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Leicestershire & Rutland Ornithological Society
WhatsApp Bird News Group Guidelines


In 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 etc.

1. 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 reason.

2. 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.

3. 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 it.

4. 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.

6. 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.

‘Newsworthy’ species:

In 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.

Bewick’s Swan
Whooper Swan
Bean Goose
Pink-footed Goose (excluding obviously feral birds)
White-fronted Goose (ditto)
Brent Goose
American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
Garganey (potential rare breeding bird)
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Ferruginous Duck
Lesser Scaup
Long-tailed Duck
Surf Scoter
Velvet Scoter
Red-breasted Merganser
All divers
All shearwaters & petrels
Little Bittern
Night Heron
Squacco Heron
Cattle Egret
Great White Egret (away from Rutland Water ONLY, and even this may need to be taken off the list soon!)
Purple Heron
Black Stork
White Stork
Glossy Ibis
Pied-billed Grebe
Red-necked, Slavonian & Black-necked Grebes
Honey Buzzard
Black Kite
White-tailed Eagle
Hen Harrier
Pallid Harrier
Montagu’s Harrier
Rough-legged Buzzard
Spotted Crake
Baillon’s Crake
Corncrake (bearing in mind it's potentially a rare breeding bird and the likelihood of disturbance)
Stone Curlew
Black-winged Stilt
American Golden Plover
Pacific Golden Plover
Kentish Plover
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Temminck’s Stint
Purple Sandpiper
Baird’s Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
All phalaropes
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Redshank
Lesser Yellowlegs
Marsh Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Jack Snipe
Long-billed Dowitcher
Collared Pratincole
Black-winged Pratincole
All skuas
All auks
Bridled Tern
Little Tern
Caspian Tern
Whiskered Tern
White-winged Black Tern
Sandwich Tern
Roseate Tern
Sabine’s Gull
Bonaparte’s Gull
Laughing Gull
Franklin’s Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Iceland Gull
Glaucous Gull
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)
Alpine Swift
Red-footed Falcon
Golden Oriole
All shrikes
Hooded Crow
Bearded Tit
Shore Lark
Crag Martin
Red-rumped Swallow
Greenish Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler
Wood Warbler (potential rare breeding bird)
Savi’s Warbler (potential rare breeding bird)
Icterine Warbler
Marsh Warbler
Waxwing (some discretion will be needed in invasion years!)
Rose-coloured Starling
Ring Ouzel
Red-flanked Bluetail
Pied Flycatcher
Black Redstart (obvious passage/wintering birds only, and certainly not singing birds in urban areas, where they may be breeding)
Citrine Wagtail
Richard’s Pipit
Red-throated Pipit
Rock Pipit
Water Pipit
Common Rosefinch
Common (i.e. 'Mealy') Redpoll
Arctic Redpoll
Snow Bunting
Lapland Bunting

Rare/scarce subspecies, e.g. Siberian Chiffchaff, Blue-headed & Grey-headed Wagtails etc.

Plus obviously any species that would be new to the County!

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