Helping Nature Iraq Bird Records Committee

Published on 09 April 2013

In a recent Work-in-Progress file some of you spotted 3 records for the ‘County’ of Iraq! Well it was correct although it was not intended to leave them in the WIP file.

We are occasionally asked by countries that are beginning to create the infrastructure for bird recording about the methods we use, and wherever possible we try to help & advise. In the case of Iraq we have an ex-member of BBRC, Richard Porter, who has been involved with Nature Iraq’s conservation programme since the end of the Iraqi war and he asked if we could look at three records of potential Firsts for the country.

As Richard said “Because these would be first records for Iraq of very difficult species, the Nature Iraq Bird Records Committee decided to seek the advice and opinions of the highly respected BBRC. The NIBRC has modelled itself on BBRC, but is still very much in its infancy and keen to learn about the processes by which the identification of problem species are tackled. “

All 10 BBRC members gave their time to looking at the records, each of which had photos, and they provided full commentary on the reasons for their conclusions. These are being fed-back to the Iraqi committee. For the ’10 rare men’ it was also interesting to see passerines at unusual times of year ( a phylloscopus in January for example) and unusual sub-species (for an acrocephalus)