Friday, 5 April 2013

Rare Subspecies

We've had a few folk asking about bonus points for rare subspecies - and quite frankly, we think it's a good idea!

Scoring for them is a bit complex though, and we reckon the only way to do it is on a case by case basis. So, here's a scenario...

If you see a chiffchaff, you get one point.

If you see a siberian chiffchaff, you get 2 points, as well as the point for the normal chiffchaff.

If you find a siberian chiffchaff, you can double your 2 points to 4 - and still have the 1 point for the original chiffchaff.

Simple. So, below is a list of the acceptable subspecies, the number of points they're worth, and the find bonus. Enjoy - and let us know which ones we've missed out....

Any 'genuine vagrant' canada goose - 3 points, double find bonus.
black brant - 3 points, double find bonus.
Borealis eider - 3 points, double find bonus. And it needs to have more than sails!
Scopoli's shearwater - 5 points, triple find bonus.
Yelkouan shearwater - don't even go there.
Kumlien's gull - 3 points, double find bonus.
American black tern - 5 points, triple find bonus.
dark-bellied barn owl - 3 points, double find bonus.
black-headed wagtail - 3 points, double find bonus.
Eastern yellow wagtail - 5 points, triple find bonus.
Any non-flavissima yellow wagtail - 2 points, double find bonus
black-bellied dipper - 3 points, double find bonus.
Siberian chiffchaff - 2 points, double find bonus.
Northern long tailed tit - 4 points, triple find bonus.

We know some of these may be full species now but they are not on our list in the scoring sheet so have been added here.

There are probably quite a few rarer examples that are not on that list - that doesn't mean we wont consider them if they do crop up though. There are also omissions such as scandinavian rock pipit and 'northwestern' wheatear, which I've deemed to common to worry about at half 9 on a thursday night!

So let us know if we've left anything out - and happy subspecies hunting!


  1. Hi guys - is there going to be an update to the spreadsheet? For a Kumlien's do I remove Iceland and enter Kumliens and remove my two points and add 6 for the bird and (re)find? Or have I got that wrong?



    1. No update to teh spreadsheet at the moment but for now what I'll be doing is adding them below the points total box and you can then add the points together easily until we/if we have a revised scoresheet. If you have seen a IG as well, keep it on teh list, if not and you have just seen a Kum G then take off the IG and add Kum under the box and assign it 6 points if you found it or 3 if you didnt find it. Hope this makes sense

    2. So Are we allowing
      -Scandinavian Rock Pipit
      - Abientinus Chiffchaff?

      and do I get something for two half Brants?


  2. Foe example:

    Number of Species Seen 80
    Species Points 94
    Scarce Bonus Points 0
    Rare/Mega Bonus Points 0
    SCORE 94

    Kumliens Gull 6
    Siberian Chiffchaff 4
    Total 104

  3. It sounds like a good idea. I did notice however that in your examples Siberian Chiffchaff is a two-pointer, but in the list you've got it down as three points.


    1. Ooops, thats my mistake, it was originally a 3 pointer but I felt it was more common that say BB Dipper so reduced it to 2 points and forgot to change the list. I will edit it now

  4. How about redpolls? i.e. north-western (rostrata/islandica - although the latter is a bit bullshitty) compared to Mealy/Common. And should you get different points for finding a Coues's as opposed to a Hornemann's?

    Just a way of boosting our totals in Shetland ;-)

  5. Anything for Nordic Jackdaw?

  6. Any decision on white wagtail?? (said, with several having come through the patch!)

  7. What about Taiga and Tundra 'Bean' Geese....

  8. Not sure I agree with these. Kumlien's is no longer considered by BBRC because it has no criteria. There is a complete cline with nominate glaucoides and at up to half the claimed birds in Shetland are just well-marked Icelands IMO. Northern Eider is also not definable. One of my close friends has been looking at them for years and is now convinced that they can't be done. They might be Icelandic birds, but in that case they are not borealis. Really think that you should do species only. Or if you do want subspecies then ACCEPTED BBRC records only - and almost all of the above are not going to be accepted in a hurry. I was going to sign up today, but I think I might just carry on doing it my won way for another year.