In 2010 there was one new species White-throated Sparrow which made it 433. But now the BOURC have come along and added two more:- Siberian Stonechat & Hudsonian Whimbrel.

In their latest press release the following splits have been recommended:

Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus , seen in September 2008

Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus, approximately 16 records, first 1978

The Stonechat will need a bit more research to allocate all the Scilly sightings but the recommendation of BOURC is that both the old sub sp maurus & stejnegeri are included in the new species S. maurus. However the species is polytypic and itself will have comprise subspecies maurus, variegatus, armenicus, indicus, stejnegeri and przewalskii.

Others of you may be interested that 4 members of the Hippolais have been assigned a new genus Iduna. They are Booted & Eastern Olivaceous (both on Scilly list) and Thick-billed & Syke’s (to be found this October).

It is a full an interesting report and includes further taxonomic changes to, amongst others, the genus of Siberian Thrush, and the splitting of Water Rail into 2 species and potentially the allocating of the Southern Oceans’ skua (rescued here in 2001) to one of 3 new skua species.

Nigel Hudson

Secretary – British Birds Rarities Committee


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