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Where to Watch

As of 1 April 2009, the Wiltshire List stood at 318 species.

Category *
A 286 recorded in an apparently natural state since 1 Jan 1950
B 19 ditto, between 1 Jan 1800 and 31 Dec 1949 but not since
C 13 from self-sustaining populations of introduced species
Total 318

 
The three most recent additions to the Wiltshire list were:

318. Thrush Nightingale — August 2008
317. Penduline Tit — April 2008
316. Lesser Scaup — February 2007

Two species — White-tailed Fish-eagle and Chough — were seen in the county in 2007, the first time since 1935 and the mid 19th Century, respectively. 

Around 200 species are seen annually in the county:

Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Species 200 206 197 197 199 192 195 200 193 196
County firsts 2 2 0 0 2 0 3 1 0 1

 

A complete list of the county's birds will be available to download shortly. A summary of species' status is provided below.

Breeding: 147 (46%) species have nested on at least one occasion, of which 119 (37%) are regular breeders. Seven (2%) are former breeders, three of which (Black Grouse, Great Bustard and Cirl Bunting) are extinct in the county, and four (Corncrake, Wryneck, Marsh Warbler and Red-backed Shrike) still occur as vagrants. Three more (Ring Ouzel, Redwing and Golden Oriole) may also have nested but without there being clear evidence.

Wintering: 125 (39%) species winter regularly in the county. Hooded Crow was once an annual winter visitor, but there have been no recent records.

Residents: 88 (28%) species are both regular breeders and regular in winter.

Migrants: 35 (11%) species are regarded as mainly passage migrants or wanderers, neither breeding nor wintering regularly, although three — Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls, and Crossbill — occur widely outside what are regarded as the normal passage periods.

Vagrants: 125 (40%) species occur very infrequently, ten of which have not been recorded in the county for more than 100 years.

Introductions: 13 (4%) species on the Wiltshire List are 'naturalised'. Three — Greylag and Barnacle Geese, and Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) — are found naturally elsewhere in Great Britain, but those that occur in Wiltshire are believed to have derived from introduced stock. Ruddy Shelduck is included in this group, although the origins of past records, and the case for genuine vagrancy, remain a much-discussed issue. The Red Kites that breed in Wiltshire also derive from introduced stock but, as part of a deliberate reintroduction programme for conservation purposes, are not included among these 13.

Escapes: a large number of other bird species have also been recorded in the county but, as obvious or likely escapes (many are simply escaped cagebirds) that have not come from self-sustaining populations, these are not included as part of the Wiltshire List.

Submitting records

Records of all birds seen in Wiltshire should be submitted to Rob Turner, the County Recorder. Records of rare species are assessed by the WOS Records Panel. For details of what information should be submitted, and a list of those species requiring a description, see WOS Records.

* See the BOURC website for a full explanation of the categories of the British List


Information about WOS

Wiltshire Ornithological Society was formed on November 30th, 1974, and has grown in recent years to more than 500 members.

Our mission is to encourage and pursue the study, recording and conservation of birds in Wiltshire

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