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

Reader Traffic

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.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

LESSER SPOT performs well, then drake AMERICAN WIGEON and GREENLAND WHITE-FRONT added in Dumfriesshire - HIGHLAND SCOTLAND beckons

The adult drake AMERICAN WIGEON at Caerlaverock WWT - an admirable performer (Chris Baines) and my first of the year.

At last, the weather is finally looking very spring-like. Temperatures once again were in the low teens, peaking at 14 degrees C during the afternoon. The wind was now firmly in the south.

The week ahead was to be spent touring Scotland with some 15 species on my list of targets. I was to be with Alan Stewart and his father. We left my house at 0715 hours.


Our first port of call was Ashridge Forest, where I hoped to connect with Dave Bilcock's Lesser Spot. It was another calm morning and within minutes of pitching up and walking towards the two ponds just east of the drive, a superb male LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER flew in to the trees and started drumming. At first, I struggled to locate it, and it flew out of the back of the tree before I got properly on to it. Fortunately, I saw where it flew, and within a few minutes, it started drumming again and tapping the trees. This time it was much easier to locate and lower down in the canopy and enabled all three of us to quickly connect. It then flew even lower down and showed even better - the bright red/crimson crown really standing out from the winter tree foliage. We were also joined by Sandra and Don Otter and for 15 minutes (0740-0755), the bird performed admirably. It eventually flew further in to the wood, but Don and Sandra saw it again around 0900 hours in the same area. It represented my 116th species for Hertfordshire this year.

After our success in the forest, we continued our long journey northwards, the only noteworthy event in the first hour being a flock of 14 Fieldfares flying north over Toddington (Bedfordshire). I then grabbed some long overdue sleep, only rearing my ugly head again when we reached North Lancashire.

Chris Batty had informed me of a very confiding Eurasian Bittern by the canal in Carnforth but despite extensively searching, we could not locate it.


Three of the four wintering adult LESSER SNOW GEESE were still present in the grassy fields SE of the level crossing, directly inland of the Eric Morecambe Pools at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve at 1130 hours. They were consorting with large numbers of Greylag Geese and were showing very well from the main road. The origin of these birds is unknown. There was also a single Barnacle Goose with them.

Nearby on the RSPB reserve, there was no sign of yesterday's Great White Egret - just 2 Little Egrets feeding on the marshy pools. We also had a half-hearted look for a nearby Northern Grey Shrike at Dalton Crags but failed to locate it.


By early afternoon, we had reached Scotland and clearly had Dumfries and Galloway in our sights. Driving towards the WWT reserve at Caerlaverock along the coastal B725, we came across a roadside flock of 98 WHOOPER SWANS near Stanhope at Brow Well.


I was extremely pleased to quickly connect with the beautiful drake AMERICAN WIGEON which had spent several weeks feeding with Eurasian Wigeon at the reserve's Whooper Pond. It was showing exceptionally well from the Peter Scott hide, just 25-45 yards from the windows. Both Alan and I took numerous shots of the bird but none of these compared with the selection of magnificent images published below taken by Chris Baines, Tristan Reid and Craig Shaw. This was my 205th species of the year.

There were also a selection of other wildfowl taking advantage of the artificial feeding, including a large number of genuinely wild Mallard, 100+ Wigeon, a few Common Teal, numerous Tufted Duck and the odd drake Northern Pochard.

Large numbers of BARNACLE GEESE were also nearby in the reserve fields, whilst WHOOPER SWANS numbered at least 180 and there were also numerous Mute Swans. I made an effort to record the ring numbers on the wild swans, with the following results -:

WHOOPER SWANS with YELLOW rings - EVN, E5K, D35, L3V, E3G, F9N, H3P, E4T, E5F, D33, K95, D3X, K3X, V7P, N5Z,Y4A, H3L, L3P, L7F, E5U, AC6, E5E, V9F, E4H and X95.

MUTE SWANS with WHITE rings - AYN, AYS, AYA, AYC, 535, TYS, AVY, AYZ and BCN (Chris Spray - - had ringed the majority of these here at Caerlaverock, including 535 (female trapped on 4 March 2003), AYA (a male on 10 December 2008), AYN (female on 17 November 2009), AYS (female on 17 November 2009), AYZ (male on 17 November 2009), BCN (male on 18 January 2006) and TYZ (female on 24 January 2007).

MUTE SWAN with RED ring (TZJ, ringed by CS as a female at Caerlaverock on 17 November 2009).

The only other species noted on the reserve were Eurasian Curlews and both House Sparrows and Yellowhammer around the hedgerow close to the information centre. Numerous Chaffinches and both Blue and Great Tit were on the well-stocked feeders in the car park.


A major wintering site for GOOSANDER with 58 counted, along with 27 Common Goldeneye, a drake Common Teal, 25 Tufted Ducks and 4 Mute Swans.


We initially explored the road north from Glenlochar on the west side of Loch Ken. A leucistic Greylag Goose was with 103 Greylags and 13 Atlantic Canada Geese half a mile north of the village, with 35 Fieldfare and 2 RED KITES also noted.

Scanning from further north along the road, I located the White-front flock on the east side - very distant - and we drove round to get proper views. A total of 166 GREENLAND WHITE-FRONTED GEESE in two groups (95 and 71) was feeding close to the A713, exactly 1 mile north of Crossmichael, opposite the entrance to Cogarth Farm. They afforded excellent views and at least four were neck-collared and colour-ringed - they also represented my 206th species of the year.

The rings read V3C, V4C, V0A and V1A, Tony Fox of the Aarhus University in Denmark ( ) quickly notifying me that V0A (adult male), V3C (juvenile male) and V4C (adult female) had all been captured by the WWT team on 1 April 2009, as part of their study of this population at their wintering sites around Loch Ken (see

V1A was an adult male trapped on 26 February 2008 and fitted with a satellite transmitter that year to follow its transgression to Greenland breeding grounds and was featured on Radio 4 in ''World on the Move'' (listen here at
Frustratingly, its transmitter stopped working in west Greenland during summer 2008.

Four PINK-FOOTED GEESE were also with the White-front flock, along with large numbers of Greylag Geese. A further 3 RED KITES were also in the vicinity.

We then made our way over to Langholm, where we were to leave Alan's father with his sister for the week. A BARN OWL was a pleasant surprise as we drove north along the A68 just north of Lauder at 2000 hours. We eventually reached our destination in Aviemore at 2300 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment