Records of birds requiring a full written description at either National or County level should be submitted as soon after the sighting as possible. Rarity submission forms can be downloaded as directed below or requested via email. Once completed these should then be sent to the County Recorder. The responsibility of submitting a description typically lies with the original finder. All records received will be acknowledged and the decision advised.


The list of species considered nationally are available at the BBRC website and those that have occurred in Dorset are also noted on the Dorset List. Please submit your record via the County Recorder – this enables further detail to be added to help with the assessment process. Accepted records are published annually in the journal British Birds in the ‘Report on rare birds in Great Britain’ and also in the Dorset Bird Report.


The list of species considered in Dorset can be found here Description Species. Local rarities are usually species that are recorded on just a few occasions annually, or are species that can easily be confused with a more common relative.



For full written descriptions:

DBC rarity description form - please describe as much detailed information as possible on how the identification was made, including plumage characters and comparison with similar species, as well as brief circumstances of the find.

For rarities that have been photographed:

DBC photograph rarity form - please use this additional form for submitting rarities that are well-documented with photographs, sending the originals files where possible, and separately from the form in jpeg format.

For rarities that have been sound recorded:

DBC sound recording rarity form - please use this additional form for submitting sound recordings of rarities made during e.g. nocturnal migration, or of a species that was only identified by sound and a recording was made. Please provide a copy of the original recording (preferably in .wav format), ideally including several examples of audible calls. The whole sequence of calls should be supplied (not isolated calls) and should include some time before and after the calls in question to provide context. Please also provide a sonogram and describe how the call was identified.


BirdTrack & eBird rarity description form:

The rarity form that is prompted when submitting some records on the above systems can also be used. The County Recorder may contact you for further information.

Note that if you 'twitched' the bird (i.e. someone else found it and you went to look at it), it is not usually necessary to complete a description. Likewise, if you are adding historical records of rare species that were submitted to, and accepted by, the relevant rarities committee at the time, there's no need to write a description. Please contact the County Recorder if you are unsure if the record requires a description or not.


The DRP reserves the right to request further information in order to assess records, if necessary. This may include records of species not usually requiring a full written description if they are, for example, reported from an unusual location.

Records of rare and scarce birds in Dorset will only be entered onto the official Dorset List and the archived totals after acceptance by either BBRC or DRP.

Contact County Recorder:

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