and send it in. Doing so will ensure that that Tommy and Mark's hair loss doesn't become any more excessive than it already is! Thanks very much Oscar (on behalf of all EBRC members)
0
0
34
ojcampbell25
Dec 22, 2021
In Updates from the EBRC
Hi everyone I hope you are well. This short post is just inform you that Verdicts from the records circulation conducted by EBRC in Nov 2021, concluded in early December, are now online. Most of the records considered were from May to early November 2021 (but there was one outlier from 1994... better late than never!) As ever, I am grateful to all EBRC members for the work they have put in on judging these records, plus the associated secretarial work of maintaining the archive, communicating decisions and records from the UAE to Sandgrouse etc. None of this happens without a lot of effort behind the scenes and I would particularly like to thank Tommy, Ahmed and Mark for this sort of thing. One thing that EBRC members really shouldn't have to do is to fill in rare bird reports for other people's records. We will do this (as it is very fast and we need formal documentation for any record we assess, plus we also need to archive the record for the future) but only as a last resort. Therefor I would like to make a plea to everyone that you submit the RBR for any rarity you are lucky enough to find yourself. As a glance at the form will show (see https://www.uaebirding.com/report - red link) we have made this very easy and fast indeed. Whilst we can fill in RBRs if images exist of the bird in questions, the quality of the RBR will be much higher if the finder completes it, as they can then, ideally, include a little bit of context / background details and that sort of things makes the archive far more valuable. We are enjoying a terrific run of rare birds at the end of 2021, so, if you are lucky enough to find one, please submit an RBR. We welcome them any time; the next circulation will be in April or May 2022. Many thanks and best wishes for 2022! Oscar (on behalf of EBRC)
0
0
13
ojcampbell25
Oct 13, 2021
In Updates from the EBRC
Hi everyone This is the last call for RBRs for the period up until mid October 2021. The next circulation will start the last week of October, with the aim of having all decisions collated and published on the website by early December, and sent to Sandgrouse mid December for publication in the first Sandgrouse volume of 2022 (usually released in February). If you are lucky enough to have found a rare bird in the UAE in the last few months, please consider submitting an RBR - the form is fast and easy to fill in and, and can be downloaded from the link in red on the page at https://www.uaebirding.com/report. It says on the form exactly where to send it to. Records requiring a description are listed in red below. And before Mark or Tommy jump on me, yes, mine are about to be sent in this evening... The circulation will start on about 23 October. So if you find anything between now and then, and can get an RBR in quickly, we will, of course, very happily include that as well. Thanks very much! Oscar & EBRC
Last call for Rare Bird Reports for October circulation content media
0
0
50
ojcampbell25
Sep 04, 2021
In Updates from the EBRC
Hi everyone Here is a rather belated update from the EBRC. I say ‘belated’ as I usually aim to post such updates to coincide the with the release of each batch of EBRC decisions. Decisions from the last circulation (completed June 2021) have been online at the usual place (our front page; see https://www.uaebirding.com/ebrc and scroll down) for a while now and will also be imminently published in the next issue of Sandgrouse (September 2021). There were a couple of follow-up things that were under discussion during the course of June / early July (i.e. after the verdicts were finalized) and I wanted to mention those in this same post, so that held things back. I also have to confess that holidays in July and August also delayed this post. Firstly, as ever, many thanks to all who completed RBRs; we really appreciate it when they are sent in, ideally not too long after the observation (!) but certainly before the following circulation is to begin (incidentally, the next one is scheduled for October / November 2021, as usual to coincide with publication of decisions in the February Sandgrouse of the following year). RBRs for download are available at the usual place – i.e. at https://www.uaebirding.com/report (click the red ‘here’ at the top of the second section). Note that RBRs are designed to be as quick as possible to fill in; whilst we welcome as much information as possible (and detailed information may be necessary for acceptance of certain difficult-to-identify species), for well-photographed records of straightforward species, only the yellow boxes on the form are essential. This means an RBR can often be completed in 5 mins or less. Although it has been a pretty quiet summer for rare birds in the UAE, we look forward to a bit more action now that autumn has officially started and will be grateful for all incoming RBRs for birds you are fortunate enough to find. Note that whilst we (very strongly) encourage everyone to use eBird so that all observations (of common, as well as rare birds) can effortlessly make it into the UAE Bird Database (and, of course, eBird is an awesome resource to log, archive, store, filter and analyze all your own records and images), we also require a completed RBR for every species needing a description – a record in eBird and your images is an excellent start, but EBRC keeps a permanent archive of RBR documents, one per record. Feel free to reference the eBird checklist and associated images in the RBR, but please also make screenshots of a couple of the key images in the eBird checklist and insert into the RBR as well. Such screenshots are vital in case the online images ever become unavailable. Note that early in 2021 there were a few changes to the species on the RBR required list; see https://www.uaebirding.com/description-species for an updated list. Whilst we generally remove most species when they reach 20 or more accepted records, for several reasons (mainly species that are particularly difficult to identify) we retain species on this list for longer. Given it is now early autumn, it might be topical to mention that Blyth’s Reed Warbler is one of those species, so if you are lucky enough to find one this autumn, do please try and get as many shots as possible, and submit an RBR. We have also added three species to the list that have become exceptionally rare in the last decade (Eurasian Dotterel, Bar-tailed Lark, Spanish Sparrow) so please prepare an RBR if you are lucky enough to find any of these. The follow-up issues discussed after the circulation in June 2021 were: 1 - Brahminy Starling – we now have over 20 records of this species away from the Greater Dubai area, were there is a (very?) small population established from known escapes. These non-Dubai records are often from well-known migrant hotspots, involve non-adult birds and closely match the pattern off occurrence of Brahminy Starling in Oman (mainly mid-autumn to early spring with a clear November peak), where there are many more records and the species is regarded as a wild vagrant. We have decided to treat UAE records of this species, away from Greater Dubai, as wild vagrants, unless there is evidence to the contrary (e.g. unseasonal occurrence, atypical behavior, obvious plumage anomalies etc.). Hence Brahminy Starling now enters Category A of the UAE list. 2 - Asian House Martin – the three records of this species from the UAE were reviewed in the light of Leader et al’s recent (2021) paper discussing the identification and taxonomy of Common and Asian House Martins across the Palearctic region. Asian House Martin is almost unknown as a vagrant away from its normal range and its field characters and those of the taxon lagopodum, generally regarded as a subspecies of Common House Martin (but proposed in the paper as a candidate species in its own right) have been greatly clarified. As a result of this review, whilst the opinion of the voting members was not unanimous on each record, the overall consensus was that there was insufficient evidence to be certain that Asian House Martin had occurred in the UAE. This is no way reflects on the opinions or abilities of observers or EBRC members at the time of records; one of the RBRs in particular was outstanding in the detail provided and the decision made at the time was convincing, given what was known about the taxa involved at the time. However, in the light of new information, in the opinion of the current committee, these records do meet the threshold of evidence required. Sadly, Asian House Martin has therefor been removed the UAE list. Finally, I need to end with some news concerning members of the EBRC. Firstly, Jacky Judas has now departed from the UAE to soon take up a new job in Saudi Arabia. Whilst we will miss another pair of eyes on the east coast, Jacky has agreed to remain as non-voting member of the EBRC for the time being and we wish him all the best for his new job, which will be in a very exciting part of the world. Secondly, as many of will already be aware, after approximately 20 years in Dubai, Tommy Pedersen has now left the UAE and moved back with his family to Norway. Whilst (I am delighted and relieved to be able to say) Tommy is staying on as both UAE Bird Recorder and eBird Regional Reviewer (for the UAE, amongst other areas!), we will of course miss his records and companionship in field. But that is not all… It is difficult to overstate the impact Tommy has had on the UAE birding community during his time here. Let alone the tedious but very important book-keeping, he has been at the very center of the hub of the UAE birding community since he arrived. His amazing website, of which the forum where this is posted is but a small part, has been a mine of information for visiting and resident birdwatchers for many years and the amazing gallery of UAE bird photographs he compiled (see https://www.uaebirding.com/bird-photos), both from his own images and those of others, is still a quite outstanding repository of curated photographs, used by researchers, artists and authors far and wide, let alone by mere mortals like us. As some of the longer-term UAE birders reading this post will attest, the online forum Tommy established, financed, moderated and ran for over 10 years (and for which the current WhatsApp discussion groups are but a very pale, shallow imitation) was another amazing resource. I am not even going to start to talk in detail about the masses of site information, other natural history images, eBird work, grid references, database maintenance and provision of data to others, to name just a few. Quite apart from the practical use of all this information to so many people, more than anything else, Tommy promoted and fostered a sense of community and team spirit and general congenial togetherness that is quite unlike anywhere else. A large part of this came from him leading by example, as literally hundreds of the people who have met or corresponded with him, or otherwise been bowled over by his enthusiasm, will attest to. So, Tommy, thanks for everything and good luck to you, Maja and all the family settling into your new life back in Norway. Whilst I am confident we will hear just as much form you online as ever, it would be much appreciated if you made sure to have the odd stopover in the UAE too, so we can see you in the flesh now and again as well! This has already been the longest ever EBRC post I have ever written, so I think I better stop now. Well done if you got all the way to end! So over and out until the next one. Good birding to all Oscar
1
0
69
ojcampbell25
Dec 21, 2020
In Updates from the EBRC
Hi everyone I am just posting to let you all know that the latest batch of decisions from the EBRC, mainly for records from May to late October 2020, have been published online in the last few days. They are available for viewing at https://www.uaebirding.com/ebrc (scroll down to table). We are very grateful to everyone who took the time in to fill in an RBR and I would also like to express thanks to all EBRC voters who spent a long time poring over some rather complicated records. In addition, we consulted widely on several records in the current batch and had help and feedback from nearly ten individuals, and I am grateful to all of those as well. We have currently being enjoying a terrific run of rarities and, if you have been lucky enough to find one, please don't wait until the next circulation is imminent to document your record. Records needing a RBR to be added to the official record at listed at the top of this page - https://www.uaebirding.com/recent-news. If you were lucky enough to find anything noted here, please complete an RBR (available at https://www.uaebirding.com/report ) and get it sent in. RBRs need take only a few minutes to fill in if good photographs are available but we are equally happy to receive ones without images, although, obviously, good field notes will become even more important then. See the examples at the above link if you need advice on how to complete an RBR and feel free to get in touch if you have any queries. Many thanks! Oscar On behalf of EBCR
0
0
48
ojcampbell25
May 12, 2020
In Updates from the EBRC
Hi everyone I am just posting to let you know that the latest EBRC circulation was completed at the end April and the decisions went online a day or two ago - they can be found at the usual place: https://www.uaebirding.com/ebrc (scroll down). Thanks to everyone who contributed, and to the voters and admin team (Tommy and Mark) for putting it all together. There was a couple of tricky cases here that took a bit of time; this was not the easiest circulation. The decisions will be published in the next Sandgrouse (due August) and Ahmed is currently compiling the notable records from the year so far to submit as well. If you have a record that requires assessment (see top of the page at https://www.uaebirding.com/recent-news) , please feel free to send it at any time using the form that is linked on the same page; that really helps us and saves time in the run-up the circulation as the less chasing we have to do the better. Thanks again! Oscar
0
0
12
ojcampbell25
Dec 10, 2019
In Updates from the EBRC
After some 9 years of service, Neil Tovey has decided to stand down from EBRC duties. We are grateful to Neil for all the work over the years and wish him all the best for the future. We are pleased to announce that Khalifa al Dhaheri has agreed to join with immediate effect, to replace Neil. The next circulation is not due for several months, in early spring. Thanks to work by Tommy and Mark, we have made a few changes in the last few weeks to make it easier for observers to see recent verdicts and to see which records require a submission. Recent decisions are now easily viewable at https://www.uaebirding.com/ebrc with a file of all decision over recent years available by clicking on the link or button at https://www.uaebirding.com/report. The same page has the most recent version of the Rare Bird Report form (see red link in second section) and two buttons have been inserted to link to two exemplar RBRs, to try and make it as easy as possible for observers to complete these efficiently. Recent records that require an RBR are now listed most conveniently on the Recent News page of the website - see https://www.uaebirding.com/recent-news, where we have listed the observer(s) we believe are responsible for record; in addition there is an additional link to the RBR template. Please do not wait for the next circulation or urgent reminders beforehand to complete an RBR; we are grateful to receive them at any time and, as the exemplar material linked to above shows, they need take just a few minutes to complete and send. It has been a rather good late autumn and winter so far and there are surely a few more good finds to be made out there over the next few weeks! Good birding! OSCAR - on behalf of EBRC
0
1
38
ojcampbell25
Nov 16, 2019
In Updates from the EBRC
Hi everyone I am pleased to announce that verdicts are from the recent (Oct - Nov 2019) EBRC circulation have now been published in the usual place -i.e. at https://www.uaebirding.com/ebrc (and click on the Decisions link to download the excel file). Verdicts will also be published in the first volume of Sandgrouse for 2020, due in Feb-Mar. Thanks very much to everyone who contributed an RBR (or two, or more!) in the latest batch. The next circulation is due a little way into 2020 but please don't wait until then to send in your records - it has been a good November so far and there are several exciting birds that will need an RBR to be added to the official record. Forms available for downloading can be found at https://www.uaebirding.com/report and, for a well photographed bird, can be completed and sent in no more than 5 mins (although we enjoy reading any extra details you have as well - and sometimes they really help to set the context, or even seal the record). Please do this as soon as you conveniently can after finding an RBR species and don't wait for the next looming circulation. Thanks very much OSCAR (on behalf of EBRC)
1
1
22
ojcampbell25
May 27, 2019
In Updates from the EBRC
Hi everyone I am just posting to inform you that the current circulation that EBRC were working on over April and May has very recently been published in the usual place - ie on the decisions tab at https://www.uaebirding.com/ebrc (scroll down and click on red link on RHS). To all of you who found a rarity (or two!) and submitted the details, many thanks indeed. This was a pretty complex set of records, both from an ID point of view and assessment of origins in several records, so I'd like to thank the committee for putting in a lot of time over this. All records have now been passed to Sandgrouse for publication in the next issue, which should be in August. You will see from the spreadsheet on decisions noted above that some past records are outstanding. If you were an observer on one or more of these records, do please consider filling in a rare bird report form - this need only take minutes as only basic details are needed, at least in the case of well-photographed birds. Please see https://www.uaebirding.com/report for information on how to download and complete an RBR. We will be contacting observers of outstanding reports in the next week or two to try and fill in any gaps and keep our archive as complete as possible. Other on-going work includes a summary of policy on records of potentially questionable origin - we hope to have this agreed and published on the website in the next few weeks. Finally, we have recently been able to source a number of very old, but significant records from the 1980s during some other work completed on the EBRC paper files. Most of these records were known about but descriptions etc were lacking and we have now been able to archive details on 15 or more very notable records, including several country firsts. Best wishes and thanks again OSCAR - on behalf of EBRC
1
1
24

ojcampbell25

More actions