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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 10:06   #1
h14nha
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Garden Tick Rules

Hi Everyone,
I've never kept any lists, I wouldn't be that successful even if I did as my ID skills are poor. Anyway, last week I had an operation which has rendered me unable to walk very far, so whilst I'm getting better, I thought I would do a Garden List ( even my ID skills are up to that )
What is generally regarded as a garden tick ? Is it a visual ID overhead or in next doors tree or does it actually have to land in my garden to be classified ?
Thanks in advance,
Ian
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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 10:11   #2
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Originally Posted by h14nha View Post
Hi Everyone,
I've never kept any lists, I wouldn't be that successful even if I did as my ID skills are poor. Anyway, last week I had an operation which has rendered me unable to walk very far, so whilst I'm getting better, I thought I would do a Garden List ( even my ID skills are up to that )
What is generally regarded as a garden tick ? Is it a visual ID overhead or in next doors tree or does it actually have to land in my garden to be classified ?
Thanks in advance,
Ian
For me, it's anything seen or heard in or from the house or garden, thus including all flyovers etc.

I do note separately birds actually using the garden for a much shorter list. Waxwing gave me a dilemma, though, as the birds were in a tree which was rooted in the neighbours garden against the fence but they were on branches which overhung my garden. I ruled 'in', as I think most would.

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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 13:24   #3
Steve Dudley
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For me, it's anything seen or heard in or from the house or garden, thus including all flyovers etc.

I do note separately birds actually using the garden for a much shorter list. Waxwing gave me a dilemma, though, as the birds were in a tree which was rooted in the neighbours garden against the fence but they were on branches which overhung my garden. I ruled 'in', as I think most would.

Graham
Exactly the same for me too, and for most birders I know who keep garden lists. Some do keep it strictly to birds seen within the boundaries of their actual property. Its up to you!
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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 13:34   #4
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For me, it's anything seen or heard in or from the house or garden, thus including all flyovers etc.


Graham
Same for me.
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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 14:58   #5
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Add me to the consensus, and I would add that I have found garden listing waaaay too addictive. I started when we bought a house four years back and then started a family, severely restricting my travelling opportunitites (in a much more agreeable way than Ian, who I hope recovers quickly and fully). Now I reach a stage when I occasionally get the opportunity to go further afield I find myself getting paranoid about missing something going over the garden! Just holding out for a Waxwing this winter; plenty of good berry crops in sight of the garden....

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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 15:34   #6
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I'm with everybody else on this. In fact, I’ve even been known to put birds on my yard list that I could have seen from my yard but didn’t because I wasn’t actually in the yard at the time.
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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 16:29   #7
Steve Dudley
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Add me to the consensus, and I would add that I have found garden listing waaaay too addictive.
To right! Always been am addict no matter where I've lived. My current garden list is the fourth highest in Cambs (8 years and on 133) - so now its competitive! Not that I have much chance of catching up the three ahead of me since I'm the only one of us not to overlook standing water so have a real handicap.
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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 16:36   #8
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Ian, Glad you have decided to do your garden list. I wish more people would spend more time watching the garden, so many birds are missed because peole simply dont look.

I agree with everyone else.... some of my best birds are flyovers...

How about joining us with updates and chat on a regular basis here http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....61#post1974061

regards
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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 21:40   #9
bitterntwisted
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I'm with everybody else on this. In fact, Iíve even been known to put birds on my yard list that I could have seen from my yard but didnít because I wasnít actually in the yard at the time.
I nearly had to do this with a Red-legged Partridge I spotted as I walked down the street but I sprinted back to the house in order to look back at it over the garden fence!

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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 23:24   #10
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I nearly had to do this with a Red-legged Partridge I spotted as I walked down the street but I sprinted back to the house in order to look back at it over the garden fence!

Graham
That’s why you need to adopt my more relaxed approach, to save all that running. I have several birds on my yard list which I spotted from the car when driving up to the house, including one (Black Phoebe) that I would have had to have been looking out of a second-story window to have actually seen from the property.
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 04:34   #11
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For the majority of us with poor gardens, if we kept it strictly to within the confines of the garden then it would be very boring! I think therefore most do count anything seen from the garden. Clearly this contradicts with say county listing - there's no way I'd tick something if it was actually in the neighbouring county. There are no "rules" as such - do what suits you best.

P.S. My garden list is a paltry 38 in over 4 years. It does include Indian Pitta, but I didn't see that myself
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 06:19   #12
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My current garden list is the fourth highest in Cambs (8 years and on 133) .
Which given that the location on your profile is Huntingdonshire is no mean feat Steve!

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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 06:30   #13
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I'm with everybody else on this. In fact, Iíve even been known to put birds on my yard list that I could have seen from my yard but didnít because I wasnít actually in the yard at the time.
What is the general thinking on this one? Obviously it is up to the individual, but what do most do? Only asking because this would add me Osprey and Red Kite
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 09:16   #14
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What is the general thinking on this one? Obviously it is up to the individual, but what do most do? Only asking because this would add me Osprey and Red Kite
Case by case I would say, based on what your conscience will allow! I'll give you two personal examples, coincidentally dealing with the two species you mention.

1) In my previous house I'd popped home from work one day for lunch, and was walking back to work when an Osprey flew over. I was at the time walking alongside the back garden fence, but the wrong side of it. Osprey goes on the list, no trouble sleeping at night.

2) Was at the cashpoint, from where I could look up a wooded hillside when a Red Kite drifted by. Now, I can see this hillside from my bedroom window, but we were a bit away from home, and I don't do much of my actual watching from the bedroom window. I did in fact sprint back to see if it would linger, but it didn't, and I never even considered counting it; would've itched. I've since seen Red Kite from the garden proper, so no worries there any more!

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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 09:28   #15
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Hi everyone,
I logged in this morning and was suprised at all the replies I had received. Thanks for them, now I can try to keep myself busy over the next few weeks.
I live on the edge of an estate. There is a row of trees behind all the gardens on my side of the road, which leads to a small decideous wood approx 300m away. Across the other side of the road there is just bare fields behind the houses which lead to common land.
So, I should have a ready supply of birds to potentially, visit my garden, which as a new build house ( 9 years we have lived here ) has a garden 35' x 15' I started thinking of a list yesterday, when I was watching the birds on my feeder and realised I had 4 different species of Tit taking food off my bird table.
Steve Dudley, 138 is absolutley incredible, you must have an extremely powerful telescope :) and superb ID skills. If I hit 38 I'll be chuffed !!
What about the rest of us non superhero birders, how are your garden lists doing, do you live in the city or in the country ?? Anyone else like to quote some figures, I'll have a think and post mine later - dont wait up though, I wont be well into double figures :)
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 10:16   #16
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What about the rest of us non superhero birders, how are your garden lists doing, do you live in the city or in the country ?? Anyone else like to quote some figures, I'll have a think and post mine later - dont wait up though, I wont be well into double figures :)
Ian
Not as good as Steve but my all time rural inland garden list is 99 (78 so far this year). I've had several garden firsts this year: Red Kite, Marsh Tit, Greenshank and Crossbill so still getting new ones on the garden list which is encouraging.

Hope you get better soon but meanwhile continue to enjoy your garden birding during your recovery...........and a scope will certainly help boost the list.
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 10:17   #17
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I live in the middle of an estate in Sunderland and my list stands at 75 another member on here lives just along the road and he has a similar number on his list,we both live near the coast and seem to get quite a few interesting migrants.
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 12:02   #18
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My Garden List: A Potted History

Moved into our house in Caergwrle, North Wales in October 2006, and four years later have notched up 90 species (most recent addition being a Barnacle Goose with a flock of passing Pinkfeet). My best year total is 75 (so far this year), lowest was 71 in 2008. Highlights have included Alpine Swift, Firecrest, Merlin, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Goshawk, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Whooper Swan, Brambling, Spotted Flycatcher etc. Also regular Goosander (although they've been damn thin on the ground this year), Dipper, Siskin, Bullfinch, Hobby.

For a more detailed account start here

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=70096

Where are you based Ian?

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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 12:19   #19
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Which given that the location on your profile is Huntingdonshire is no mean feat Steve!

James
I'm quite proud of my garden list. I live in open fenland so have open fields on three sides. Working from home helps a little, but I add very little from the office window now - all recent additions have been whilst I've been outside gardening/pottering. My best find was an American Goldie in the field next to the house and a Pied Fly in the garden (the fly was also a county tick for me!).

Those interested, my garden list can be seen here.

I also managed 111 species in my previous garden in Thetford over nine years. Being within reach of a small river and a breck heath helped (passage waders, Stone-curlew calling at night, Woodlark drifting over the house from the heath, etc).

If I followed fugl's route, I could have added more as I've seen several birds 'near' the house whilst I've been birding on the fen that had I been at my house I would have certainly seen. Each to his own.

James, you're not doing too shabbily are you. Alpine Swift! Great bird to have on your garden list.

When I worked at Fairburn Ings RSPB reserve I kept a garden list for the info centre area in which my accommodation was based - White-throated Needletail (27 May 1985 - date etched in my mind!) was an extreme addition when I had to stand on top of the centre roof to add it to my then garden list!
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 12:24   #20
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For others interested in Cambs garden lists look here for a slightly out of date list of some of the top Cambs garden listers. My garden list on here hasn't been updated since I originally submitted it in 2006 (note to self!). Note that Richard Porter in No. 1 spot hasn't lived in the county for some years yet his Grafham Water-based garden total still seems untouchable! Has any other inland garden lister got so many seabirds on their garden list!
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 15:40   #21
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What about dead birds, anyone else count those for their yard lists? Ditto for heard only? I wouldn’t count a dead or heard-only bird for my life list, but I would & have for the yard list which at the moment stands at 114 inclusive of Northern Saw-whet Owl (found dead on 3 separate occasions, twice on the ground & once in the claws of a Cooper’s Hawk) & Western Screech Owl (heard only once, shortly after we moved into the house many years ago before the surrounding area became so built-up). I’ve never seen live specimens of either of these 2 owls anywhere near my property but, as I’ve said, they both went on my yard list.

As far as I’m concerned, bird lists of all kinds are for fun & needn’t be taken any more seriously than one feels like. Personally, I treat my life list very seriously & won’t add to it unless.very strict criteria are satisfied, but for my yard list just about anything goes. But. . .as everybody keeps saying, to each his own etc etc.
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 16:09   #22
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What about dead birds, anyone else count those for their yard lists?
Definitely not me - on any list I keep.

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As far as Iím concerned, bird lists of all kinds are for fun & neednít be taken any more seriously than one feels like. Personally, I treat my life list very seriously & wonít add to it unless.very strict criteria are satisfied, but for my yard list just about anything goes. But. . .as everybody keeps saying, to each his own etc etc.
I have pretty much the same rules for all my lists. The only single difference I can think of is I wont count heard only on my life list, but heard only does count on all my other lists (then again I dont have any species that I have never seen but heard).

I know one guy who counts anything he sees if he can see his house whilst watching/listening to the bird. I wind him up cos living in the flatland of the fens, I can see my house from a small hill about five miles away, so for wind up purposes only I've added all sorts to my garden list using his rules!
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 16:39   #23
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What is the general thinking on this one? Obviously it is up to the individual, but what do most do? Only asking because this would add me Osprey and Red Kite
yeah Clive its a difficult one, I have a very similar situation with a couple of garden megas that I would dearly love to count that are often seen in the garden and have had me toying with the idea of actually counting the Racing pigeons and the Fantail Dove......

...... Your descision of Red Kite & Osprey must be equally taxing

Dave
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 18:20   #24
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yeah Clive its a difficult one, I have a very similar situation with a couple of garden megas that I would dearly love to count that are often seen in the garden and have had me toying with the idea of actually counting the Racing pigeons and the Fantail Dove......

...... Your descision of Red Kite & Osprey must be equally taxing

Dave
Hmm,does that mean i can count racing Pigeons too!
The Osprey was annoying, I was about a mile up the road checking out a quarry when an Osprey flew over. I quickly rang the other half and said get out in the garden...she saw it!
The Red Kite..similar, I was walking the dog in the fields behind home,rushed back to the back garden..but no sign from there.
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 18:45   #25
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If you're temporarily living in France at your parents you can get all sorts of good (and very good) things on your garden list ...

Unfortunately my Falmouth garden list hasn't been so good. Small, overlooked (so don't spend any time in it), and been there about 15 months -

4 species if you go by the 'in it rules' -

Blackbird once
House Sparrow once
Meadow Pipit twice
Tawny Owl once (flew through the airspace about 20' up)

If you count the 'from' the garden or windows bit, and up to a mile or more distant, a lot more, must be 30 -40 or so.
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