Appendix III: Guidelines for Acceptance of a First for Britain

In the case of a claimed ‘First for Britain’:-

– Ideally the bird should be seen by a number of independent people and have supporting photographs or videos.

– We should expect detailed independent notes from at least two of the main observers as well as seeing the photographs.

 

For submissions without a photograph:

– we should expect independent sets of notes from all the major observers [preferably with sketches] and sight of their field notes.

– we should be wary of accepting a first when the observers do not have extensive experience of both the species claimed and confusion species.

– the overall experience of the observers becomes a major factor in the assessment of the record even when we are dealing with obvious species.

– the past track record of the observer becomes a major factor in the assessment of the record.

 

For records where there is only a single observer [or a very closely attached group of observers – e.g. a birder and a relatively non-birding spouse] :

– then even when supported by a photo, the previous track record of the observer MUST be taken into account.

– then even when supported by a photo, we should have sight of original field notes

– then in at least one photo we should be able to see some recognisable feature of the landscape

– in any sequence of photos we should have evidence that they were taken in a continuous sequence

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