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Where's the 'worst' area in Europe for rarity finding?

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Old Monday 29th September 2008, 19:25   #1
Jos Stratford
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Where's the 'worst' area in Europe for rarity finding?

Hot on the heels on the worst in Britain thread, thought we could expand this out to Europe.

I nominate Lithuania.


Mind you I have to confess, our little nation has been going through a purple patch these last few days - whilst Euriope has been creaking under the strains of Brown Shrikes, Brown Flycatchers, Siberian and White's Thrushes and knee-deep layers of birds never ever seen in our country, Lithuania has made a valiant attempt to crawl up and play with the big boys - we recorded a second for the country and a third for the country, yo hoo hoo.

Maybe better we don't tarnish the image by actually mentioning the species involved, we'll have Europeans north and south on the floor laughing. Or maybe we should, just in the spirit of international entertainment - two Black-winged Stilts today were the second for the country, a Pectoral Sandpiper last weekend was the third. (however, to massage our nation's ego, one of the previous records in both cases have yet to be submitted, so our nation's esteemed rarity committee makes big words of these being a first and second respectively.)

Beat that ye fellow nations of Europe! We have yet to record, at a European level, a single rare bird this year and only two or three for the entire century as far as I can remember. Or maybe just ever.
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Old Monday 29th September 2008, 19:33   #2
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Surely somewhere landlocked and yet with no altitudinal difference to its neighbours would be pretty rubbish. Like the Czech Republic or Slovakia. How many pec sands have they had?
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Old Monday 29th September 2008, 19:41   #3
Jos Stratford
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Surely somewhere landlocked ... Czech Republic or Slovakia. How many pec sands have they had?
Czech Republic -ten as of 2003, don't know since.
Slovakia - recorded, don't know how many.

(Finland to our north has 95 records!)

See, we're not even land-locked (presuming you can call the Baltic a sea), and still we can't compete!
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Old Monday 29th September 2008, 19:56   #4
John Cantelo
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As technically independent countries, I'd have though the crown of shame could be equally divided between Andorra, Lichenstein, San Marino, Monaco or the Vatican City!

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Old Monday 29th September 2008, 20:02   #5
Jos Stratford
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the Vatican City!
Ei, I guess they'd struggle a little, even we must do better!

Mind you, the Vatican, in particular, has three major disadvantages over and above its size:
a. somebody built a whacking great church on the entire ecosystem of the nation
b. they are lumbered with the Pope, he ain't exactly into birds of any sort is he!
c. they seem to be having trouble with their field guide "Fauna and Flora of the Vatican City"
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Old Tuesday 30th September 2008, 06:17   #6
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Malta???
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Old Tuesday 30th September 2008, 06:28   #7
alan_rymer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post
Surely somewhere landlocked and yet with no altitudinal difference to its neighbours would be pretty rubbish. Like the Czech Republic or Slovakia. How many pec sands have they had?
Like Berkshire?.
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Old Tuesday 30th September 2008, 06:31   #8
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Originally Posted by Jos Stratford View Post
Ei, I guess they'd struggle a little, even we must do better!

Mind you, the Vatican, in particular, has three major disadvantages over and above its size:
a. somebody built a whacking great church on the entire ecosystem of the nation
b. they are lumbered with the Pope, he ain't exactly into birds of any sort is he!
c. they seem to be having trouble with their field guide "Fauna and Flora of the Vatican City"

Surely Vatican City has a fair number of Bishops and Cardinals - quite rare in Europe?

D
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Old Tuesday 30th September 2008, 12:22   #9
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Surely Vatican City has a fair number of Bishops and Cardinals - quite rare in Europe?

D
You can't tick them though as they're not a self-sustaining population.
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Old Tuesday 30th September 2008, 12:45   #10
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You can't tick them though as they're not a self-sustaining population.

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Old Tuesday 30th September 2008, 22:18   #11
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Malta???
It's a good place to find rarities, but not a good place for rarities...

Obviously, Lithuania just lacks local patchers. I'm sure the coast could turn up something nice just sit on the northern tip of the Curonian Spit all spring? It must be better than Luxemburg (which has Siberian Accentor!!!)
Bosnia-Hercegovina must be bad... absence of coast, large rivers and large lakes and presence of minefields make this the country I'd least like to bird in Europe.
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Old Wednesday 1st October 2008, 00:22   #12
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Originally Posted by Xenospiza View Post
It's a good place to find rarities, but not a good place for rarities...

Obviously, Lithuania just lacks local patchers. I'm sure the coast could turn up something nice just sit on the northern tip of the Curonian Spit all spring? It must be better than Luxemburg (which has Siberian Accentor!!!)
Bosnia-Hercegovina must be bad... absence of coast, large rivers and large lakes and presence of minefields make this the country I'd least like to bird in Europe.
Right. So that's Bosnia out in Europe.
But would you look for rarities in say, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc where the extremely deadly Krait snakes lurk?
They are said to be fifteen times deadlier than cobras. And they are active at night, and like to creep into sleeping bags!
Now what rare bird would be worth the potent bite of the Krait?

Just wondering.
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Old Wednesday 1st October 2008, 10:09   #13
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Most inland places in Europe are crap. I lived in central Poland and Switzerland and can attest.

Jos, Lithuania should have lots or rares along the Baltic coast. Is there any ringing camp in your place? Or they release Yellow-Browed Warblers as Goldcrests?
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Old Wednesday 1st October 2008, 17:09   #14
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Right. So that's Bosnia out in Europe.
But would you look for rarities in say, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc where the extremely deadly Krait snakes lurk?
Yes, I will next year!
Australia has plenty of deadly snakes and that does not seem to stop anyone. I'm more concerned with large mammals (again a problem next year) and reckless drivers (plenty of those in Lithuania apparently...).
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Old Wednesday 1st October 2008, 19:26   #15
Jos Stratford
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Jos, Lithuania should have lots or rares along the Baltic coast. Is there any ringing camp in your place? Or they release Yellow-Browed Warblers as Goldcrests?
We have two ringing places on the coast, the main one does over 100,000+ birds a year Gat a handful of Yellow-browed Warblers per season, but a good day on Blackney or Spurn could beat our annual totals. True rarities are, well, true rarities!

Lithuania did however catch a Paddyfield Warbler in 1996 ..and where did the blighter go? Same bird was caught on Fair Isle just 11 days later!
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Old Wednesday 1st October 2008, 19:31   #16
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reckless drivers (plenty of those in Lithuania apparently...).
Second highest death rate in Europe in last statistics I saw, pipped to the post by our neighbours Latvia.

On the road out to my house, there is the scoreboard for the latest casualties - so far this year, 11 dead, 89 injured, making a nice neat 100. But last year, the same road got 46 dead and 380 or so injured ...we seem to be slipping!
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Old Thursday 2nd October 2008, 18:37   #17
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Ooo eer, seems some Lithuanians are mighty pissed by this thread :) It has been quoted on the local forum and someone ain't the most popular guy in this country at present, eeks will be checking the underside of my car for the next few weeks


Okay, all folks out there, after being accused of hating this wee nation and slandering it to the extreme, I retract all my statements, we are indeed the best country for rarities in Europe - our hardy fieldworkers have unearthed rarities dripping off every bush, littering the shorelines and clambering at the borders to get in ...we just suppress them, so that's why it seems a little quiet on the international breaking news.


Think it's time for me to retreat back to the hermitage...
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Old Thursday 2nd October 2008, 18:40   #18
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There are no worst areas in Europe just the places where nobody birdwatches. Every site will turn up something unusual if watched regurally
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Old Thursday 2nd October 2008, 18:48   #19
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There are no worst areas in Europe just the places where nobody birdwatches. Every site will turn up something unusual if watched regurally
No, they wont. Places that are landlocked with no water features or hills, trees, cover etc will not get rarities (please dont quote the exceptions that prove the rule). If you have nothing to offer birds and are off a migration route you wont get migrant birds stopping.
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Old Friday 3rd October 2008, 10:29   #20
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There are no worst areas in Europe just the places where nobody birdwatches. Every site will turn up something unusual if watched regurally
Unfortunately not. You need coasts, isolated islands, sometimes isolated lakes - something which concentrates birds.
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