Fife Local Rarities Committee List Additions

Four species have been removed from the SBRC list with effect from 1st January 2020:-

Blyth’s Reed Warbler
Marsh Warbler
Olive-backed Pipit
Little Bunting

These species will now be assessed by the FLRC.  The full list of species considered by the FLRC is as follows:-

Taiga Bean Goose

Tundra Bean Goose

Bewick’s Swan

Egyptian Goose


American Wigeon

Green-winged Teal

Red-crested Pochard

Ring-necked Duck

*Surf Scoter


Black Grouse

White-billed Diver

Leach’s Petrel

Balearic Shearwater

Black-necked Grebe

White Stork

Glossy Ibis



Great White Egret

Honey Buzzard

Red Kite


Rough-legged Buzzard

Golden Eagle

Spotted Crake


American Golden Plover

Temminck’s Stint

Pectoral Sandpiper

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Red-necked Phalarope

Grey Phalarope

Sabine’s Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Glaucous Gull

Iceland Gull

Roseate Tern

Long-tailed Skua




Golden Oriole


Hooded Crow

Marsh Tit

Willow Tit

Shore Lark

Richard’s Pipit

Siberian Chiffchaff

Pallas’s Warbler

Blyth’s Reed Warbler

Marsh Warbler

Icterine Warbler

Barred Warbler



Rose-coloured Starling


Red-breasted Flycatcher

Olive-backed Pipit

Water Pipit


Common Rosefinch

Common Redpoll

Lapland Bunting

Little Bunting

Key: * Females and eclipse drakes only.

+Juveniles in all circumstances. Adults only if away from established sites.

Seawatching at Fife Ness 🚩🚩🚩

Seawatching At Fife Ness

One of the aims of observers at Fife Ness should be the consistent and comprehensive nature of the recordings in the log book. The first observer should record the date and weather conditions then the totals for each species seen. This should be carried out in such a way as to allow subsequent observers to add to these totals leading to a day count once observations have finished. To help with calculation of the final day total, observers should record the times of their watches so that any duplication can be ruled out. If a group of people are seawatching together then someone should volunteer as a ‘lead scribe’ to record the group’s sightings. A typical situation to arise would be that one person has been the first to arrive and started a watch alone, to be later joined by other people. It makes sense for the first person to arrive to keep collating the counts on the group’s behalf (although there is nothing to stop individuals keeping their own personal tally for their records). When the ‘lead scribe’ leaves, another person should volunteer to take over to continue the count, noting the start and end time of their ‘shift’.

Other details to be recorded aside from the counts of birds are:

  • Names of observers. The lead scribe will be responsible for recording the names of all observers present if the watch involves a group effort.
  • Direction of passage (north or south when watching from Fife Ness)
  • Increased level of detail for nationally rare or locally rare species of seabird including time of the observation, the observers iunvolved and brief details of the circumstances. This will allow the Fife Recorder to contact people for descriptions.
  • If there are obvious changes in the weather conditions since the log started, these are worth updating and they may correlate with sudden movements/influxes of notable species.

Please see below an example of how the daily log might look:

      04 / 10 / 2022   NNW 5 moving N 3 , vague mist bank at 1.5 km, odd shower from N

       Manx    10N + 10N + 10N + 10N + 10N + 10N+ 10N +10N + 10N + 10N + 10N + 10N + 1N +   

       1N                                                                                                DAY COUNT 122 N

        Sooty   5N + 5N +5N + 5N+ 5N + 5N + 2S +5N + 2N             DAY COUNT 37 N and 2S

        Balearic  1N  (dark Balearic north at 12.22 , quite close , approx 800 m  A. White,

                        B. Green)

        Storm Petrel  1N  ( SP N at 12.40 C. Brown) + 1N  ( SP N at 16.20  D. Black)

        Arctic Skua  1N+ 1N + 1N+ 1N+ 1N + 1N + 1N                       DAY COUNT 7N

        Bonxie 1N + 1N +1N + 3N + 2N + 1N + 2N + 1N                    DAY COUNT 12N

        Pomarine Skua 3N (pale ad + 2 sub ads)  at 16.22               DAY COUNT 3N

        Common Scoter c80N between 16.20 – 17.70                      DAY COUNT approx 80N

        Wigeon 165 + 13 + 12 + 7 + 7 (all south)   204 N                   DAY COUNT 204N and 204S

        Sabine’s Gull  1 lingering then N, juv at 16.40 ( DB/ EG /FR- record images)

        Knot    94 N    between 16.00 and 17.00              DAY COUNT 94N

      Observers    A. White,  B. Green 8.30 – 12.30

                          C. Brown  12.25 – 14.30

                          D. Black 16.00 – 18.00

                          E. Grey 16.10 – 18.00

                          F.  Rose 16.15 – 19.00

Fife Local Rarities Committee List Changes & Additions

White-billed Diver.

From January 1st 2019 this species is no longer considered by  SBRC due to its increasing rate of occurrence and will now be considered by FLRC. 


This species had inadvertently been left out of previous versions of the FLRC list on the website.

Also, it was incorrectly implied in the recent Report on Notable Species in Fife-2016, that descriptions are required for Storm Petrel. This species is not considered by FLRC. 

Bird Records Spreadsheet – New Version

The Call for Records page in the Bird Recording section of the website has been updated.  In particular, please note that, if you don’t use BirdTrack, there is a new version of the bird records spreadsheet that can be used for your 2018 records.


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BTO Project Owl

From August 2018 to March 2019, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) are embarking on Project Owl, a volunteer-based survey to find out more about our Tawny Owls, which do not lend themselves to be monitored by other surveys.

I am calling for volunteers to take part in this project. Fieldwork is not onerous, based mainly on listening for calling birds at and after dusk. Full details can be found at

There are two parts to the survey. The first, running from August 15th to October 15th, consists of counting calling Tawny Owls from certain points in Fife and Kinross for 10-30 minutes after sunset. The survey sites are based on those used in previous Tawny Owl surveys in 1989 and 2005. Priority tetrads (2km x 2km) are targeted, counting from a point as close as possible to the tetrad centre. In our region, the tetrads involved are in the 10 km squares NO00, NO30 and NO50. Targeted tetrads can be found at Here, you can find available tetrads and sign up for the survey.

The second part takes place from September 30th to March 31st 2019. This is ideally carried out once a week, therefore from a place that you are able to visit regularly, such as your garden. Further details for this survey will be issued later.

Ideally, the results are entered online, but paper forms and instructions can be provided if necessary. If there are any questions, please contact me (below)

Norman Elkins


T: 01334 654348