URF Records for 2014 HK Bird Report

URF Records for 2014 HK Bird Report

The Records Committee has completed assessment of 132 URFs for the 2014 HK Bird Report. As a result, we expect to publish the 2014 Report in the first half of 2016. The results of the URF assessments are included in this Excel File

The File gives current HK List numbers, species name, date of record, location, name on URF and decision on URF. Decision on URF may be

Accept – accepted as a Category I or II record, sometimes with a comment. All these records will appear in the 2014 HK Bird Report
Accept Cat III – identity accepted, but as a Category III record, possible ex-captive. Accepted Category III records will also appear in the 2014 HK Bird Report, mainly in the Category III section
Not Proven – not accepted. ‘Not Proven’ does not mean the record is incorrect, it only means that the evidence provided does not prove the record beyond reasonable doubt.

The name on the URF is not necessarily the finder’s name. Also some members may be surprised to find their name on a record. This is because the record has been taken off the website using photographs and other details submitted there. Also some of the names are those used on the website, where the individual’s actual name is not known.

If you have any requests or comments on your records, wish to add anything or correct mistakes, tell me your real name or anything else, please contact me on my email address

geoffwelch46 at

Geoff Welch
Secretary, Records Committee


2014 - a record year

I should add that 2014 was a record year, with 413 individual species being recorded.

Although numbers change due to changes in taxonomy, this is almost certainly only the second year that more than 400 species have been officially recorded in Hong Kong, the previous highest count being 403 in 2012.


I notice that the Po Toi Black-throated Tit from 2012 has been part of a category review and is accepted as Category I. This doesn't seem to have been noted in the thread of 'Recent RC decisions' (unless I missed it).

Is there more background to this decision? And what is the opinion of the RC about the status of records from the New Territories - are these still considered to refer to escapes and an established feral population, or are they now also considered to be wild birds?


The only record currently recorded as Cat I is the three birds on Po Toi in winter 2012-13. It was agreed that the Po Toi birds did not show signs of previous captivity and that they had very probably come from outside of Hong Kong.  

"Hong Kong birds including this Po Toi record clearly match the “concinnus-group” in appearance.

According to Cheng (1987), nominate concinnus occurs widely across southern China from Sichuan east to Jiangsu and south to coastal provinces including Guangdong. In Guangdong, it has been found in hill forest at 300-1700m in the southwest, west, north, northeast and east-central parts of the province, with records dating back to the 1880s. Sites with recent records include Luofu Shan, which is less than 100 km distant from Hong Kong."

The RC is currently reviewing previous records to see if they can also be assigned to Cat I but I guess that some at least will remain Cat IIA. According to HKBWS records, all Black-throated Tit records since The Avifauna (1999) have been at Tai Po Kau, Tai Mo Shan CP, Shing Mun CP, Kam Shan CP or Lion Rock CP, so it is possible the Po Toi record is the only one to achieve Cat I.

However, since we only record one category for each species and Category I is the highest, this will be the official category for the species although many individual records will still be Cat IIA.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 13/12/2015 19:29 ]