My UK Year List - 2014

  • 117-118) GREAT WHITE EGRET and LONG-TAILED DUCKS at Mary's Lake, Earls Barton GP, 9 January
  • 116) Barnacle Goose, Emberton Park, 9 January
  • 114-115) SMEW and Cetti's Warbler at Great Hardmead Lake, Amwell, 7 January
  • 113) Reed Bunting, Tyttenhanger, 7 January
  • 112) Tree Sparrow (32 birds), Tyttenhanger, 7 January
  • 111) Sparrowhawk, West Hyde, 7 January
  • 110) Mandarin Duck, Burnham Beeches NNR, 7 January
  • 100-109) Curlew, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Common Shelduck, Kittiwake and Mediterranean Gull at Church Norton, 6 January
  • 99) RUDDY SHELDUCK, Sidlesham Ferry, 6 January
  • 96-98) Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone and Rock Pipit in Shoreham Harbour
  • 95) Red-breasted Merganser, Widewater, 6 January
  • 94) GREY PHALAROPE, Hove Lagoon, 6 January
  • 93) Grey Partridge, Broom, 5 January
  • 92) Goosander, Woburn Lakes, 5 January
  • 91) Skylark, Totternhoe, 5 January
  • 90) Yellowhammer, Totternhoe, 5 January
  • 89) Corn Bunting, Totternhoe, 5 January
  • 88) Water Pipit, Wilstone, 5 January
  • 87) SABINE'S GULL, Weston Turville, 5 January
  • 86) Common Scoter, Brogborough, 4 January
  • 85) GREAT NORTHERN DIVER, Stewartby Lake, 4 January
  • 84) Red-legged Partridge, Hatch, 4 January
  • 83) Common Kestrel, Langford, 4 January
  • 82) GLOSSY IBIS, Frensham, 4 January
  • 81) Goldcrest, Frensham, 4 January
  • 80) Green Sandpiper, Lynsters, 3 January
  • 79) Stock Dove, Lynster's, 3 January
  • 78) Egyptian Goose, Lynsters Farm, 3 January
  • 77) Common Chiffchaff, Stockers Lake
  • 76) SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF, Stockers Lake
  • 75) Siskin, Stockers Lake
  • 74) Dunnock, Stockers Lake
  • 73) Ring-necked Parakeet, Stockers Lake
  • 72) Lesser Redpoll, Stockers Lake
  • 71) Coal Tit, Chaffinch House
  • 40-70: Nuthatch, Greylag Goose, Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Common Redshank, Common Snipe, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, LITTLE STINT, Black-tailed Godwit, Grey Wagtail, Goldeneye, Meadow Pipit, Greenfinch, Marsh Tit, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Jay, Red-crested Pochard, Wren, Collared Dove (all at Tring Reservoirs), Brambling (Ivinghoe), Herring & Great Black-backed Gull, CATTLE EGRET (Briarhill Farm, Calvert) & Green Woodpecker
  • 1-39 all local, Chess River Valley & Shardeloes Estate: 1 January 2014: Chaffinch, Common Starling, Woodpigeon, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Common Magpie, Mute Swan, Mallard, Moorhen, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Common Buzzard, Canada Goose, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Tufted Duck, Pochard, House Sparrow, Common Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Pheasant, Gadwall, Kingfisher, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Little Grebe, Common Gull, Red Kite, Redwing, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Mistle Thrush, WOODCOCK, Treecreeper, Greenfinch and Water Rail

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Year Listing in the UK

Lee Evans has been Year-listing in the UK since 1977 and has achieved annual totals of over 300 species ever since. Although he has recorded in excess of 360 species on some nine occasions, his record stands at 386 species - achieved in 1996. Adrian Webb in Year 2000 recorded at least 378 species, making him by far the highest-listing individual to compare with Lee. In terms of Life Listing, Lee has recorded 577 species in Britain and Ireland and 853 species in the wider Western Palearctic region.

Monday, 25 January 2010


First-winter female Black-throated Thrush, Mires Road, Newholm Village, Whitby, North Yorkshire, January 2010 (Craig Shaw)


For the first time this year, a day of ‘target birding’ – with a visit to North Yorkshire, primarily to see the long-staying first-winter female Black-throated Thrush. Alan Stewart was driving, and Joan Thompson was joining us. We departed at 0400 hours from Chorleywood, and after visiting a host of coastal sites, it was a very productive day with the addition of 15 species to my 2010 Year List.


At 0400 hours, a Robin was in full song in the artificial street lights.


Newholm was 267 miles from Chorleywood and after departing at 0400 hours, we eventually arrived in the village just west of Whitby at 0835. My first ever Yorkshire BLACK-THROATED THRUSH was seen within 15 minutes of arrival in the village, flying in to the tree in the front garden of No.3 Mires Road (Danesfield). It afforded extremely good views at just 20 yards range and sat there for 7 minutes before being chased off by a House Sparrow.

Twenty minutes later, it reappeared in the same tree and after a few minutes, dropped down on to the lawn and started feeding on the apples and dried mealworms placed out for it by the householders. The neighbouring garden of no. 5 (Glen View) was also stocked full of food and over the next two hours, the bird repeatedly returned to take full advantage, and treated the crowd (made up of around 25 persons, including Justin Lansdell from Norfolk) to some exceptional views.

The pointed shape of the tail feathers indicated that this bird was a first-winter female, the bird in general being very pale grey on the upperparts, with very black lores, white underparts and a heavily streaked breast and flanks. The bill was dull yellow towards the base.

On two occasions, it uttered a rather Fieldfare-like ‘chuckle’ as it flew.

It was a rather bold individual, brazenly taking up territory in the gardens despite the presence of up to 4 Common Blackbirds including an adult male, and frequently perched on the fence and sat for several minutes at a time in the shrubs. In this manner, it was very photogenic, and every time it appeared, the sound of clattering shutters could be heard.

Previous Yorkshire records:

1) A first-winter in Sheffield Botanical Gardens on 9, 19 and 20 January 1987;
2) A first-winter at Knaresborough from 1-8 January 1989;
3) A male at Kellington from 28 January to 4 February 1990;
4) A first-winter at Redmires Reservoir, Sheffield, on 13 November 1995;
5) A first-winter female remained in Buckton from 25-27 March 2007 (fully documented by Mark Thomas & Dave Wardby in Yorkshire Birding 16: 25-27.

Gracing the gardens of Mires Road with the star performer above were a MARSH TIT, a Coal Tit, several Blue Tits, 4 Common Blackbirds, 3 Dunnocks and 20 House Sparrows.

A badly oiled Little Auk was lying at the roadside of Mires Road, apparently picked up initially on Monday.


(1050 hours) The bay at Scalby Mills yielded 6 year-ticks – Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Fulmar, Common Guillemot, European Shag and Turnstone.

At least 5 RED-THROATED DIVERS were close inshore, with 7 adult Northern Gannets streaming south, 6 Northern Fulmars (and a further 10+ pairs on the cliffs along the Promenade), a mass of wildfowl on the sea including 500+ Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal and 2 drake Northern Pintail, a Common Guillemot, 15+ Atlantic Great Cormorants, a single European Shag, 49 Lapwing and 4 Turnstones. A Harbour Porpoise swan north.


Another 7 year-ticks afforded by this prestige coastal site – Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Purple Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Red Knot and Razorbill.

15 Oystercatchers and a group of 5 Common Redshank were feeding in the pools in the clifftop car park. Viewing from the eastern tip of the Brigg footpath, a calm sea yielded 1 Great Crested Grebe, 15 RED-THROATED DIVERS, 30 European Shags, 15 Northern Gannets, Northern Fulmars, 2 drake Eurasian Wigeon, 2 female Red-breasted Mergansers, a female Common Goldeneye, 45 Northern Eiders, 7 LONG-TAILED DUCKS (including a fine drake), 90 Common Scoters and 2 female-type VELVET SCOTERS. There were also 60+ Common Guillemots and at least 2 Razorbills.

The Brigg itself and its rocky pools produced 5 Seals, 15 Oystercatchers, 70 Red Knot, up to 24 PURPLE SANDPIPERS, 1 Grey Plover, 60 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plovers and several Turnstones.

The clifftop grass held 5 Rock Pipits and 7 Meadow Pipits.


We trudged around the clifftop stubble fields for over an hour but there was just no sign of the large flock of 170 Corn, 22 Lapland and 30 Snow Bunting that Mark Thomas and others had seen in early January before the snow. We could only muster up 7 CORN BUNTINGS, 7 Yellowhammers, 25 Skylark, 15 Rock Pipits and 40 Linnets, although a WOODCOCK was a pleasant surprise, 10 GREY PARTRIDGE were welcome and a PEREGRINE skimmed by. A single Brown Hare was also seen.

Offshore, well over 100 Northern Gannets were loafing, as well as large numbers of Fulmars, with 150 or more Common Gulls in the fields.


Just west of Old Fall Hedgerow and in the second field down, a single TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE was showing well with 37 Greylag Geese. Just under half a mile further west, and south of the Head road, a further TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE was seen with 28 Greylag Geese and a superb flock of 22 PALE-BELLIED BRENT GEESE present for their third week and representing my 15th new bird of the day.

At the Head itself, offshore were 15 Common Scoter, a single drake Common Eider, 200+ Common Guillemots and large numbers of Northern Gannets.


On the way home, we stopped off at the ‘Magic Roundabout’ in Hemel town centre, where at 2000 hours, the adult female PEREGRINE was to be easily located, roosting on its usual pillar.

An extremely enjoyable day, forwarding my year-list for 2010 to 150 species.

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