Recent RC decisions

Recent RC decisions

At the meeting of the Records Committee on 21st November 2011, the following decisions were made.

Additions to the HK List
A Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii was found in very weak condition at Cheung Sha Wan on 24th June 2011, shortly after the close approach of Tropical Storm Haima. It was collected by AFCD staff, but subsequently died in the animal management centre on 27 June. The species is added to Category I of the HK List.

A record of White Wagtail Motacilla alba baicalensis on 23 January 2007 at Yuen Long was accepted as the first record of this taxon in HK.

Grey-cheeked Fulvetta
The current designation of birds in HK as Alcippe morrisonia is incorrect, as this name refers to birds in Taiwan, according to a recent taxonomic review based on genetic analysis. It is not known whether birds occurring in HK are David’s Fulvetta A. davidi from western China or Huet’s Fulvetta A. hueti from eastern China, which can be separated by song or DNA. It was agreed to remove the species from Cat III of the Hong Kong List until more is known about birds occurring in HK and Guangdong. ‘Grey-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe morrisonia’ would be added to Appendix 2, for species removed from the List as a result of taxonomic changes.

Although this leaves us in the unsatisfactory position whereby a species that breeds at Tai Po Kau and possibly other mature areas of forest is not on the HK List, our uncertainty as to which species is present means we cannot adopt any other course. However, members of the RC are in the process of analyzing vocalisation data with a view to clarifying the situation in the next 6 months.

Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala sordida
The RC examined photographs of breeding males, comprising sordida from China, personata from Japan and nominate spodocephala from Mongolia and Russia, and compared them with photographs of supposed male sordida from HK. HK birds showed a much smaller area of black around the face and a smaller bill than is the case with sordida on the breeding grounds, and were consistent with nominate spodocephala from the eastern part of the range, which tend to be yellower below and more greenish-tinged on the head. It was unanimously agreed to remove the subspecies sordida from the Hong Kong List.

The new HK List, revised in accordance with the above and with recent amendments to the order and nomenclature in line with IOC changes, will be uploaded shortly.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 13/12/2011 08:35 ]


Ho Fai,

We are in the process of preparing a HK List that includes subspecies. As you will appreciate, however, this is quite timie-consuming.

As for the latest revised list, we will agree this at our next RC meeting on 13th Feb, and I will upload the new version as soon as possible afterwards.

There was a recent revision to the IOC List that I wanted to include, and this held things up slightly.




I believe we already do an update at least annually, at least recently. We usually do a new list each time amendments are made. It's just that with IOC List making changes that affected the HK List in both October and January, things have been held up a little.

As for 'publicity', I'll leave that to the Society office.



The RC will have a meeting on 14th May, at which it is anticipated additions to the HK List will be made. In addition, the IOC is very shortly to issue a revised version of the List (according to its website: Consequently, we propose to issue a revised list very soon after that meeting.

Apologies for the delay with this latest revision.



Apologies for the delay in providing a summary of recent RC decisions. These are as follows:

Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus on 24 March 2012 was accepted into Cat I as a First Record for Hong Kong; the subspecies is indicus.

A Red-crested Pochard at Mai Po on 9 March 2012 was accepted in terms of identity, but further work is required in regard to category.

The Grey-necked Bunting at Long Ke on 10 April 2012 was accepted in terms of identity, but further review is required with regard to category.

Japanese / Manchurian Bush Warbler
The IOC have recently revised the taxonomy of this complex based on the findings of Alstrom et al. (2011) ( This has resulted in a change of genus name to Horornis, and the recognition of two species: Manchuria Bush Warbler H. borealis and Japanese Bush Warbler H. diphone, which includes the central Chinese breeding taxon that occurs in HK, canturians. A review of birds trapped for ringing over the years indicated that both species occur in HK, though the exact pattern of occurrence and habitat preferences of the two are as yet unclear. The net result is the addition of one species to Category I of the HK List.

It should also be noted that the treatment of canturians as a subspecies of diphone is tentative and that canturians may warrant species status (Alström et al. 2011) and as such a change of both English and scientific names may be required in the future.

Black-throated Tit appears to now be established in HK, mainly in the Tai Mo Shan massif. Accordingly, and in view of the fact that the early pattern of records suggests captive origin rather than natural colonisation, it has been added to Category IIA of the HK List.

Work on the identity of 'Grey-cheeked Fulvettas' (sensu lato) occurring in HK continues. If anybody has sound recordings of the song of birds in HK, the RC would like to obtain copies for research.

Two species were released from the requirement for support in the form of an Unusual Report Form: Lesser Frigatebird and Red-breasted Flycatcher (though as with all species, records atypical in any way may require substantiation).

The revised HK List will soon be uploaded to the website.
The List now stands at 513 species.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman


3rd September decisions

At the 3rd September 2012 meeting of the Records Committee, the following decisions were agreed.

Red-crested Pochard 2012-03-09. Previously accepted as a first-year female, it was unanimously agreed to place this record into Category I, the first record of this species considered to have occurred naturally. Previous records continue to be regarded as of non-natural occurrence.

Grey-necked Bunting 2012-04-10 in Sai Kung. Previously accepted as an adult female, there was a 3-3 split between placing this species in Cat I and Cat III. In such cases, it is RC policy to adopt the more conservative approach, and to remain with the status quo. Should further records occur in the future, this can be reviewed.

Features counting against Cat I included the unusual tail feather placement visible in photographs and the date, which was considered early for a bird presumed to have flown from wintering grounds in northern India; the distance from there to HK is probably longer than the distance from northern India to Central Asian breeding grounds, and it is reasonable to expect occurrence in HK no earlier than the time it begins to occur on the breeding grounds (mid April). Although it is possible to postulate this was a bird that spent the winter in southeast Asia, there is no evidence that the latter occurs regularly, and the chances of such a bird arriving in HK are considered slim. Although there is a record from Vietnam in winter, we have no idea of the provenance of that bird. Furthermore, occurrence in spring is contrary to HK records of other species that winter in India, which generally occur in autumn. The only other regional record of a vagrant occurred in autumn in Japan, which is typical of other comparable species such as Black-headed and Red-headed Bunting, and Common Chiffchaff.

All-dark storm-petrel 2012-05-30. By a 5-1 vote, the RC accepted this record as that of an all-dark Storm-petrel sp, probably Swinhoe’s although it was not possible to eliminate Tristram’s or Matsudaira’s, based on the photographs.

Russet Sparrow: after a review of photographs, all 2011 records are considered likely to involve ex-captive individuals. Given this and after a review of all previous records, there was unanimous agreement that this species should now be placed in Category III.

Although no further decisions affecting the HK List were made, work is continuing on the following species:

Pale Blue Flycatcher: a review of category.
Brown Shrike of the taxon confusus: a review of possible records based on published criteria.
Rufous-bellied / Rufous-vented Niltava: a review of records.
Blue-fronted Flycatcher: a review of all records in regard to both identity and category.
‘Grey-cheeked Fulvetta’: work still underway regarding which species occurs in HK, and the most appropriate category.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman


At the 22 November 2012 meeting of the Records Committee, the following decisions were agreed.

Varied Tit on Po Toi from 16 September 2012
Identification was confirmed as a bird of the northern, nominate subspecies. Although it was acknowledged that significant evidence in favour of this bird having occurred naturally, a decision on this was shelved, pending further consideration, and would hopefully be made at the next meeting.

Hawfinch on Po Toi on 1 November 2012
The committee voted unanimously to accept this as the first Category I record for HK due to the combination of good plumage condition, location and its appearance with other migrant finches such as Eurasian Siskin and Brambling. Previously accepted records of Hawfinch would now be recirculated with a view to reviewing category.

'Swan Goose' at Mai Po from 14 November 2012
The committee voted unanimously to accept this record as concerning the domesticated form of Swan Goose known as 'Chinese Goose'

Other issues discussed included records of House Sparrow, the identification of blue flycatchers and niltavas, the possibility that Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus occurs in HK, and whether Crested Honey Buzzard of the taxon ruficollis can be identified with certainty. No decisions were made regarding these issues, but they will receive further consideration in the future.

Other than the addition to Category I of Hawfinch, no changes to the HK List are required arising from the most recent update to the IOC list (v3.2). The HK List now stands at 514 species.

The next meeting is scheduled for 27 February 2013.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman


At the meeting of the Records Committee on 25th February 2013, the following key decisions were made.

Varied Tit.The decision on category for this species had been held over from the previous meeting to await developments in the possible invasion of the species in eastern China.Since that time, apparently wild birds have been recorded in a further five provinces and another two locations in Hong Kong. As a result, the Committee voted 6-0 to accept this species (ssp varius) to Cat 1 of the HK List.

Whistling Green Pigeon 2012-11-27. Given the possibility that this bird might be a Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon based on tail shape, bill size and the brighter green head and neck, the Committee agreed to suspend the decision on species to allow time for further ID information and photos to be obtained, particularly of the Ryukyu ssp of Whistling Green Pigeon. An examination of skins at Tring in April will also be carried out.

Japanese Tit 2012-12-21. Photos of ‘Great’ Tits taken at Kaiping, Guangdong show apparent hybridization between P. cinereus and P. minor, and it was thought the Shek Kong bird was possibly such a hybrid. Further research at Tring will be carried out in April.

Slaty Bunting 2013-02-08.The RC agreed that the photographs showed a single female Slaty Bunting in good feather condition and voted 6-0 to accept this species to Cat. 1 of theHK List. Currently there is no evidence for more than one individual having been present. Observers are encouraged to submit all sightings, especially if more than one individual was seen or photographed.

Red-headed Bunting 2012-12-23.The meeting reviewed all six records identified as Red-headed Bunting, including the first in 2008. The identity of all six was confirmed. As a result of further examination of buntings trapped for ringing, it now appears that replacement of tail feathers is common in late autumn buntings. In view of this, the pristine feather condition of most of the remaining five records and the consistency of dates, the Committee voted 6-0 to assign all six records to Cat I,with the 2008-10-01 Mai Po Access Road record now being the first accepted HK record. A synopsis of all six records will be published in the 2012 HKBR. All previous HK records assigned to Black or Red-headed Bunting supported by photographs will be reviewed to see if their identity can be established.

White-tailed Robin 2012-12-26. Identification agreed, and sexed as a female, the first such record in HK. However, the bird had missing tail feathers and it was unanimously agreed to retain the current Cat III rating for the species.

'Grey-cheeked Fulvetta'.Two recordings now exist of song from TaiPo Kau, one in 2006 and one in 2013. After comparison with song of birds in south China and elsewhere, birds in HK can be identifed as Huet’s Fulvetta Alcippe hueti. As this is the species present in Guangdong, it was agreedby a vote of 6-0 to place this species in Cat. IIA of the HK List.

IOCv3.3. The following changes were accepted for theHK List.

Eastern Curlew becomes Far Eastern Curlew
Greater Spotted Eagle becomes Clanga clanga
Asia Brown Flycatcher becomes Muscicapa latirostris
Finches – order, Grey-capped Greenfinch and Eurasian Siskin go to end
Eurasian Siskin becomes Spinus spinus

A revised HK LIst will be posted on the website very soon.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 1/04/2014 09:09 ]


Update on recent deliberations of the Records Committee

No further conclusions have been made by the RC since the meeting reported above. At the last meeting on 20 May 2013, the main topics of discussion were the green pigeon on Po Toi on 27 November 2012 and the possible occurrence of Japanese Tit at Shek Kong and Wetland Park last winter.

Regarding the former, despite progress made through examination of skins at the BMNH, Tring, UK, it remained uncertain which species was involved. Consequently, it was agreed to carry out further examination of skins in Beijing and Japan in regard to Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon and the Taiwan subspecies (formosae) of Whistling Green Pigeon.

In respect of Japanese Tit, examination of skins at Tring showed that the type specimen of commixtus had a pure grey mantle, confirming that this taxon belongs within cinereus, rather than minor where it appears in the IOC List v3.3. The Shek Kong bird appears to be a hybrid of commixtus and minor, while the Wetland Park bird had significantly more extensive green on the mantle, suggesting it was, perhaps, minor. However, it was agreed that further consideration is needed, backed up by more photographs. Photographers are encouraged to photograph Cinereous Tits in HK and south China, and post these on the website.

It was agreed to remove Speckled Piculet from the list of species requiring RC assessment, but to add Indian Spotbill, in view of its rarity and similarity to Chinese Spotbill.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 6/08/2013 14:11 ]


Recent decisions of the Records Committee

At its meeting on 24th August 2013, the RC agreed the following major decisions.

Hawfinch record review

On the basis that once a species is accepted as Cat I, past records can be reviewed in that context, the following seven records of Hawfinch were accepted as Cat I.

26 December 1984 and 5 January 1985 – one at Mong Tseng
17 November 1994 – one at Mui Wo
22 January 2006 – one at Mong Tseng
14-23 January 2009 – one at Shek Kong
15 February 2009 – one at Ping Che
22 February 2011 – two at Yuen Long
24 February 2011 – one at Ping Long

Whistling Green Pigeon
Po Toi 2012-11-27.

It was agreed to pend the record and request further skins or photographs of south China sphenurus from Beijing and formosa Ryukyu from Japan, with particular focus on the tail and under-tail pattern.

Additions to the HK List

Martens's Warbler Seicercus omeiensis
One at Pak Sha O, Sai Kung from 5th January to 26th February 2013.

Japanese Tit Parus minor
One at Wetland Park, Yuen Long on 15th and 29th January 2013.

The HK List now stands at 520 species. A revised list will be posted shortly.

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 12/09/2013 16:07 ]


At the RC Meeting on 11th December, the following decisions were agreed.

1. A review of all records of blue flycatchers resulted in Hill Blue Flycatcher Cyornis banyumas being added to Category I of the HK List, with the first record at Bethanie near Pok Fu Lam on 15 December 1968. Captive origin cannot be ruled out in all cases, but other records for which the possibility is considered low are as follows:

1986-01-09Tai Po Kau
1996-01-02Kap Lung
1996-01-07Hatton Road
2009-03-18Mount Davis
2011-02-04Sam A Tsuen
2012-11-24Po Toi

Those for which captive origin is considered probable are:

1981-11-26BMH, Kowloon
1990-10-03HK Observatory

As part of the same review process, the following records of Chinese Blue Flycatcher are considered acceptable and probably of natural origin:

1993-01-16Ho Chung
1995-01-29Ng Tung Chai
2006-04-01Tung Ping Chau

Those considered to be probably be of ex-captive origin are:

2009-05-01Tai Po Kau
2010-08-21Tai Po Kau male
2010-08-21Tai Po Kau female
2012-08-18Tai Po Kau

2. All previous records of Mandarin were reviewed. Records that occurred at the time breeding birds were present in the former Waterfowl Collection at Mai Po Nature Reserve, in addition to the two records from Kam Tin in 2007-08, are treated as referring to ex-captive individuals. The remainder are accepted as of natural origin, although the possibility that one or more were ex-captive remains.

3. As a result of IOC decision, Zappey's Flycatcher Cyanoptila cumatilis is added to Category 1 of the HK List; currently, there is only one record, a male on Po Toi on 19th October 2008. It should be noted that how to identify females with certainty is unknown.

A revised HK List will be posted shortly on the website.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman ... 0248&highlight=


Recent RC decisions

At the meeting of the Records Committee on 17th March 2013, the following decisions affecting the HK List were made.

Purple Swamphen
The recent record of Purple Swamphen at MPNRon 31st March 2013 was the first Hong Kong record since 1999. The RC reviewed the category of this record with particular reference to the Chinese Journal of Zoology paper on the Distribution of Purple Swamphen in China (He et al. 2013). This paper showed breeding for Purple Swamphen at several sites in Guangdong and Fujian, a substantial change since 1999. The Committee agreed unanimously that, given this expansion and the absence of any indication of ex-captivity, the latest record should be accepted as Category I.

Allprevious records of Purple Swamphen in Hong Kong were then reviewed. These comprised two sets of records, between 1988 and 1991 and 1993 and 1999, all at MPNR. The second set followed the known escape of two birds from a waterfowl collection at Fairview Park in December 1992. The Committee agreed that all records following this escape in the period 1993 to 1999 should be retained as Category III, but that the earlier records from 1988 to 1991 could now be accepted as Category I.

Whistling Green Pigeon 27 November 2012 Po Toi
After prolonged discussion since this record was first submitted and close examination of photographs of both this species and Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon from various parts of their range, this record was accepted as the first occurrence of Whistling Green Pigeon in Hong Kong. The species was added to Category I given the weather conditions at the time and the lack of any indication of its being ex-captive.

Alexandrine Parakeet
The RC agreed to move this species to Category IIB in view of the fact that it appears to be at least as the same level of establishment as Rose-ringed Parakeet. Very helpful in this assessment were data and photographs provided by the Crested Bulbul Club from their weekly Guided Tours at Kowloon Park. These showed a 78% non-zero count, with a high of 20 and a median count of 4 over the years 2004 to 2013, as well as occasional reports of breeding.

With the addition of these three species, the HK List now stands at 525.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 1/04/2014 09:07 ]


At the RC meeting on 9th June 2014, the following species was added to Category I of the HK List:

Rosy Minivet Pericrocotus roseus
One at Po Toi on 27 April 2014.

This increases the HK List to 526 species. A new list will be posted in due course; however, with the issue of the IOC World List V4.2, a number of changes to the species order are required first.

The following changes to species for which substantiation in the form of notes or photographs is essential for all records were agreed:

Species now requiring substantiation – Dalmatian Pelican,Mandarin Duck, Eurasian Black Vulture, Brown Crake, Crested Kingfisher,Oriental Skylark, Chinese Babax, Japanese Grosbeak, Chestnut Munia, BayaWeaver, Eurasian Jay
Species no longer requiring substantiation – Malayan NightHeron, Yellow-legged Buttonquail, Black-legged Kittiwake, Fairy Pitta.

As ever, records of any species in unusual circumstances (whether number, date or locality) may cause the RC to request details. If you make such a record, please be prepared to provide such substantiation.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman


RC Meeting 28 Oct 2014

The following decisions were made at the most recent meeting of the Records Committee on 28 October 2014.

Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler
PJL presented DNA analysis of three HK records, 2012-09-11 and 2012-10-04 at MPNR and 2010-10-26 at Kam Tin. This suggested the 2012 records were Middendorff’s but the 2010 record was closer to Styan’s, although the photographic evidence suggested Middendorff’s. It was agreed to wait for further DNA analysis on five previous Styan’s records before taking a decision on the 2010 record. It was also decided that the previous record of Middendorff’s, 2009-10-29, which lacked DNA evidence, could not now be accepted, and that the first accepted HK Record of Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler dated 1993-02-26 would need to be reviewed.

Dark-sided Flycatcher 2013-12-29 Pui O
Review of skins at the British Museum (BM) by PJL confirmed that this record was acceptable as rothschildi/fuliginosa/gulmergi. The RC would like to see any photographs that may also relate to this taxon, which can be identified by its being extensively dark on the underparts.

Rufous-bellied Niltava female 2013-01-07 Tai Po Kau
Skin examination at BM by PJL confirmed that this record was acceptable as a first-winter female Rufous-bellied Niltava of the ssp whistleri from the northwest Himalayas. Given this and the signs of primary damage in the photographs, it was agreed to retain Rufous-bellied Niltava in Cat III.

Minivet sp. 2010-10-10 Po Toi
Review of skins at BM by PJL confirmed that this record was acceptable as a female stanfordi Minivet, a hybrid between Rosy and Swinhoe’s Minivet, and it was agreed to accept the record as such.

Rosy Minivet 2014-04-27 Po Toi
PJL’s skin review of skins at BM suggested that this record, accepted as HK’s first at the previous RC Meeting, may also be a stanfordi Minivet. Further circulation will be carried out.

Hepatic Cuckoo sp 2013-04-07 to 2013-05-04 and 2013-07-04 Po Toi
Examination of photographs show that these records referred to the same bird. Skin review at BM by PJL confirmed that this record was acceptable as hepatic female Oriental or Himalayan Cuckoo C. optatus or saturatus, but could not be identified to species.

Kentish Plover dealbatus 2013-10-26 Tai Long Wan
It was agreed to accept this as the first HK record of Kentish Plover ssp dealbatus.

Geoff Carey


RC Meeting 12 January 2015

At its most recent meeting, the RC made the following decisions.

Crow-billed Drongo 7 Sept 2014 on Po Toi
Added to Cat. I of the HK List

Brown Noddy 17 May 2006 off Po Toi
After recirculation of the original submission in the light of further information, added to Cat. I of the HK List.

White-tailed Robin
This species has been moved from Cat. III to Cat. I based on the 14 February 2014 record on Cheung Chau. A review of all previous records will be carried out to determine whether others can be regarded as of natural origin not that a pattern of records has established.

Russet Sparrow
The most recent review of the status of this species, it is clear in retrospect, took place around the time that the pattern of records underwent a distinct change. Prior to 2011, Russet Sparrow occurred at widespread sites in a variety of months, and included birds that appeared to be ex-captive. In view of this, the decision was taken to place it in Cat. III; while this was conservative, it was in line with RC policy on such species/records. Beginning in late autumn 2011, however, this species has appeared regularly, sometimes in flocks, mainly at Long Valley. A clear pattern of natural occurrence appears to have established itself, and in view of this, the species has now been placed back in Cat. I. Records prior to 2011 continue to be regarded as referring, on the basis of the evidence relevant to the period, as possibly referring to ex-captive individuals.

House Sparrow
A review of its current placement in Cat. III will be carried out.

Mynas in Cat. III
Itwas agreed that the correct scientific name for Pale-bellied Myna species number 768, currently Acridotheres cinereus, should be Acridotheresgrandis and the English name would also be changed to Great Myna. It wasalso agreed to add Javan Myna Acridotheresjavanicus to Cat III based on the record dated 2013-02-26.

The number of species in Categories I and II of the HK List now stands at 530.

Geoff Carey
HKBWS Chairman

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 24/04/2015 11:14 ]


RC Meeting 20 April 2015

At its most recent meeting, the RC made the following decisions.

Pine Bunting was transferred to Category I of the HK List based on two records, at Tai Mo Shan on 25 December 2005 and Long Valley on 12 November 2014.

Indochinese Green Magpie was added to Cat III of the HK List based on a record at Brides Pool on 26 February 2014.

Snowy-browed Flycatcher
was added to Cat III of the HK List based on records at Mount Davis on 17 November 2014 and Lau Shui Heung on 28 November 2014.

The HK List now stands at 531 species.

Records currently under consideration that might increase this total include those of Chinese Barbet, Asian Short-toed Lark, Ijima's Leaf Warbler.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 27/04/2015 08:25 ]


RC Meeting 30 Nov 2015

At its most recent meeting, the RC agreed the following.

Additions to Cat. I
Asian Short-toed Lark (24 Nov 2014 at Lok Ma Chau)
Brown-eared Bulbul (9 Mar 2015 at Chai Wan)
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (7 May 2015 at Tai Po Kau)

The HK List now stands at 538 species in Categories I & II.

A review of category for White-capped Redstart resulted in a vote split between Cat. I and Cat. III. In accordance with previous practice, the status quo was retained, and the species remains in Cat. III.

A harrier seen at Long Valley on 5 Apr 2014 remains unidentified, though further attempts will be made to obtain opinions from experts.

Rosy Minivet: the decision was made not to publish an account of the first record of this species, pending examination of skins due to the possibility it was a hybrid. It is hoped such an examination can be carried out in summer 2016. In the meantime, however, it remains on the HK List.

The following changes to the List are required as a result ofIOC changes in V5.4:

Asian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphoneparadisi becomes Amur ParadiseFlycatcher T. incei
Short-tailed and Wedge-tailed Shearwater changed from Puffinusto Ardenna.

Finally, Mike Leven announced his resignation from the Committee, and members unanimously recorded their appreciation for his contributions over the past 23 years.

Geoff Carey, Chairman.


At the most recent meeting of the RC, it was unanimously agreed to add eight new species to Category I of the HK List based on the following records:

Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus 22 Sept 2015 (moved from Cat III). A record of 13 Jan 2014 was also moved to Cat. I.
European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria 25 Oct 2015
Emei Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus emeiensis 22 Nov 2015
Franklin's Gull Leucophaeus pipixican 26 Nov 2015
Booted Warbler Iduna caligata 27 Nov 2015
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides viridanus 18 Dec 2015
American Wigeon Anas americana 17 Jan 2016
Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon Treron sphenurus 6 Mar 2016

The HK List now stands at 546 species in Categories I and II.

It was agreed to remove the following species from the list of those requiring assessment by the Records Committee:

Chinese Barbet at Tai Po Kau
Yellow-legged Buttonquail
Russet Sparrow
Fork-tailed Drongo Cuckoo (spring birds in song)
Lesser Cuckoo (spring birds in song)
White-throated Rock Thrush.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 2/05/2016 17:33 ]


At the most recent meeting of the Records Committee on 5th September, it was agreed to add Olive-backed Sunbird 黃腹花蜜鳥 Cinnyris jugularis rhizophorae to Category I of the HK List based on a record of one on 16 April 2016.

In addition, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird 紫頰直嘴太陽鳥 Chalcopariasingalensis (18 November 2015) and Zebra Dove 斑姬地鳩 Geopelia striata (22 November 2015) were added to Cat. III of the HK List.

The record of Grey-backed Shrike on 22 April 2004 was moved to Cat. I, and thus becomes the earliest record of that species in HK.

It was also agreed, following IOC, to change the name of the swamphen taxon occurring in HK to Black-backed Swamphen
黑背紫水雞  Porphyrio indicus viridis. It should be noted, however, that the taxonomic status of viridis is unclear, and further work may place it within poliocephalus or raise it to species status.

The HK List now stands at 547 species in Category I and Category II.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 27/09/2016 09:04 ]


At the recent meeting of the Records Committee on 26 January 2017, Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica was added to Category I of the HK List based on a photographed bird at Tai Sang Wai on 3 October 2016. The HK List now stands at 548 species in Categories I and II.

Geoff Carey
RC Chairman


At the most recent meeting of the Records Committee on 17 May 2017, Small Pratincole Glareola lactea was added to Category I of the HK List based on the record of a bird photographed at San Tin on 4 April 2017. The HK List now stands at 549 species in Categories I and II.

Records of Maroon Oriole and Desert Wheatear have been accepted with regard to identity, but further investigations are underway in respect of category.

Following the split of Mongolian Short-toed Lark Calandrella dukhunensis from Greater Short-toed Lark C. brachydactyla, photos of previous records were send to Dr Per Alstrom for review. He has confirmed that all relate to Mongolian Short-toed Lark.

Geoff Carey
Chairman, Records Committee

[ Last edited by cgeoff at 23/06/2017 10:44 ]


RC Meeting 5th September 2017

At its most recent meeting on 5th September 2017, the RC made the following decisions.

Black-throated  Laughingthrush – It was previously agreed that records in Hong Kong match the Hainan endemic sub-species monachus. However, based on the relatively sudden appearance of records at a number of different locations, indicating likely escape origin, the taxon was added to the Category III of the HK List.

Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush – The RC meeting agreed that records in Hong Kong match the taxon melli.  Review of previous records revealed no evidence of breeding, and Category III status remains unchanged.

The HK List now stands at 549 species in Categories I and II.
Geoff Carey, RC Chairman