Thursday, 12 December 2013

The final word on rare subspecies

There's been a bit of debate on our facebook page about rare subspecies recently (see our facebook page to join in!) which has stemmed from some blogposts and decisions we made earlier in the year about bonus points for rare subspecies.

The thinking here was galvanised by the black bellied dipper in Norfolk - people pointed out that it was a shame that regularly occurring, but scarce, distinct subspecies did not have any points value. We agreed with this, (especially when other folk mentioned other examples such as brant, and siberian chiffchaff) and as such drew up a list of rare subspecies that we would award points for. This list can be found here.

As a consequence of this we've had plenty of correspondence asking, for example, for the number of points we would award for white wagtail or littoralis rock pipit. Well, the answer is none I'm afraid! the point of this was to award good finds - and here at PWC we consider both of the above to be too common to merit extra points. As such, the list of rare subspecies that will be awarded extra points in 2014 remains as it is in the list linked above.

In addition to those listed, we will award points on a case by case basis for subspecies considered by RIACT that would not otherwise score any bonus points (eg a siberian grasshopper warbler would score you a subspecies bonus, but a subalpine warbler would only score you the bonus you'd already get in our scoresheet). We will award points for these RIACT listed birds on a case by case basis as we consider them too rare to draw up scores for. We also want to have no part in encouraging folk to go round claiming North American turnstones...!

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