New voting member for BBRC

Published on 07 May 2018

BBRC is seeking a new voting member in 2018, to replace Chris Batty. Chris joined BBRC in 2007 and will thus have completed an 11-year stint on the Committee by his retirement in August. His contribution has been characterised by a forensic eye for detail, detailed knowledge of just about every identification feature of all British rarities and a deep understanding of the UK birding and twitching scene – as well as good humour and the occasional hangover at the AGM. We are delighted that Chris will maintain his links with BBRC, and help out as an advisor and contributor to reviews as needed.

The BBRC nominee for the resulting vacancy is Dave Pullan. Originally from Yorkshire, where his first rarity find was an inland adult Sabines Gull Xema sabini, at Knotford Nook gravel-pits, Dave first visited Shetland and Fair Isle in search of Snowy Owls Bubo scandiacus and migrants at the age of 14 and has returned regularly since. He became the first RSPB summer warden at Loch of Spiggie, and his first rarity find was an Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola at Sumburgh in 1980. Several consecutive autumns were spent on the Out Skerries in the 1980s, where his finds included Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors, Great Snipe Gallinago media, Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica, Rustic Emberiza rustica and Yellow-breasted Buntings. Elsewhere in Shetland, quality finds have included ‘Hudsonian Whimbrel’ Numenius phaeopus hudsonius and Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea. Conservation work then took Dave to the Scottish Highlands, and to Speyside, where he has been based for over 30 years, frequently birding in Highland and along the Moray coast. He now works as a freelance wildlife tour guide and has birded in over 50 countries on six continents, with extensive travels in Europe and North America (as well as Japan, China, Thailand and India to name a few). Scottish finds have included Steller’s Eider Polysticta stelleri, Black Scoter Melanitta americana, Baird’s Calidris bairdii and Terek Sandpipers Xenus cinereus, Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor, Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius and Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka, while he played a key role in the identification of Britain’s first Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus at Rosehearty. Dave currently serves on the Scottish Birds Records Committee.

While Dave has the support of BBRC, we are very keen to encourage further nominations of potential candidates with suitable experience.  The key aspects of that experience are as follows:

  • a widely acknowledged expertise in identification
  • proven reliability in the field
  • a track record of high-quality submissions of descriptions of scarce and rare birds to county records committees and BBRC
  • experience of record assessment
  • regional credibility
  • the capacity to handle the volume of work involved in assessing upwards of 700 web-based records per year
  • the capacity to work quickly and efficiently

Further nominations should be sent to the BBRC chairman (chair@bbrc.org.uk) before 30th June 2018, with a proposer and seconder, a brief summary of the nominee’s experience and the written agreement of the nominee. After this date, if we have received further nominations, a voting slip and list of all candidates with relevant details will be sent to all county recorders and bird observatory wardens for an election, as per section 2.2.3 of our Constitution (see www.bbrc.org.uk/constitution).

For extra information, contact Paul French at chair@bbrc.org.uk