order for the Bird News WhatsApp group to run smoothly, we need to have
a few guidelines. Please read them carefully. As everyone will be sending
out their own news, everyone has to take responsibility for that news,
and the potential consequences of sharing it widely, including e.g. disturbance
to the bird (which may also have legal implications), nuisance to landowners
The group is ONLY to be used for sharing local bird news. This means no
general birding chat or banter. DON’T
reply to group messages unless
it is absolutely necessary to clarify something, or add extra information*.
This means NOT saying 'thanks' when someone posts something.
Please remember that every message you send goes out to everyone
in the group, not just the person who posted it. If you think there is
a problem with a particular member or message, please contact the group
admin privately rather than replying publicly on the group.
* and in relation to this, please try and minimise the likelihood of people
asking for more information by including it in the first place! There
is no character limit on WhatsApp, so use it to its full potential, within
If you find a bird on the list of ‘newsworthy’ species (below),
send a message to the group immediately, or as soon as possible if you
don’t have a good enough phone signal at the time. Include as much
detail as you think necessary to enable others to find the bird if they
choose to go and look for it. Updates on rarities – use common sense,
e.g. several updates on a major county rarity may be appropriate on its
first day or two until most people have seen it, but then perhaps just
once or twice a day thereafter.
If you hear about a bird on the list that someone else has found, and
it hasn’t already been mentioned, send a message to the group, but
please include the observer’s name if it wasn’t you that saw
Stick to the species on the list below.
The group is intended to alert local birders to county and national rarities,
and not overwhelm users with too many notifications. This list will be
flexible, and species may be added or removed as necessary.
5. Photos - please keep these to a minimum, and preferably don't post
them at all unless there's a good reason - it's not intended to be a photo
sharing group and there are plenty of other places to put photos of birds.
Most importantly of all: Consider the welfare of the
bird at all times. Do not send out news of rare breeding
birds in suitable breeding habitat during the breeding season. And think
very carefully about potential disturbance at other times of year, e.g.
Long-eared Owl roosts.
If you are ever unsure about whether to release news, or need guidance
on access or likely disturbance etc, please contact admin or the County
Recorder for advice before doing so.
some circumstances species not on this list may be of interest, e.g. the
recent out-of-season Curlew Sandpiper at Rutland Water/Eyebrook in a year
when there had been very few. Use some common sense. Think 'would people
go out of their way to come and see this bird?' If the answer's yes, then
it's newsworthy. If it's 'probably not, but they'd look at it if they
were here already', then it probably isn't.
Pink-footed Goose (excluding obviously feral birds)
White-fronted Goose (ditto)
Garganey (potential rare breeding bird)
All shearwaters & petrels
Great White Egret (away from Rutland Water ONLY, and even this may need
to be taken off the list soon!)
Red-necked, Slavonian & Black-necked Grebes
Corncrake (bearing in mind it's potentially a rare breeding bird and the
likelihood of disturbance)
American Golden Plover
Pacific Golden Plover
White-winged Black Tern
Turtle Dove (now sadly a rare breeding bird, so probably only autumn birds,
if we ever get any!)
Long-eared Owl (certainly not in the breeding season and consider potential
disturbance to winter roosts)
Nightjar (rare breeding bird, consider habitat and time of year)
Wood Warbler (potential rare breeding bird)
Savi’s Warbler (potential rare breeding bird)
Waxwing (some discretion will be needed in invasion years!)
Black Redstart (obvious passage/wintering birds only, and certainly not
singing birds in urban areas, where they may be breeding)
Common (i.e. 'Mealy') Redpoll
subspecies, e.g. Siberian Chiffchaff, Blue-headed & Grey-headed Wagtails
any species that would be new to the County!