by Christian Perez
This is a summary of the presentation I made to the WBCP General Assembly on 28 July 2019.
The Rarities Committee members are Desmond Allen, Adrian Constantino, Geoff Dobbs, Rob Hutchinson, and Arne Jensen. In August 2018 they appointed Christian Perez as its new secretary in replacement of Karen Ochavo. The Committee has the task to assess if records are sufficiently documented to make their way into publications or science papers produced by or in collaboration with the WBCP.
Species Requiring Documentation
A revised list of 186 species requiring documentation was finalized in November 2018 with the following categories:
- Accidental species (fewer than 20 published/documented records): 136 species
- Critically Endangered, Endangered or Data Deficient species: 20 species
- Species not reported annually and considered rare or extirpated: 18 species
- Species difficult to separate in the field from similar looking species: 12 species
In addition, the Committee reviews new country records, resident species found breeding outside of known breeding range, and migratory species found to be breeding but with current status as migrant
Procedures of the Committee
A document entitled “Procedures of the Committee” was finalized in April 2019, detailing the process followed by Committee members and the secretary to find rarity records, format and submit them for review, gather additional information as required, vote on the submitted records, determine the overall vote, prepare monthly and yearly summaries, and store historical data.
Rarity Reviewed and Accepted
During the period the Committee reviewed 75 rarity records of which 65 were accepted, 2 were considered not proven, 3 are pending, and 5 are still under review.
Two new country records were reviewed and accepted: a Eurasian Sparrowhawk in Batanes on 7 November 2018, and a Black Stork in Ilocos Norte on 26 December 2018
With the opening of Liguasan March to visitors, two resident species that had not been reported for many years were recorded in that site: 5 Comb-crested Jacana in February 2019 (seen again in the following months), and 6 Oriental Darter in April 2019.
Up to 3 Chinese Crested Tern were reported again in Panabo, Davao del Norte, from December 2018 to March 2019, making it a regular wintering site for that rare species. One individual was also recorded in Sorsogon in March 2019.
Up to 3 Japanese Night Heron were reported in Davao City for the third season, making it a regular wintering site for that species. Another individual was reported in Bukidnon in December 2018.
A Red-tailed Tropicbird was found by a farmer in a rice field in Isabela in September 2018, probably blown by a typhoon. It was turned over to DENR, fed for a few days, and released in Aparri, Cagayan.
A Japanese Quail was identified on a ship off Lubang Island in October 2018, although it is not clear whether this should be accepted as a Philippine record. There were two records of Jerdon’s Baza in Palawan in October 2018 and March 2019, a rarely reported resident species.
Notable rare sightings, all second country record, included Ijima’s Leaf Warbler in Baguio in October 2018, Chinese Blackbird in Batanes in March 2019, and Common Rosefinch in Bangkong Kahoy, Quezon in December 2018.
Other accidental vagrants reported and reviewed during the period include Ferruginous Duck, Mandarin Duck, White-tailed Tropicbird, Eurasian Spoonbill, Northern Lapwing, Nordmann’s Greenshank, Mew Gull (Kamchatka ssp), Channel-billed Cuckoo, White-throated Needletail, Daurian Redstart, Common Starling, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Manchurian Bush Warbler, Rosy Starling, Little Bunting, and Black-headed Bunting.