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, 15 February 2010

The first DUSKY WARBLER for London - and a very showy Bedfordshire border FIRECREST

Roy Woodward did brilliantly well obtaining these fabulous shots of the highly mobile DUSKY WARBLER - the first ever record for the London area

Today's dazzling FIRECREST captured on film by Luke Massey - superb!


Still continuing very cold with temperatures once again struggling to reach much more than 4 degrees C. Occasional heavy rain gave way to a dull, grey and overcast afternoon.

Following Andy Tweed and others finding of a Penduline Tit at Rainham Marsh RSPB, I set forth yet again for another attempt to add this elusive species to my 2010 British year-list. No sooner had I started driving east around the M25, I was informed that the bird had flown, disappearing high over the railway towards Dagenham. It had lasted all of 20 minutes !

I then diverted north into Bedfordshire, where I was delighted to connect with a very showy FIRECREST.......


Favouring the ivy-clad hedgerow bordering Thrales End Lane at East Hyde bridge (at TL 128 172, in Bedfordshire), the male FIRECREST was showing very well, flitting slowly through the branches 15-60 yards west of the bridge. Lol Carman and Luke Massey were also present, the latter photographer obtaining some excellent shots, despite the poor light conditions. The bird called occasionally, but only as a result of light pishing, and was quite orange at the leading edge and sides of the yellow crown-stripe.

A single JACK SNIPE was feeding by the sedgebed at the convergence of the streams, and my first Herts LITTLE OWL of the year was showing very well in its favoured tree behind the farm, close to its nesting hole. The hedgerow also held Song Thrush and Wren.

(1330-1646 hours)

Local patchworker Lol Boldini had impressively located a DUSKY WARBLER in scrub behind the houses and allotments NE of Lockwood Reservoir Sunday morning and after releasing news of his find to other locals, Roy Woodward relocated it late morning today. It represented the FIRST record for the London Recording Area.

On hearing of Roy's relocation, I made my way straight there, and after negotiating the A10 and North Circular, eventually arrived in Black Horse Road at 1330. I was greeted by a beaming Joan Thompson and Mick Frosdick, who along with 7 others, had just seen the bird flicking between scrubby patches at the west side of the Flood Relief Channel. It had disappeared north and had been lost from view.

Lawrence knew the area well and took me and Andrew Self around on to the Walthamstow Marsh proper, where we searched the area well but failed to locate it. It did look good though, with much scrubby understorey, and 8 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits and 3 Reed Buntings were noted. We all returned to the original site and in a study of the area, I felt that the only place it could be was in the small scrubby patches bordering the Flood Relief Channel slightly further north. Paul Whiteman arrived, and I informed him of my senses, and in no time at all, he had managed to scale the fences and was in - soon to be followed by eight others. No sooner had they climbed in than Andrew Self declared he had heard it - and seen it flicking its way into some more dense vegetation.

Being a first for London, I clambered after Jonathan Lethbridge, Lol and others, and eventually got to where they were standing. The DUSKY WARBLER was calling constantly - a hard clicking ''tuckk'' - but was near impossible to see, as it was hugging the ground on the opposite side of a concrete wall. Andrew Self had worked out a way of 'scoping it at distance and that was where all of us (13 observers in total) eventually enjoyed good views, as it slowly made its way along the edge of the Relief Channel towards us, often in the company of a single Wren.

I must have seen it on 20 occasions over a period of 50 minutes, with it often flitting higher into the vegetation and occasionally perching on the top of the concrete fence. It was a typically dingy warbler, with an olive tone to its brown upperparts, and a marked and quite broad buff-brown supercilium. It was often rather Chiffchaff-like but had characteristic orange-brown legs with brighter feet, light buff undertail-coverts and darker flanks and sides. It was constantly flicking its wings, particularly when calling, and was highly mobile at all times. Roy Woodward managed to get several images of the bird as it flew closer, three of which are published above. Both Franko Marievic and Adam Wilson arrived late and saw the bird. I am indebted to both Jonathan and Lol for their kind help.

Four GOOSANDERS were also seen.

DIRECTIONS: The bird is moving between the allotments and the relief channel to the NE of Lockwood Reservoir. If at the former location, follow the public footpath directly opposite Worcester Road north for 220 yards to view. If it is in the channel, you will need to park on Ferry Lane (the A503), purchase a day permit for £1 and walk north along the entire length of Lockwood Reservoir to view.

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