Following the request in British Birds (103:313) and elsewhere for candidates to replace our longestserving member John Sweeney in June 2010, Chris McInerny was nominated by Bob McGowan and seconded by Ron Forrester and therefore an election was declared on 10th June to select whether Chris or Richard Schofield, the BBRC nomination, would take on the role representing a Scottish-based representative for the committee. The election proceeded as per item 2.2.4 of our Constitution (see Both nominees met the criteria for BBRC membership and had a sound knowledge of the Scottish birding scene.

Richard is based in north east Scotland, is a self-employed ornithologist, organising and leading over 150 tours to over 50 countries on all continents and now as a consultant in the UK. He has worked for many organisations including J.N.C.C., R.S.P.B., B.T.O. and W.W.T. on a variety of surveys from land, sea and air. Despite all this he still retains enthusiasm for birding in Scotland and has added several species to the North-east Scotland list including Red-breasted Goose, Melodious & Great Reed Warblers, Siberian Stonechat, Woodchat Shrike and Ruddy Duck. Other finds include Booted & Blyth’s Reed Warblers, Grey-cheeked Thrush and Penduline Tit. He has served on the North-East Scotland Rarities Committee for most of the last thirty years and on the Scottish Rare Birds Committee from 2001 to 2008.

Chris works in Glasgow and has served on the Clyde Rarities Panel for 12 years since 1998 and on the Scottish Birds Records Committee for eight years, with his rotation as voting member finishing this year, when he will become secretary. He is also a member of the SBRC Scottish List sub-committee and is a Council member of the Scottish Ornithologist’s Club. He has written many articles on birds and bird identification, with a particular interest in birds in Scotland, gulls, skuas and shorebirds; the papers have been published in domestic and international journals such Scottish Birds, Birding Scotland, British Birds, The Lek, Washington Birds, Corella, and county bird reports. He was invited to join the editorial team for the SOC book The Birds of Scotland and was lead editor of 148 species and authored 13 species accounts. He has travelled much abroad with a personal World List approaching 4,000, having seen most birds on the British List. Chris has also found a number of rarities in Scotland including two Lesser Scaup, Franklin’s Gull, Paddyfield Warbler, Rustic Bunting, Sub-alpine Warbler, King Eider, and Red-rumped Swallow.

It was clearly a difficult decision for the voting representatives and both candidates received broad support. However, the winning vote was commanded by Richard, both for Scotland and the Northern Isles and for Britain as a whole. Therefore Richard is confirmed in post, alongside Steve Votier who has been co-opted to the committee and Nic Hallam who has also been confirmed in post as a serving member unopposed after his year co-opted. We are grateful to all involved for accepting nominations and invitations to stand for committee membership, and also to all the County and Recording Area and Bird Observatory Committees and representatives who contributed to the election process.

The recent turnover in BBRC membership, due to unforeseen circumstances for individual members, has led us to review our current process for rotating membership. If we maintain our current policy of annual retirement for the longest serving member, the next retirement would be James Lidster in 2011, which would mean that James had only served a term of five years. This issue was discussed at the 2010 BBRC AGM in Lochwinnoch, and members expressed a concern about “early” retirements and the potential impacts on the collective knowledge of the committee. Consequently, a decision was taken to postpone the annual retirement and offer all committee members a minimum term of eight years and a maximum of ten years. Our constitution will be re-worded to reflect this change. There will still be the opportunity for other candidates to be nominated, as per the protocol of our constitution, during the coming year for the position vacated by Lance Degnan, to which Steve is currently co-opted but, assuming that all members decide to serve their full minimum term, the next retirement and new position will not arise until April 2014.