BBRC is seeking a new voting member in 2021, to replace Steve Votier. Steve’s insight into the scientific aspects of rarity assessment will be missed, as will his experience in key groups such as seabirds. The Committee’s nominee to replace Steve is Dawn Balmer.

Dawn grew up in Shropshire but it was three years in Plymouth in the late 1980s and early 1990s that really expanded her birding horizons. There, she developed a passion for gulls and found several rarities, including Bonaparte’s Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia and Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis. For the last 28 years, Dawn has lived in Thetford, Norfolk. She is a keen local birder and has found a number of rare and scarce birds, such as Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica, ‘Ashy-headed Wagtail’ Motacilla flava cinereocapilla and Parrot Crossbills Loxia pytyopsittacus – no easy feat for an inland patcher. Dawn will be familiar to many through her work at the BTO and as a recent member of BOURC.

While Dawn has the support of BBRC, we are very keen to encourage further nominations of potential candidates with suitable experience. The key aspects of that experience are as follows: 

• a widely acknowledged expertise in identification 
• proven reliability in the field
• a track record of high-quality submissions of descriptions of scarce and rare birds to county records committees and BBRC 
• experience of record assessment 
• regional credibility 
• the capacity to handle the volume of work involved in assessing upwards of 700 (online) records per year 
• the capacity to work quickly and efficiently 

Further nominations should be sent to the BBRC chairman ([email protected]) before 30th June 2021, with the names of a proposer and seconder, a brief summary of the nominee’s experience and the written agreement of the nominee. After this date, if we have received further nominations, a voting slip and list of all candidates with relevant details will be sent to all county recorders and bird observatory wardens for an election, as per section 2.2.3 of our Constitution (see For extra information, contact Paul French at [email protected]


Issue 6
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