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 March 2010

Saturday wanderings - stayed local

The leucistic drake Gadwall seen at Calvert BBOWT today (Tim Watts)

A beautiful day, with temperatures reaching 9.5 degrees C. Spent the entire day in Buckinghamshire, attempting to clean up on a few species I was still missing from the year, with a few brief forays in to Herts during the morning.


In ideal weather conditions, did a 2-hour stint looking for the resident pair of Northern Goshawks but no joy. A male EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK was seen, along with at least 8 COMMON BUZZARDS and 3 RED KITES.

A flock of 10 SISKINS flew over Walk Wood, whilst resident species included Stock Dove (2 birds), Chaffinch (2 singing males on territory), Blue Tit (3 singing males), Wren (singing male), European Robin (1), Common Blackbird (1), Goldfinch, Dunnock (2 singing males), Long-tailed Tit (4) and a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker.

The fields to the west of Chenies Farm held a singing male EURASIAN SKYLARK - the first local bird of the year.


Two more singing male EURASIAN SKYLARKS either side of Green Street, a flock of 186 Woodpigeons and a Linnet over.


A total of 5 House Sparrows in the gardens along Lodge Lane (TQ 005 965) and 3 Greenfinches by Lodge Farm.


(1052) Thanks to Steve Blake, finally connected with my first Herts OYSTERCATCHER of the spring (113), the bird showing well on the grassy edge near the sunken causeway at the west end of the Fishing Pit, just down from Willows Farm.

The main pit held a pair of COMMON SHELDUCK and 4 Shoveler (3 drakes)


A total of 7 nests north of the A414 near Sopwell (Herts), with another 18 north of the M10 near Windridge Farm, Chiswell Green (TL 128 056) and 7 within the Whipsnade Wildlife Park complex at TL 000 174.


A RED KITE was loafing over the main slope.


A full inventory of the site yielded 3 Great Crested Grebes (including a displaying pair), 1 adult Mute Swan, 8 Atlantic Canada Geese, 10 Mallard, NO Gadwall, 1 drake Shoveler, 24 Eurasian Wigeon, 12 Common Teal, 43 Tufted Duck and 16 Northern Pochard. There were also 22 Coot counted.

Waders were represented by 9 Lapwing (including a pair on each island on the main marsh and 5 roosting on the bund), a single COMMON REDSHANK and a pair of OYSTERCATCHERS (feeding on the turf of the North Bank).

The only other species of note was a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk.


Water back to usual level with species noted including 1 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe, 12 Coot, 12 Tufted Duck and 15 Lapwing. Roosting gulls included 189 Black-headed and 15 Common.


Up to 8 pairs of Eurasian Collared Dove in the village, and 11 Common Starlings.


Despite the weather, not a true migrant in sight. Wildfowl numbers were well down with just 8 Great Crested Grebe, 2 adult Mute Swans, 17 Gadwall, 8 Common Teal, 75 Eurasian Wigeon, 18 Shoveler, 118 Tufted Duck, 29 Northern Pochard and 195 Coot counted. A pair of COMMON GOLDENEYE remained off of the jetty, with a Red Kite drifting south.

Nesting was already underway by Grey Heron (6 active nests) and Continental Cormorant (5 active nests).


An impressive 124 Northern Shoveler feeding, with 6 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Mute Swan, 2 Greylag Geese, 16 Atlantic Canada Geese, 2 Coot, 5 Tufted Ducks and 6 Northern Pochard present. A male Common Blackbird was in full song.


Just south of the reservoir, a flock of 103 non-naturalised geese were grazing, including 54 Greylag and 49 Atlantic Canadas. The reservoir was very quiet with just 2 Mute Swans, 18 Tufted Duck, 3 Northern Pochard and 14 Coot present. The Rookery in the wood to the south held 15 active nests.


Wildfowl included 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Mute Swan, 19 Tufted Duck, 29 Northern Pochard and 71 Coot.


Checked out the local Rookeries with 27 active nests in the tall trees at New Mill (opposite Massey House at SP 926 124) and 8 in Pendley Manor Grounds.


Last winter's owl fields north of the A41 all now completely ploughed but RED KITES (4+) still in area.


Just east of Waddesdon and in trees south of the A41, 12 active Rook nests at SP 754 167.


After much searching, eventually located a pair of EURASIAN CURLEW, showing very well on the new reserve pools west of the Edgcott road at SP 670 198 (my first of the year). There were also 8 Common Teal nearby.

At the west end of Grendon Underwood village, 13 House Sparrows were present by the farm buildings at SP 676 209. There were several RED KITES between here and Calvert.


Very quiet, with the only bird of note being the drake leucistic Gadwall (photographed by Tim Watts above). There were 4 Gadwall in total, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 25 Tufted Ducks, whilst migrant Lesser Black-backed Gulls included 1,297 (mainly full breeding-plumaged adults).


Just south of Gawcott in trees by Spinney Farmhouse, 38 more active Rook nests (SP 685 314)


A further 9 active Rook nests in Wellmore, Maids Moreton (SP 709 352)

(1530-1600 hours) Checking the main reservoir with Dave Horton, I eventually located the adult drake RING-NECKED DUCK in with Northern Pochard and Tufted Duck in the extreme NW corner visible only from the far end of the dam at SP 707 367. It was moving in and out of the reeds and was distant.

Otherwise, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Mute Swan, 18 Northern Pochard, 83 Tufted Duck and 8 COMMON GOLDENEYE (4 adult drakes) present.

Not that far away, at Cranley Oak, and in trees south of the A422, 33 active Rook nests.


The heronry held 13 active Grey Heron nests but rather surprisingly no Little Egret nests.

A single redhead SMEW was a nice bonus, whilst other wildfowl included 6 Mute Swans, 10 Great Crested Grebes and 18 Shoveler; 3 very noisy OYSTERCATCHERS were chasing each other around.


Returned to various sites searching for Tree Sparrows but once again drew a complete blank. FIELDFARES were the order of the day with 85 near Tathall End and 265 by Bullington End Farm. A huge flock of 750 Woodpigeons was feeding on cereal crops SW of Hoo Wood NE of Little Linford, whilst 10 more Rook nests were being actively used in trees just west of the B526 in Gayhurst at SP 847 468.


In fields just north of the River Great Ouse were a pair of feeding EURASIAN CURLEW, whilst 2 BARNACLE GEESE were with Atlantic Canada Geese.

At nearby Cowpers Alcove north of Weston Underwood village, again no sign of Grey Partridge, but 6 Brown Hares boxing.

On the east side of the A605 at SP 893 507 and SE of Olney, 44 non-naturalised BARNACLE GEESE were feeding, along with the single Cackling Canada Goose with the Atlantic Canadas.


Sadly, joined Rob Hill too late. Just prior to my arrival, he had seen both first-winter Mediterranean Gull and Caspian Gull in the roost, but had lost them in the fading light. Up to 3,000 Black-headed Gulls were in the roost.

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