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.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

SCOTLAND DAY 3 - The weather turned out much better than anticipated but alas no White-tailed Sea Eagle


At 0600 hours in Aviemore, the thermometer was reading 6 degrees C. It was also very windy with a dark, angry sky. Today was to be another attempt in the Northwest. Fortunately, as we cleared Inverness, the weather improved and gave way to bright, sunny conditions. In fact, excellent eagle weather.


(0700-0800) A regular Golden Eagle site and one where I have rarely failed, particularly in such good weather conditions. The 15 mile drive down this magnificently picturesque valley always puts me off visiting but with my failure yesterday to find any birds, this was a last resort. We gave it our best shot but despite exhaustive scanning of suitable ledges, not one bird was located. The eyrie appeared to be abandoned.

Two DIPPERS showed very well on the Conon river (at the former watchpoint site) and the only other birds of note were 2 SISKINS and 2 Song Thrushes. A few Red Deer were in the hills.


Returning north along the A835 towards Braemore Junction, a single Hooded Crow was seen.


The weather was miles better today and the sea had calmed down from yesterday. Conditions were superb for soaring eagles. I scanned and scanned and scanned......

A migrant flock of 97 BARNACLE GEESE was in the rolling green fields just north of the usual layby, along with at least 8 Icelandic Greylag Geese.

On Gruinard Island, the star performer was a fabulous adult male HEN HARRIER which, after hunting, sat on top of the bracken in full view. A pair of Common Buzzards also visited the island but once again, despite the calm conditions, not a single White-tailed Sea Eagle was present. Drat! Two COMMON RAVENS and a Hooded Crow also paid the island a brief visit before departing for the mainland.

The bay itself to the east of the island held at least 25 GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS and 1-2 BLACK-THROATED DIVERS, as well as several BLACK GUILLEMOTS and 6 Common Eider.

Eventually, after an awful lot of scanning the snow-covered peaks, I located a sky-dancing pair of GOLDEN EAGLES. The birds were in full display, with high-speed swooping from a great height. Incredible to see birds of such size adjust to such speed. Numerous Common Buzzards were also displaying. Golden Eagle was my 210th species of the year.


After 4 ROCK DOVES and a female Reed Bunting were seen in Laide (in An Teallach garden), I located a further 20 ROCK DOVES on the rocky beach below Achgarve (211). The beach also held 10 Ringed Plovers, numerous Oystercatchers and a Common Redshank, with 15 ATLANTIC GREY SEALS resting nearby on rocks.

We made a concerted effort with White-tailed Sea Eagle but after several hours, we had to admit defeat. We spoke to locals who all said that they had been shot for attacking lambs !


A concerted search for the juvenile Iceland Gull that had wintered in Ullapool drew a blank - the bird had departed. About 45 Argenteus Herring Gulls were present in the harbour and at the river mouth, along with 3 Great Black-backed Gulls. There were also 20 Eurasian Wigeon, numerous Turnstones and some very splendid and very confiding BLACK GUILLEMOTS - 9 in total. Alan managed some excellent images of a breeding-plumaged adult that was feeding just 30 yards offshore.


Driving across the backbone of the Highlands east towards the opposite coast, we were stunned by the number of road bridges being repaired after this winter's devastating floods and weather. At the roadside in the Crags Reserve, two COMMON RAVEN showed well, along with two Common Buzzard.


A drake Ring-necked Duck had been present here during the freeze but had presumably long since departed. The only wildfowl on the loch were 2 Mute Swans, a few Mallard and 5 Common Goldeneye. On the opposite side of the A9, at least 500 Pink-footed Geese were feeding.


Although some 2,000 or more Pink-footed Geese were present on the mudflats and adjoining fields, there was no sign of the three Snow Geese with them. There were two BARNACLE GEESE and an impressive 70 NORTHERN PINTAILS, along with large numbers of Common Shelduck, Lapwing, Curlew and Common Redshank. A single RED KITE was overhead.


Whilst in the hide, I was informed that the Burghead Bay KING EIDER was on show, so after dipping yesterday, we were determined to score this time. We covered the 60 miles in just little over an hour, despite the Inverness, Forres and Nairn rush hours, and after a long scan, I eventually located the drake with 4 Common Eiders at 1730 hours. Unfortunately, it had swam out on the tide and was rather distant, but did allow all of the salient features to be noted and after half an hour of viewing and just before dusk, all five birds flew up and went strongly east towards Burghead. It was my 212th species of the year.

On this visit, VELVET SCOTERS numbered 36, with just 18 LONG-TAILED DUCKS on the sea and the 6 WHOOPER SWANS still nearby on the flooded field.

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