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, 1 July 2010

Disaster strikes for BLACK-NECKED GREBE

Martin Parr obtained these images of Tyttenhanger's BLACK-NECKED GREBE. You can clearly see the damage. Sadly, the bird died a couple of days later.


Another beautiful, warm spring day, continuing the theme of yesterday. Little in the way of visible passage but more and more summer visitors arriving, particularly warblers. Temperatures again reached 59 degrees F, with long spells of sunshine and clear blue skies.


Thanks to JT, finally connected with my first SEDGE WARBLER of the year (243). It was a very skulking individual, and quite mobile, and was working its way through the reed sections on the south side of the causeway. It was singing quite frequently.

There were also 3 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS on show (a pair on the boating lake and an adult drake on the main lake) and 83 Tufted Duck.

A male Blackcap was showing well by the footbridge and two different Common Chiffchaffs


Joan prompted me to get over to Tyttenhanger as soon as possible. Martin Parr had just phoned with some very concerning news. The summer-plumaged BLACK-NECKED GREBE that Steve Blake had relocated this morning on the Fishing Lake appeared to be badly injured and concern for its welfare was being aired. It took me about 15 minutes to be on site, and a further 20 minutes to find the bird. It had been roosting out of the water on the bank but a flurry of kind-hearted fishermen directed me to where they had seen it go and after a few brief glimpses, I eventually tracked it down 75 yards east of the causeway on the north bank.

It was in a sorry state indeed, with one of its wings completely ripped from its socket and twisted back round and left hanging. It had presumably collided with the overhead pylons whilst trying to depart overnight and then crash-landed either on the lake or in surrounding vegetation. Nevertheless, it seemed very perky and alert, was diving frequently, catching numerous small fish and taking insects from the surface. With the aid of the fishermen on the bank, I borrowed a landing net and attempted to catch the bird. I scooped it into the net, had a quick look at its wing injury and was very pleased to see the bird dive swiftly and escape underwater. It was certainly not on its last legs but its injury was very serious and beyond any sensible repair. I phoned several people I knew that cared for wild birds, including staff at the RSPB, and it was generally agreed that it was a lost cause, and best left to nature.

Being such a gorgeous bird in full breeding plumage, I felt naturally devastated, but seeing it diving and successfully eeking out a living, I felt it best to let it live out its remaining days in the wild, rather than having to be put to sleep by the RSPCA. A tragic ending but the first time I have ever been so close to this tiny and most delicate species - and a species I am particularly fond of, which share many similarities, habits and breeding locations of my other favourite - the outlawed North American Ruddy Duck.

The grebe was also in very close company with an early brood of 10 duckling Mallards, whilst the only other species of note were a singing male WILLOW WARBLER and 6 Linnets.

(1500-1700 hours)

In remarkably warm conditions, Steve Rodwell and I spent a long period studying and listening to a singing male COMMON CHIFFCHAFF in Willows and shrubs close to the Buddleia clearing. This was no ordinary chiffchaff however in terms of vocalisation as it repeatedly threw into its repertoire, one note which I only associate with Iberian Chiffchaff (brehmii/ibericus). In fact, when Steve and Vicky first found it, it gave all four loud notes that ibericus frequently finishes its song off with. Later, it reverted to more typical collybita conversation, and showed field characteristics akin to that species.

The woodland yielded three further singing male Common Chiffchaffs, 1-2 male WILLOW WARBLERS, 2 male Blackcaps, 5+ Goldcrests, a LESSER REDPOLL and several Coal Tits, as well as several Peacock butterflies (Steve had also seen a TREE PIPIT briefly, two pairs of MARSH TITS and two singing FIRECRESTS).

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