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.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Heavy rain overnight and this morning clears away the majority of the lying snow

WATER RAILS proved to be the bird of the day - the excellent portrait above being taken by Glyn Sellors.


A band of heavy rain, associated with a cold front moving up on strong southerly winds, moved across the region overnight clearing the majority of the snow that had been lying since early January. The rain continued all morning before clearing away to the north and east. This gave way to rather misty conditions, with the temperature stabilising at 7 degrees C. An early indication of bird movement came in the form of 2 Common Shelduck at Tyttenhanger. As soon as the rain ceased, I made my way into the field, and birded until dusk.


A female Roe Deer had attempted to jump the fence along the access track to Down Farm and had got caught - and had broken the lower part of its front leg on the wire and was hanging by its leg wound upside down over the fence. It had clearly been there some time (perhaps overnight) and was crying out in pain. I un-snagged it from the fence and eventually managed to get it on to its feet but it was either too traumatised to walk or was so badly injured that it could not walk. It eventually sat down next to the fence, where I left two concerned walkers with it, who were going to wait for an animal veterinary surgeon to arrive.

Despite the thaw, the farmland around Down Farm, where before Christmas had held good numbers of birds, was virtually devoid of all life forms - the only species being sighted being 1 Linnet and 1 male Common Blackbird.


The main marsh was still mostly completely frozen, with just 62 Mallard in the NE corner. The main lake was completely ice-free though and held a reasonable number of birds, including an impressive number of Coots - 1 Little Grebe, 3 Great Crested Grebes (most for some period of time), just 4 adult Mute Swans, a further 38 Mallard, 10 Eurasian Wigeon, 12 Gadwall, 12 Tufted Duck, 15 Northern Pochard and the escaped female Red-crested Pochard. Coots numbered a very impressive 239.

(1300-1437 hours)

My first real opportunity to survey the birds of the reservoirs since the heavy snow fell some 10 days or so ago and disappointingly few surprises or real evidence of hard weather movement. Ian Williams had heard a COMMON REDSHANK fly over but other than that, the most interesting birds were NORTHERN PINTAIL and COMMON GOLDENEYE.

TRINGFORD RESERVOIR: totally unfrozen, wildfowl present including 2 Mute Swans, 14 Mallard, 2 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler, 38 Tufted Duck, 39 Northern Pochard and just 26 Coots.

STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR: still much ice covering a great proportion of this shallower basin but many more wildfowl present including 1 Grey Heron, 9 Mute Swans, 94 Mallard, 3 Eurasian Wigeon, 55 Common Teal, 37 Tufted Duck, 25 Northern Pochard, 48 Coot and 7 Moorhens.

MARSWORTH RESERVOIR: completely frozen still and totally bird-less.

WILSTONE RESERVOIR (much ice covering still, with the SW quadrant completely clear and an area surrounding the central Drayton Bank)

Great Crested Grebe (just 5 present)
Little Grebe (1 survivor)
Mute Swan (just 1 adult)
Mallard (68, but no Gadwall or Shoveler)
Eurasian Wigeon (461)
Common Teal (324)
Tufted Duck (60)
Northern Pochard (18)
Coot (489)
Common Gull (19 on ice)
Black-headed Gull (115 on ice)
Pied Wagtail (1 male)

FIELDFARE (20 in field NW of B 489, 350 yards NW of the reservoir)
REDWING (10 with the above)
Common Starling (3 with the above)

(1500-1700 hours)

Still largely frozen with little open water, although 3 Mute Swans (pair and first-winter) and 4 Mallard were by the dam. A two-hour vigil, part in accompaniment of Ian Williams, for the two wintering Bitterns proved fruitless, although at least 4 LITTLE EGRETS roosted (3 arrived at 1614 and another at 1630) and just 4 REED BUNTINGS.

There was an impressive Woodpigeon roost of at least 247 birds, with 3 adult Grey Herons on the ice (each very territorial of their own feeding areas), both Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, 1 Wren and Jay noted.

Highlight was the presence of at least 5 WATER RAILS, 3 of which were running about and feeding on the ice in front of the Susan Cowdy Hide. They became ever more active as dusk approached.

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