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.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Last day in the Scottish Highlands


Our last day in the Highlands and my last real chance of connecting with a few target species. It was also the worst day for weather, with near gale force winds blowing. It was also very wet.

Despite the weather, Alan and I were out and about at dawn and from 0600-0630 hours, we revisited several sites in the Abernethy Forest. At the Boat of Garten site, there were still many Chaffinches singing, 3 Goldcrests were noted and RED SQUIRREL.


At the well-stocked peanut feeders in the Loch Garten car park, RED SQUIRREL, a male Great Spotted Woodpecker and several SISKINS were feeding.

At another site - Tore Hill - one which I had visited in previous years but not recently - I was delighted that with a lot of management work in the wood, SCOTTISH PARROT CROSSBILLS had returned. We were afforded with excellent views of an adult female and another pair were also seen (213).


From Aviemore and Abernethy, we took the mountainous route through Tomintoul to Braemar, on the highest A road in Britain and that which is most often closed by snow - the A939. This is an excellent road for grouse.

On the Glenlivet Estate at Bridge of Brown, a pair of Red-legged Partridges was seen, whilst over the high passes, large numbers of Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Eurasian Curlew were massed in fields.

Not far out of Tomintoul, cracking views were obtained of two feeding male BLACK GROUSE at the side of the road, at a regular lekking site opposite the 'Ground Dog Days' Dog Creche at Delachute (at NJ 187 170) and then along the Old Military Road at Lecht, marvellous views were obtained of RED GROUSE - my first of the year (214). A pair flew up the valley side east of the Lecht Road, whilst a displaying male was seen exceptionally well at the side of the B976. This latter road also produced COMMON RAVEN and a pair of Stock Doves by the Knock Gallery.

(Late morning visit)

The wind was gale force SW at the top of the Glenshee Pass and with much lying snow on the peaks, it was freezing. I set up the 'scope inside the car and utilising the shelter afforded, carefully scanned the south flank of Cairnwell (NO 138 773) from the car park east of the A93. There was no shortage of ARCTIC HARES in full ermine to be found - with 25+ seen - and eventually I located two superb male PTARMIGANS feeding at the edge of the snow - my last target bird of the Scottish Highlands (215). Despite the blustery conditions, I was very pleased with the views that were afforded - the birds were also in very near pure white plumage, with just a little black chequering.


Largo Bay was really a waste of valuable time, due to the gale force winds. 'Scoping from the raised bank behind the coastal town of Lower Largo, I failed in my quest (as I predicted we would) on locating the drake Surf Scoter. At least 9 VELVET SCOTERS were seen, some just beyond the breaking waves close in, along with 1 LONG-TAILED DUCK and several Common Eiders. A few Northern Gannets were further out in the Firth of Forth.


The adult drake LESSER SCAUP afforded outstanding views from the main car park, explaining how Mike Thrower obtained such impressive shots as those published above. There was also a wealth of other wildfowl taking advantage of the artificial feeding conditions including 83 Mute Swans, 3 adult WHOOPER SWANS, 55 Tufted Ducks, 12 Common Goldeneyes and 18 GOOSANDER - all literally within yards of the park railings.


As Alan and I were on a very tight timeframe, I instigated the help of one of my best birding friends - Birdline Scotland operative Angus Murray. Angus very kindly went out and located the regular adult ICELAND GULL in his home town before we reached him. This bird has been repeatedly returning to Ayr since 1992 and as it was a juvenile in that first year, it is now a remarkable 20 years old.

Parking up by the river at the end of John Street adjacent to the high rise block of flats at 1550, Angus immediately pointed out the bird as it was roosting on a bridge gantry. It was almost immediately pushed off by a resident Herring Gull and then flew across the River Ayr and landed on the roof of a neighbouring building. Excellent views were obtained in the 'scope and with this species being so incredibly scarce this winter, I was over the moon at finally connecting with this Arctic gull. It represented my 216th species of the year and all in all, my first Scottish tour of the year had been a resounding success, with 14 of the 15 targets connected with.

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