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.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Nothing new but a pleasant selection of passerine migrants

Todays YELLOW WAGTAIL at Tyttenhanger (John Fordham)


Continuing cold, with fresh westerly winds which veered slightly more SSW towards late afternoon. Some hefty showers throughout the morning and a belt of rain which was pushed quickly through and cleared by mid afternoon.

Another good day in terms of migration and although nothing new appeared in terms of variety, some good counts continued of those species arriving, particularly hirundines.


A LITTLE EGRET was fishing on this part of the Misbourne and was showing well from the A412 bridge.

(morning visit; with Steve Rodwell)

The EGYPTIAN GOOSE was still present, initially on the main reservoir and then later back in the field with 38 Greylag Geese to the east of the reservoir. An adult Mute Swan also joined the flock briefly.

There were 9 Black-headed Gulls present and during the day, both Steve and Ben recorded some good Common Gull passage.

Hirundines were once again well represented, with 156 present up until midday, including 72 European Barn Swallows, 83 Sand Martins and 1 HOUSE MARTIN, whilst the east bank, in between walkers, attracted 4 Pied Wagtails, a first-summer male WHITE WAGTAIL and 3 passage Reed Buntings.

COMMON CHIFFCHAFFS were singing from just south of East Poplar Wood and from trees behind the reedbed near Cemetery Corner, whilst a singing male WILLOW WARBLER (my first in Herts this year) was present in the hedgerow in the SE corner of the reservoir.

A pair of Common Buzzards was displaying over the hide and a male LINNET flew west.


At midday, Startop's End held 4 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Mute Swans and the adult drake Red-crested Pochard, with migrants represented by 48 European Barn Swallows, 28 Sand Martins, 2 HOUSE MARTINS and a cracking male WHITE WAGTAIL on the algae bunds.


An early afternoon visit yielded a selection of migrants, including a feeding flock of 47 European Barn Swallows over the cut-off lake, a cracking adult male YELLOW WAGTAIL at the edge of the shingle edge of the track across the cut-off lake and a male NORTHERN WHEATEAR for its second day in the sheep field up near the top gate.

An impressive 10 TREE SPARROWS was feeding in the flattened maize field, in the shelter of the hedgerow with Yellowhammers, Dunnocks and Reed Buntings, with the pair of Common Shelduck on the main pit, a drake Shoveler, 6 Common Redshank and 56 migrant Common Gulls, predominantly immatures. A Common Chiffchaff was in full song in the wood behind the conveyor belt.


I then decided to venture north in to Bedfordshire to mop up a few common migrants I was still missing from that county for the year and at Broom Peacocks Lake in high winds and rain, species noted included 19 Mute Swans, 2 Common Teal, 5 Shoveler, a pair of Oystercatchers (118), LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, Ringed Plover, 8 Common Redshanks and 14 European Barn Swallows.


The band of heavy rain eventually cleared away to the east and on the main lake at Priory, over 200 hirundines were present, including 170 Sand Martins, 40 Barn Swallows and 1 HOUSE MARTIN. The Finger Lakes were relatively quiet, with just one Common Chiffchaff singing.

(1530-1630 hours)

Once the rain had cleared, the sky cleared and cloud was replaced by some clearer blue skies. In fact, it was quite warm as I climbed up towards the summit of Deacon Hill. Andy Grimsey had visited this morning and as I followed his very helpful directions, I quickly located the RING OUZEL that may have been present for the best part of a week. The bird was favouring a sheltered part of the 'terraced' slopes below the summit, about 100 yards to the south of the obvious wooden fence slatting in the lower hedge line, and was showing well, feeding on the ground. It was a first-summer male, with restricted yellow in the bill and brown tones to the wing coverts and general plumage. It was my second of the year, both birds being in Bedfordshire.

Just a short way further north along the hedgerow was a lingering migrant flock of 73 FIELDFARES, many of which were now in fresh summer plumage.

The only other species noted were 3 Greenfinch.


Following up on information kindly provided by Mark Thomas, a walk along the new gravel track through the sheep fields east of the gravel pit complex yielded a migrant flock of birds at the edge of the fishing pits, including 9 Pied Wagtails, 5 Reed Buntings, 11 Meadow Pipits and my first 2 Beds YELLOW WAGTAILS of the year - a male and female. There was also a female NORTHERN WHEATEAR nearby on some earth mounds, whilst 100+ non-naturalised Barnacle Geese were still feeding in the fields and 6 Great Crested Grebes were on the fishing pit.


As I drove west across the currently being constructed southern bypass around Bedford, one of the pits to the south of the road held a pair of OYSTERCATCHERS.


I made a point of censusing the A421 ROOKERIES straddling the trunk route, with an impressive 152 active nests, including 63 east of Green Lane, 66 adjacent to the layby and a further 23 to the west of Brogborough village.

(1720-1808 hours)

These workings are looking tremendous at present and will surely pull in many migrants throughout April and May. This evening, highlights of my visit included 6 GOOSANDER (1 adult drake), 4 Gadwall, 8 Common Teal, Little Egret, a pair of LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS, 4 GREEN SANDPIPERS, 3 Barn Swallows, an impressive 42 Pied Wagtails, 1 first-summer male WHITE WAGTAIL, 10 FIELDFARE and 3 Linnets. Surprisingly, there were no Yellow Wagtails present.

The site is best accessed north off of the V5 Great Monks Street.