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, 1 February 2010

Bombed out on merlin again - and Hen Harrier


Another hard frost overnight and a light covering of snow. Cloud moved in during the day and forced temperatures up slightly, to 6 degrees C. Remained dry throughout.

The first day of February was spent entirely in Bedfordshire, mainly with the intention of adding Merlin to the Year List. After several hours of searching, failed once more in this quest. In fact, added just one new species to my Bedfordshire Year List - Marsh Tit.


No sign of the Great White Egret today but 5 LITTLE EGRETS (including 4 standing together in the early morning sun at Church Covert NR) and 3 Grey Herons (including two at Bois Mill Lake).

LUTON HOO LAKE (BEDFORDSHIRE) (Stire with no general access)

With a new month upon us, I carried out a full inventory of the wildfowl present with the following results -:

Great Crested Grebe (1), Grey Heron (2), Mute Swan (11 including 6 first-winters), WHOOPER SWAN (2 adults), Gadwall (4), Common Teal (an impressive 146 at the top end), Tufted Duck (36), Northern Pochard (82) and Coot (162). A single RED KITE was once again prospecting its usual nest tree.


Just the two 'resident' adult WHOOPER SWANS on the lake.


Spent some time traversing the public footpaths leading south from the B 655 between Barton-le-Clay and Hexton but failed to intercept Andy Plumb's ringtail Hen Harrier seen at 0735 hours. At one stage, the blue sky above the heavily vegetated 'bowl' at TL 092 302 was filled with 7 RED KITES, 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Common Kestrels. Just west of Weyting Hill is an excellent game crop strip, which was attracting the birds of prey and a very likely place for the harrier. I flushed a single covey of 8 Red-legged Partridges. I checked out a Northern Goshawk territory but despite perfect weather, there was no sign of either adult.

Nearby, I met up with Bill Last, and explored another downland site, where a pair of MARSH TIT were new to my Bedfordshire Year List and a further RED KITE was seen. Very disappointingly, just 1 LONG-EARED OWL was left in last week's roost.


Decided to check the other (southern) side of Barton Hills for the Hen Harrier but there was no sign of it. The 58-strong covey of Red-legged Partridges was still in the same place as in recent times, feeding in the crop at TL 107 285.


I widened my search for the harrier but to no avail. Two Common Kestrels and a relict population of 5 House Sparrows in Shillington village were all that was noteworthy.


Just east of the A 600, at least 860 Woodpigeon were feeding on a crop, with 66 Common Starlings at Holme Farm.

(1400-1700 hours)

Another long vigil at the Corn Bunting site in the hope of connecting with the female Merlin that many have seen, and Mike Lawrence has superbly photographed. Not a sniff I am afraid and the only excitement provided by Three Counties Radio and a film and commentary team.

The number of wintering CORN BUNTINGS since my last visit have seriously depleted, with the peak count in the Poplar trees being of just 587 birds, a reduction of 272. YELLOWHAMMERS on the other hand were well up, with 115 peaking. The Eurasian Skylark flock too has increased and now up to 270. Other species included 25 Stock Doves, a single 'gang' of 52 Carrion Crows, 96 Common Starlings and 4 Lapwings over.

Near Radwell Lake, a Sparrowhawk zipped over the A1 at dusk

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