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, 29 March 2010

EING OUZEL tops the bill in a day of incoming migrants


During the morning, the wind was mainly SW with temperatures reaching 11 degrees C, but as the day progressed, it swung round to the NW pegging temperatures back down to 8 degrees. It also brought with it some hefty rain showers.

Today was my first real opportunity to catch up with some local birding and with this in mind I targeted the many migrants now flooding in to the country and immediate Three Counties area. Most peculiar was the complete lack of hirundines today. The highlight was a superb adult male RING OUZEL and a very dapper WATER PIPIT.

(0730-0900 hours)

There was no sign this morning of the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers but I did see 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a single Green Woodpecker. There was much drumming activity going on.

Common Treecreepers and Nuthatches were both vocalising again, whilst 2 male Coal Tits were in song, a male Song Thrush and 5 different male Chaffinches.

Once again, I failed to locate the Northern Goshawks nearby.

(0918-1015 hours)

I carried out a full inventory of the site and walked the entire circuit of the lake. Three species were new to my Bucks Year List - LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, Common Chiffchaff and WILLOW WARBLER. A total of 44 species was noted.

Great Crested Grebe (10 present, mostly all paired up)
Continental Cormorant (25 active nests on the island, many in one tree)
Grey Heron (14 nests on the main island and another 5 on the small island just 45 yards out from the west bank)
Mute Swan (3)
Greylag Goose (15)
Atlantic Canada Goose (22)
COMMON SHELDUCK (2 pairs roosting on the spit)
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (12 present and much display and territorial behaviour being acted out)
Mallard (17)
Gadwall (12)
Northern Shoveler (17)
Eurasian Wigeon (32 lingering)
Common Teal (8)
Tufted Duck (14)
Red Kite (3 overhead)
Moorhen (12)
Coot (27)
Lapwing (14 on the spit)
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (my first of the year showing well on the nearside of the spit - 224)
Black-headed Gull (48)
Common Gull (78 including two second-winters showing characteristics similar to those shown by a popular bird in Leicestershire)
Argenteus Herring Gull (24 including 1 summer adult, 3 second-years and 20 juveniles)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (3 adults)

Woodpigeon (16, already nesting)
Ring-necked Parakeet (2 in Poplars)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1 in garden)
Pied Wagtail (pair on spit)
Wren (8 territories)
Dunnock (3)
European Robin (several already pair-bonded with 12 noted in total)
REDWING (single migrant in bushes at east end)
Common Blackbird (5)
COMMON CHIFFCHAFF (2 singing males in NW corner and two migrants in Railway Hedgerow)
WILLOW WARBLER (my first of the year - a singing male in the SE corner - 225)
Great Tit (3)
Blue Tit (7)
Long-tailed Tit (5)
Common Treecreeper (singing male in wood on north bank)
Common Magpie (pair building nest)
Jackdaw, Carrion Crow and Rook (all noted flying overhead)
Chaffinch (6 singing males)
Goldfinch (5)


(early afternoon) A cracking adult male RING OUZEL, found shortly after dawn by Lol Carman, was still present, commuting between the grassy slope and scrub just west of the main pit and 45 yards from the gate. This is a fairly early date for a local bird and much earlier than average. My 226th species of the year. Frustratingly, I departed the site not knowing about the trio of Northern Wheatears present on the Paddock Slope - a species I have still to see in Beds this year.


Following in Tony P, Lol and Bob's footsteps, I arrived at Octagon Farm at around 1330 hours. Recent rains had flooded much of the gravel car parking area and had created two fantastic scrapes 75 yards east of the main raised bank, attracting an excellent selection of birds. The star bird, and at my 5th attempt this year, was the long-staying and overwintering WATER PIPIT, now in its full summer finery, with grey head and nape, contrasting white supercilium and pinkish-buff upper breast. It was showing very well consorting with the alba wagtail flock and on one occasion, flew to the pool and bathed.

The Alba Wagtail flock numbered 31 birds, amongst them being a dapper male WHITE WAGTAIL - my first of the year (227) - as well as 4 Meadow Pipits and 2 adult male Reed Buntings. Despite the heavy rain shower, a charm of 6 Goldfinches flew in also to drink and bathe !

Waders present included 4 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS and 6 RINGED PLOVERS (my first Beds birds of the year) and two Common Redshanks.

An adult male PEREGRINE was nearby


Just after 1520 hours, a heavy rain shower pushed away to the east, allowing me to 'scope from the Watchpoint. Both long-staying juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS were still present and showing well (pushed up to the west end by windsurfers) as well as 8 lingering Common Goldeneye (including a first-year drake and an adult drake). My first Beds COMMON CHIFFCHAFF of the year was singing from the scrub.


Thanks to Simon Nichols and Paul Moon, I was able to add this year's first Buckinghamshire DUNLIN to my Year List - a winter-plumaged bird feeding with two Common Snipe on the first sections of the bund now starting to emerge as the water level drops significantly. Other migrants included a flock of 136 FIELDFARES.

On the breeding front, 13 active Grey Heron nests were now being utilised.................


Surprisingly devoid of any hirundines or migrants. Most impressive were the TUFTED DUCK numbers - 257 in all - the highest number this year. There were also 9 remaining Eurasian Wigeon, 18 Gadwall, 8 Common Teal, 16 Northern Shoveler and 29 Northern Pochard. Just 6 Great Crested Grebes were apparent, whilst 61 Greylag Geese were on the field east of the reservoir.

In the far distance over Northfield Road and Bulbourne were a flock of 107 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVERS.


The adult drake RED-CRESTED POCHARD was busily dredging up weed from the bottom of the reservoir whilst other wildfowl present included a pair of Mute Swans (with 3 more on the adjacent canal), 2 Great Crested Grebes, 20 Tufted Duck and a drake Pochard.

No migrants were present but 2 Grey Wagtails and 43 Pied Wagtails roosted on the rafts.


Very deep with no muddy islands - 1 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Little Grebes and 5 Tufted Ducks present. Nothing nearby on the Pitstone Industrial Estate pools.

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