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.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

RED-CRESTED POCHARDS galore.........and a gull-fest

This dark juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL - photographed superbly by Tim Watts - and both Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls took my 2010 UK Year List at the end of Week 1 to 119 species.


Much lying snow still around, with many side roads still in an atrocious condition and quite challenging. The threat of heavy snow never materialised and in fact temperatures climbed to 2 degrees for much of the day, heralding a slight thaw. The easterly wind moderated during the day.

It was a tour of many local water bodies today, with the highlight being a total of 60 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS seen.


Really, just two patches of ice-free water, with one on Bury Lake and another on Stockers Lake out from the Kingfisher Hide. Bury Lake surprisingly held all of the 'goodies' including 3 beautiful SMEW (2 adult drakes and an adult female) and a flock of 14 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS (7 pairs).

Bury Lake also held 3 Great Crested Grebe, 36 Mute Swans (4 first-winters), 35 Gadwall, 46 Tufted Duck, 42 Northern Pochard and 6 Common Goldeneye.

Stockers Lake held 4 Great Crested Grebes, 17 Mute Swans, 8 Eurasian Wigeon, 132 Northern Shoveler, 190 Tufted Duck, 18 Pochard and a single RUDDY DUCK - the latter my first of the year (114). Coot numbers totalled 403.

A COMMON KINGFISHER was fishing in the river, with 15 House Sparrows in and around Stockers Farm, with the wooded areas supporting 2 Ring-necked Parakeets, Jay, Common Kestrel, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit.

A flock of about 30 SISKINS in the Alders at the beginning of the causeway eluded me.

(1130-1150 hours)

The original dark immature GREAT NORTHERN DIVER was still present, showing well on the increasing area of free ice, whilst a flock of 5 GOOSANDER (including 3 adult drakes) dropped in for less than ten minutes before departing.

There were also 8 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Little Grebe, 224 Tufted Duck, 76 Pochard, 2 female GREATER SCAUP and 31 Common Goldeneyes.


Stewartby Lake was ice free and fairly full of birds, particularly diving duck. Most impressive were the 156 Great Crested Grebes and the 10 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS, the latter in a flock in the SW corner bay. The juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVER was close in to the sailing club whilst also noted were 22 Little Grebe, 15 Mute Swans, 47 Mallard,48 Gadwall, 74 Wigeon, 29 Common Teal, 498 Tufted Duck, 356 Pochard and 6 Common Goldeneye.


Another large flock of RED-CRESTED POCHARDS, favouring the sheltered edge by the reeds on the eastern shore at TL 035 444. This flock contained 20 birds (13 drakes, 7 females), with the remaining complex also yielding 15 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Little Grebes, 74 Greylag Geese, 58 Wigeon, 9 Gadwall and 64 Common Teal, as well as Black-headed, Common, Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed Gulls.


A covey of 10 GREY PARTRIDGE were huddled together in a snow-covered field opposite Phoenix Park, east of the B658 at TL 163 470. A Common Buzzard was seen nearby at Shuttleworth.

(1305; Tim Robson et al)

The roving adult EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was consorting with 300+ Greylag Geese, a single Barnacle Goose (115) and the long-staying adult WHOOPER SWAN in snow-covered fields between the B658 and the Broom lakes at TL 167 437.


Incredibly, my first ever visit to this site, once within walking distance of a former home!

The drake MANDARIN DUCK was still present on the main pool just south of the A507 bypass (116), as well as the female NORTHERN PINTAIL, along with 77 Mallard, 4 Gadwall, a drake Common Teal and 11 Shoveler. A Mistle Thrush was also seen.

(The site can easily be seen from the main gate, accessed from just south of the Maulden roundabout)


A covey of 7 GREY PARTRIDGES was just east of the access road at TL 003 246. Remarkably, ten days in, I have still to see a single Red-legged Partridge.


No sign of yesterday's Wild Swans nor of the 3 Goosander seen earlier.


Vast numbers of Woodpigeons feeding in snow-covered fields south of the A418, including 3,000+ just SW of Linslade Bypass roundabout and then three separate flocks, each containing a minimum 300 birds between Wing and Rowsham.


Both PEREGRINES were roosting on the flat SW side of the building at 1439 hours, the female eating a Common Starling.

(1500-1600 hours; partly with Tim Watts)

On the main BBOWT Lake, highlight was undoubtedly the site record flock of 16 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS - 14 of which were feeding on the reed-fringed east bank and another pair in the extreme NE corner. There were also 3 Great Crested Grebes, pair of Mute Swans, 14 Gadwall, 22 Tufted Ducks and 9 Pochard.

Vast numbers of gulls were feeding over the landfill, as well as 8+ Red Kites.

Tim had seen the GLAUCOUS GULL roosting and preening on the ice just before I arrived into the hide (see his photographs above) and after realising it had flown off, I went to the Sailing Lake and scanned. Within a couple of minutes, I relocated it - a very dark juvenile and a typical brute of a bird - in amongst a pre-roost gathering of just 738 gulls. It represented my 117th species of the year.

I then settled down to scan the rest of the flock which contained the regular adult CASPIAN GULL, at least four adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS, 103 Great Black-backed Gulls, 297 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 140+ Herring Gulls (including both British and Scandinavian, several adults of the former now being completely white-headed) and just 12 Common Gulls.

The Sailing Lake also held a single RUDDY DUCK, 8 Eurasian Wigeon and 4 COMMON GOLDENEYES, whilst 30+ Fieldfares were feeding by the road.


As I drove back through Aylesbury on Weedon Road, a flock of 7,000 COMMON STARLINGS wheeled back and forth low over the houses and industrial estates. This was some spectacle, and the sound of the wing-rush as they swept over my head as I stood in Priory Crescent was absolutely awesome.

THE B 485

No sign tonight of the Barn Owl seen recently.

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