Changes to rarity list

Wood Warbler, Hascombe, 26/08/2019 (E Stubbs)

Changes have been made to the list of species deemed vice-county rarities, with Great Egret removed and Wood Warbler added.

The changes mean that photos, sound recordings and / or a description are no longer required for Great Egret records, but they will now be needed for Wood Warbler. These changes are in effect for all records from 1 January 2020 onwards.

In keeping with the national trend, Great Egret is now a regular – if somewhat sporadic – visitor, usually between the months of June and December. By the end of 2010 there had been merely 11 vice-county records; this year alone, there have been more than 25 by the end of November.

Wood Warbler, however, has undergone a sad decline and is now a very infrequent passage migrant, usually between late April and early June and late July and early September. The traditional breeding site at the Devil’s Punch Bowl was occupied just about into the 2010s – and very occasionally a male will still hold territory in south Surrey – but nowadays a handful of records can be expected annually at best; as few as three were reported in 2019.

You can download a rarities description form here. The latest batch of rarity record decisions can be viewed here.