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UK Rarity of the Year - Birdwatch Vote (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Personally, I was really pleased to see that 90% of votes were for the Bearded Vulture. This was reported in the latest edition of Birdwatch.

Quite a few remarks like 'plastic' were posted at the time and since, and of course people are fully entitled to their own views, and it IS understandable that BOU has to maintain the British list using set criteria on legal grounds. Irrespective of this, some people were determined to pigeon-hole or compartmentalise it as 'not worthy', but even with the knowledge belatedly that one parent was introduced 15 years previously and the other parent wild-born itself, which might be used as an argument to prevent its entry onto the British List (not trying to open that can of worms again - there are arguments for and against), birdwatchers still voted for it as 'bird of the year'.

When you consider what a good year it has been for rarities, I was pleased to see so many birders disregard those concerns, and simply see it for what it was..............a genuinely-magnificent, wild-born bird giving awe-inspiring views to thousands of delighted birders and non-birders alike.

It pleasingly demonstrates that most of us see nature for what it is, raw and in the flesh, and not driven simply by list qualification and authority categorisation.

You may not agree, I do get that, but it pleasantly and refreshingly surprised me. I thought a lot more would be somewhat negative / cynical about this bird.


Well-known member
I think people know it is a wild bird which has done the unexpected for many large birds of prey - crossing the channel. It's time in the UK has been remarkable. First sighted over a village in the West Midlands, then in the Peak District where it really put up a nice show for visitors from all over. I went on 31st of August and there were no shortage of visitors then after nearly 2 months. After that it headed south and it's habit of landing in fields and on roads in East Anglia and environs, a far cry from it's upland habitat was like another twist in it's mega international tour. Then came the episode on the coast where people actually saw it migrate from - with a false start r 2 for good measure in there. I can understand why it got 90% based on that. There were a couple of British firsts but how many people saw them what was the general behaviour of those birds? In fact one was a WP first. It was also a feel good story too after a dreadful few months. Many people reconnected with nature during lockdown and many shyer species started coming into residential areas so public interest was high. I know non-birders who were interested in it as well and had been to see it. For them it was a bird which had crossed over and whose ancestry was from a reintroduction project and none of this business about a British list. A large bird and a feel good story!

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