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Fulmar's Life List History

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Old Monday 17th May 2004, 12:31   #1
Fulmar
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Fulmar's Life List History

After hesitating for a while, because I thought that life lists were not of interest to other people as they are, after all, personal lists, I decided to make mine public too. What made me change my mind was that I found the life lists published in this Forum more interesting than I thought, and also the huge popularity of the “How’s your 2004 list going?” thread added to it.

Some background: I started to make a life list when I was about 14 or so, and stopped when I was around 20. After that, birding was a low-key affair or non-existent at all. I photographed a bird here and there in case I would pick-up on the hobby again, and only made some notes of accidental encounters of eye-catching birds on my rather frequent foreign travels. Only during the last few years (I am 57 now) I started to take a more serious interest in birding again.

However, I cannot present an up-to-date Life List yet as I don’t have everything sorted out. I have quite a few bird photos hidden between thousands of holiday- and other hobby’s slides and also some notes are lying around here and there, so it will take a lot of time to sort through that. I think my Life List would currently stand at around 450 species if it was up-to-date, but I prefer to present it in chronological order. So I will start today with my youth list and continue it from there.

As said, this youth list, which I fortunately kept, is from the sixties. In those times I was encouraged by my father who had a pair of old ex-Army binoculars and a field guide, “Wat vliegt daar” by W.H. van Dobben. Looking at this guide from the present day, it is rather surprising that I recognized any bird at all with it! But it was all there was in those days, no scope, no quality binoculars, no camera, no Peterson / Jonsson / Mullarney.

The birds on this list were all seen in the Netherlands. We lived in the NE of the province of Noord-Brabant, quite some distance from the sea, but family summer holidays were often spent at the seaside, so there are some coastal species on my list too.

Originally I used the Clements List for my Life List, but I have now changed to the IOC and accordingly updated all the names below.

Here we go!

1. Common House Martin Delichon urbicum
2. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
3. Common Swift Apus apus
4. House Sparrow Passer domesticus
5. Western Jackdaw Coloeus monedula
6. Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
7. Common Blackbird Turdus merula
8. Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
9. Eurasian Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
10. Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
11. Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
12. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
13. Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
14. Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
15. Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
16. Common Tern Sterna hirundo
17. Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
18. Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
19. European Herring Gull Larus argentatus
20. Western Barn Owl Tyto alba
21. Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
22. Willow Tit Poecile montanus
23. Rook Corvus frugilegus
24. Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
25. European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
26. Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
27. Dunnock Prunella modularis
28. Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
29. Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
30. Marsh Tit Poecile palustris
31. White Wagtail Motacilla alba
32. Great Tit Parus major
33. Carrion Crow Corvus corone
34. Common Linnet Linaria cannabina
35. Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
36. Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
37. Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
38. Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
39. European Robin Erithacus rubecula
40. Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
41. Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
42. Sand Martin Riparia riparia
43. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
44. Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
45. European Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
46. European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola
47. Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
48. European Greenfinch Chloris chloris
49. Redwing Turdus iliacus
50. Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
51. Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
52. Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
53. Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla
54. Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
55. Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
56. Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
57. Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
58. Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis
59. Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
60. Dunlin Calidris alpina
61. Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
62. Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
63. Mew Gull Larus canus
64. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
65. Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
66. Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
67. Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
68. Mute Swan Cygnus olor
69. Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
70. Coal Tit Periparus ater
71. Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
72. Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
73. Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes

Ref. no.31: I had seen two subspecies of Motacilla alba, the White Wagtail / M.a.alba and the Pied Wagtail / M.a.yarrellii. These are recognized as full species on the official Dutch species list, but not on the IOC one, so thus not for me too.

Peter

Last edited by Fulmar : Tuesday 22nd March 2016 at 15:56. Reason: Updating to current IOC names
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Old Monday 17th May 2004, 13:21   #2
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This is going to be a fascinating profile, Peter. Thanks for sharing it with us. I wish I could put mine in chronological order, but too many records have been lost over the years. I started with a little pocket bird guide by Chester A. Reed printed in about 1925. The illustrations hardly look like birds now.

I look forward to the next installment!
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Old Sunday 23rd May 2004, 21:46   #3
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Here follows the first amendment to my Life List. Numbers are rising!

After my Life List lay dormant from the late sixties, the first new birdlist happening is from 1979. In that year I visited the Bahamas, and looking through the pictures I found one photo featuring a bird, made in a marina at the island of North Bimini. This is my very first bird picture! At the time I had no American field guide, but looking at it now, I could identify it quickly as a Laughing Gull.

74. Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla

Also in 1979 I visited France and I found a bird between the holiday pictures, a House Sparrow. This is not a new one for my Life List, but is nevertheless the start of my French list! The picture can be found in the Gallery at http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...hp/photo/15371.

In 1980 I made a trip to several countries in the Caribbean, but unfortunately I found only three pictures with birds. The first one is from Jamaica, depicting some scenery including a cow. Near the cow are some white birds that are easily recognized now as Cattle Egrets. Then I found two pictures made in the Cayman Islands at some shallow pond between coral stone. One featured two white egrets, now recognized as Snowy Egrets, the second one a dark heron, now identified as a Tricolored Heron. So, from my comfortable chair in 2004, I can now add three species to my Life List:

75. Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
76. Snowy Egret Egretta thula
77. Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor

Next, also in 1980, I made a trip through several states in the Western USA. On some pictures from a marina at Lake Mead in Nevada I found several ducks and a coot. The coot was simple, but I wasn’t sure if the ducks were all Mallards or if there were some exotic imports between them. So I brought it forward here at BF in the excellent Bird Identification Q&A Forum and the answer was that they were all Mallards with more or less some domesticated features in them, see the thread at www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=8768. To my great surprise I found that the Mallard was not yet listed on my Life List! I must have overlooked listing it in my youth (indexing with computerised lists has its advantages!), or I must have thought that they were not wild birds but belonged to a farmer or so.

At the Great Salt Lake in Nevada and at Lake Tahoe in California I made quite a number of pictures of gulls because they were coming in close to get some handouts, and some years ago I identified these already, with some effort, as California Gulls. One of the pictures is in the Gallery at http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...hp/photo/15375. Apart from a House Sparrow (no new tick) in California, that were all the species that I could find on the photos. However, for the first time I had also made some notes and I had bought a field guide. But, being with friends, I didn’t pay much attention to birds and I was also totally unfamiliar with American birds, for many birds I didn’t even know their family, let alone that I could identify all those LBJs! I remember that I saw some hummingbirds, but there were so many species listed in the guide and I had such short glimpses of them that I had no idea what they were. Also, in the guide books they often have bright red or purple features, but the ones I saw had black ones. I didn’t know then that those bright features only show up with a certain angle of the sunlight! Nevertheless my notes say that I saw American Crows in Nevada, a Steller’s Jay in California, and a Common Pheasant (not a new tick) in Oklahoma. I also had very good views of a Spotted Dove in California and I listed a Black-billed Magpie in Oklahoma. The Magpie is a real armchair tick because at the time it was the same species as the European variety, but not so long ago the American one was split from the European one. So I can add this now as a new species!

78. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
79. American Coot Fulica americana
80. Black-billed Magpie Pica hudsonia
81. California Gull Larus californicus
82. American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
83. Steller’s Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
84. Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis

When I make country listings, this gives:
Netherlands 73
Bahamas 1
France 1
Jamaica 1
Cayman Islands 2
USA 9
-- California 4
-- Nevada 3
-- Oklahoma 2
-- Utah 1

Below are some crops of the pictures of the new species:
1. My very first bird picture, the Laughing Gull in the Bahamas
2. Western Cattle Egrets in Jamaica (behind the cow)
3. Snowy Egret in the Cayman Islands
4. Tricolored Heron in the Cayman Islands
5. American Coot in USA-Nevada

More to follow at a later date!

Peter
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Last edited by Fulmar : Saturday 5th March 2016 at 23:01.
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Old Monday 24th May 2004, 20:59   #4
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Good stuff, Fulmar... looking forward to your updates!
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Old Monday 24th May 2004, 23:05   #5
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... but why were you photographing the cow, Peter?..
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Old Monday 24th May 2004, 23:29   #6
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Charles, the cow is only a crop of a bigger picture. The whole picture is depicting the overgrown runway of an abandoned airfield, the cow was just standing in the way.......

Peter
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Old Wednesday 9th June 2004, 20:02   #7
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Amendment No.2 to my Life List.

In September 1981 I made a trip through several states in the Eastern USA with my future wife and friends. However, I only recorded or photographed some birds in Florida.

In a marina annex RV park at Key Largo we had a very tame Brown Pelican as a neighbor. He would come over and sit next to us to see if we had something to eat, but unfortunately for him we were not fishing. A photo of this bird is in the Gallery at http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...hp/photo/15527. Also at Key Largo I identified my first Double-crested Cormorant with the help of my field guide. Being with friends I didn’t go out birding, and birding was for me a low-key affair anyway then, but lying in the sun and having nothing else to do I must have made some effort in identifying it! The next bird, a Red-winged Blackbird, was photographed in Disney World near Orlando where it was walking on the grass near one of the restaurants. On the beach at Cocoa Beach I photographed a few sandpipers which I identified then as Semipalmated Sandpipers, but looking now at the photos again I have to admit, shame on me, that they are really Sanderlings. Being in nonbreeding plumage and my fieldguide then not being as comprehensive as what I have nowadays, may be an excuse!

The first Great Egret was spotted somewhere beside the road, and then Florida was left. Then nothing happened birdwise until we returned to Florida. At an RV park in Marianna with trees, bushes and a pond, a Great Blue Heron was photographed at the pond. Next, my attention was drawn to the song and the wing-raising of a Northern Mockingbird, and also a Downy Woodpecker and a Mourning Dove were photographed while the rest of the company prepared the barbecue.

An RV park in St.Petersburg with old high trees produced a Blue Jay and Boat-tailed Grackles who both almost ate out of our hands. I had originally identified the Grackles as Common Grackles, but later I changed my mind to Great-tailed Grackle because the females were brown and the tail was slightly long, and still later I noted that the Great-tailed doesn’t occur in Florida and that they were in fact Boat-tailed ones! I also managed to photograph a woodpecker which I later identified as a Red-bellied Woodpecker. The last new bird on this trip was the Piping Plover, found on the beach at Marco Island. This is another embarassment, as I had it noted in the books as a Semipalmated Plover, and only now in 2004 I found out that it really was a Piping Plover. Not that I am not happy with that!

So the new lifers on this trip are:

85. Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
86. Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
87. Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
88. Sanderling Calidris alba
89. Great Egret Ardea alba
90. Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
91. Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
92. Downy Woodpecker Dryobates pubescens
93. Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
94. Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata
95. Boat-tailed Grackle Quiscalus major
96. Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
97. Piping Plover Charadrius melodus

Apart from these 13 lifers, I had photographed Laughing Gull, Ruddy Turnstone, Snowy Egret and Sandwich Tern which were all additions to my USA list.

The changes and additions to the country listings give then the following totals:
USA 26
-- Florida 17

Below are some crops of the pictures of the new species:

1. Red-winged Blackbird in Disney World
2. Sanderling at Cocoa Beach
3. Great Blue Heron in Marianna
4. Northern Mockingbird in Marianna
5. Downy Woodpecker in Marianna

In the next post you will find some more photos as five only can be included per post.

Peter
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Last edited by Fulmar : Friday 13th May 2016 at 21:39. Reason: IOC name change incorporated
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Old Wednesday 9th June 2004, 20:05   #8
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Here are some more photos:

6. Mourning Dove in Marianna
7. Blue Jay in St.Petersburg
8. Boat-tailed Grackle in St.Petersburg
9. Red-bellied Woodpecker in St.Petersburg
10. Piping Plover at Marco Island

Peter
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Old Saturday 12th March 2016, 11:00   #9
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Amendment No.3 to my Life List

It is a long time ago that I started this story, always being more busy with current happenings than those from the past. However, I now made the effort to research my 1982 photos to continue my life list history.

In March/April 1982 I visited Forida and Louisiana but unfortunately I couldn’t detect any birds on the photos I made.

In June I paid a short visit to Berlin, and I found a few birds on the photos: Mute Swan, Mallard and Hooded Crow. But none of them was a lifer. Nevertheless they form the start of my list for Germany:

Germany 3

In September my wife and I went on a three-week holiday to Norway. Depending on the weather we slept in our tent, or in a hytte or a hotel. Campings are always nice to see at least a few birds.

In the city of Arendal I found a flock of pigeons on one of the photos. Of course they were members of the feral population of the Rock Dove. However, I found that I had not yet listed that species, probably because my father kept pigeons and as such they were too close for me to be considered “wild” birds. But now it became an addition to the life list.

In Oslo we went to the Frogner Park with the world famous Vigelandsanlegg with the sculptures of Gustav Vigeland. The park was not only interesting for the sculptures, but also because I found a lifer there, the Greylag Goose. They were very tame as you would expect in a park, and some were carrying a ring, but not all of them. So they are a bit borderline to consider them as wild birds, but they were freely roaming about and could fly away if they wanted. So I decided to add them as a lifer.

The next lifer was found at the Oslo camping in Bogstad, a Brambling. Sitting in front of the tent It could be watched looking for food on the ground. And that was the last lifer found on this trip. So Norway gave the following additions:

98. Rock Dove Columba livia
99. Greylag Goose Anser anser
100. Brambling Fringilla montifringilla

Originally I also had the Garden Warbler noted as a lifer, but studying the photo I started to doubt. Finally I placed it here in the Bird Identification Q&A but that was inconclusive too. So that species has to wait for a later date.

Non-lifers noted on this trip were Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Bullfinch, Great Black-backed Gull, House Sparrow, Black-headed Gull, Great Tit, European Robin, Mew Gull, Common Chaffinch, White Wagtail and European Herring Gull. So this makes the total:

Norway 14

In October/November a trip was made to Switzerland, Italy and San Marino. On the photos I only found a few birds photographed in Switzerland, at the Limmat river in the city centre of Zürich. They were Mute Swan, Black-headed Gull and Eurasian Coot. To my great surprise I found that the Coot was not yet listed on my life list! I must have overlooked it in my youth birding days! Nevertheless a welcome addition:

101. Eurasian Coot Fulica atra

Although not really worth mentioning, the Swiss list was started:

Switzerland 3

And that’s 1982. Only 4 lifers. I hope 1983 will bring some more. But that is for a later amendment.

Peter
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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2016, 19:40   #10
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Amendment No.4 to my Life List

In 1983 I still wasn’t paying much attention to birds. I didn’t make notes and I didn’t go out birding. Only on holiday I now and then made a picture of a bird when that came close.

For the whole year I only found a few bird photos between the photos of a holiday. That was a three-and-a-half-week trip with my wife to Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Croatia. The latter was still part of Yugoslavia then. But the good thing is that there were two lifers.

A Black Kite could be seen flying near the mountains in Maroggia, Ticino province, Switzerland, and a juvenile Cirl Bunting was photographed at a camping in Vrsar, Istria province, Croatia.

Originally I had identified the Cirl Bunting as a Tree Pipit, but looking at the photo again now, I noticed that it obviously wasn’t. As I had some doubts about the correct species I asked for help in the excellent Bird Identification Q&A forum. The consensus was Cirl Bunting, see here. So the following can be added:

102. Black Kite Milvus migrans
103. Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus

The Cirl Bunting was the only bird that I saw in Croatia, and is thus a very meagre start of my Croatia list!

My Swiss list had 3 birds until now and that rises with another 3, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch and the Black Kite.

Switzerland 6
Croatia 1

Birds seen in Switzerland that didn’t add to any list were Mute Swan, Eurasian Coot and Mallard.

That’s all that can be said for 1983! Below you can see photos of the Black Kite and the juvenile Cirl Bunting.

Peter
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Old Saturday 2nd April 2016, 14:56   #11
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Amendment No.5 to my Life List

In 1984 I really made an effort to pay more attention to birds. My wife and I visited the Turks and Caicos Islands for three weeks in March-April.

The number of species to be found in the Turks and Caicos Islands is not very high. Handbook of the Birds of the World gives 164 species icluding 31 vagrants. Avibase gives 224 including 119 in the category rare/accidental. So the chance to add a long list of lifers is limited!

The first week was spent at Grand Turk. No lifers were seen there, but Tricolored Heron and Northern Mockingbird were the start of my Turks and Caicos list. Both were seen at several other places later also.

But then we decided to go for a day to Salt Cay, just like Grand Turk part of the Turks Islands group. It is a small flat island with a large area of disused salt pans and it was very quiet. We walked from the airfield along the salt pans and there the first lifer was spotted, the Stilt Sandpiper. A photo can be seen below. At a later date back at Grand Turk, a group of 46 was seen in the Red Salina in Cockburn Town.

About the photos: I apologize for the horrendous quality, but I only had a 200mm lens, I used no hides, and the land is very flat and open, so it was very difficult to closely approach the birds, and the photos are scanned slides, mostly at maximum enlargement. I only made pictures for the purpose of identifying the birds later at home.

A second lifer at Salt Cay became the Wilson’s Plover and a third one the American Oystercatcher. Also the Least Sandpiper was seen feeding in the salt pans.The photos below of the last two were made later at Grand Turk as I use the best picture of the whole trip as an illustration, not necessarily the first one.

A fifth lifer became the Snowy Plover, a single one was seen in the salt pans too. Then it was time for a lunch so we walked down to the village of Balfour Town.
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Old Saturday 2nd April 2016, 19:14   #12
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Continuing the Salt Cay story.....

After the lunch and a chat with some of the friendly local people we walked up to the beach opposite the salt pans. We were the only people there and by keeping quiet some birds came quite close.

First a few Ruddy Turnstones came feeding between the weeds, followed by a lone Sanderling feeding on the shoreline. Both were not lifers but nevertheless added to my Turks and Caicos list. But then a lifer was spotted, a Grey Plover. At first I didn’t notice it as it stood well camouflaged among some rocks, but some movements gave it away.

Then it was time to walk back to the airfield for our return flight to Grand Turk. Near the salt pans another lifer was spotted, a Killdeer. And finally a Western Cattle Egret was seen in some bushes, not a lifer, but an addition to the Turks and Caicos list. A few more were seen at other islands later.

So, the enjoyable day at the little island of Salt Cay brought me 7 lifers.

Next we stayed a few days at Grand Turk again.

The first lifer seen at Grand Turk was a very nice one, a Cape May Warbler. It kept itself a bit hidden in thick shrub near the hotel but nevertheless I could make a picture and so it could be identified.

The next one is one of the highlights of the trip, my very first hummingbird! And not only that, it is an endemic species for the Bahamas/Turks and Caicos area, so a very welcome sight, the Bahama Woodstar. Unfortunately when it was in the sun it was too far away for a photo as hummingbirds as you know are very small, and when it was close it was in the deep shadow of a tree. But good enough for recognition purposes. This one was seen in the hotel garden, but later I got good views of one at the island of Providenciales too.

The final lifer before our departure to South Caicos was the Common Ground Dove. A small group was feeding on the ground near the former salt pans (the photo below was made later at Providenciales).

Not lifers but nevertheless additions to the Turks and Caicos list were an overflying Snowy Egret, easily recognisable by its yellow feet, and a far away Laughing Gull, whereby the photo showed everything for an easy identification. By the way, I found it remarkable that there were so few gulls to see, this was the only one that I managed to photograph. Another addition is the Mourning Dove, a group of 23 was seen not far from the Ground Doves. And a big and heavy Brown Pelican sailed past almost overhead.
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Old Saturday 2nd April 2016, 21:12   #13
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Departing from Grand Turk.....

From Grand Turk we left for South Caicos where we stayed a day and then spent a morning at Middle Caicos. No birds were watched there. From Middle Caicos we flew to Providenciales where we spent three days. We stayed in a hotel in an area called The Bight Settlement. At the time the small hotel stood directly on the beach and there was almost nothing but scrub in the wide area. Looking at Google Earth I can see that the whole area has now been totally overbuilt with hotels and other tourist accomodations and not a trace of our original hotel can be seen......

Anyway, at the time we had the beach and the scrub for ourselves, and the first lifer presented itself in the form of a couple of American Kestrels. They were regularly seen around the hotel, using poles and power lines to look out for prey.

The next lifer is a very nice one, the Bahama Mockingbird which can only be seen here and in the Bahamas, the Camagüey Islands of Cuba and a part of Jamaica. As the Northern Mockingbird was present in the same area too, I had to look twice if it really was the Bahama one, but it was! It was conspicuously showing itself on top of a bush as mockingbirds do.

The third lifer at Providenciales (commonly known as Provo) is the handsome Bananaquit. Although it seems to be quite common, I only managed to photograph one. It was going about its business between the branches of the scrub.

Next came the mighty Western Osprey. It was proudly eating a large fish sitting at the sidearm of an electricity pole. That was a real beauty to observe.

So Providenciales gave me 4 lifers. A few other birds were seen too but those I had spotted earlier already.

After Providenciales we flew back to South Caicos where we stayed for a day. During a walk around Cockburn Harbour I passed another of the Turks and Caicos salt pans. I saw a white egret, but it didn’t have the yellow feet of the Snowy Egret, and it also didn’t have the short stubby bill of the Cattle Egret. It was a white phase Reddish Egret! The half black half pinkish bill made the identification easy. Another nice lifer.
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Old Saturday 2nd April 2016, 22:44   #14
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Continuing the South Caicos visit.....

Not far from the Reddish Egret a dove was seen sitting in a low tree. It had a lot of white on the wing, and yes, that made it a White-Winged Dove. It was a bit far away and I had to photograph it through the branches, but it was clear enough for an identification.

The next lifer is a real surprise! It was a swallow sitting on a power line. Looking in the books I thought it should be an American Cliff Swallow as the Cave Swallow is not occurring in the Turks and Caicos Islands according to the book “Birds of the West Indies” and several other sources. But I brought it forward here in the Bird Identification Q&A forum as I had some doubts about it. The conclusion was that it should be a Cave Swallow after all. So I had photographed a vagrant! Wow, that was special!

After South Caicos had given me another 3 lifers, we flew the next day over to Grand Turk again for another two days.

In the Red Salina, the salt pans behind our hotel, a group of at least 60 Black-necked Stilts with their exceptionally long legs could be admired.

Also seen here was another lifer, the Semipalmated Plover. A small group was wading in the salina.

And a third lifer was the Lesser Yellowlegs. I had some difficulty in identifying these as the photo was of birds in flight mostly obscuring their legs, but some yellow could be seen. And the rest was also indicative of Lesser Yellowlegs. Seen the large piles of garbage in these salt pans, even including open paint tins, it is surprising that so many birds still find it good enough to search for food.
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Old Saturday 2nd April 2016, 23:34   #15
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Continuing on with Grand Turk.....

The last new lifer in the Turks and Caicos Islands was seen in the brush around the hotel. As a non-American not being familiar with all those warblers I had some difficulty in identifying this one, thinking it maybe was a waterthrush. Again the Bird Identification Q&A was most helpful again here to identify it as a Palm Warbler. Nice to have another warbler on the life list!

So all the above brings us to the list of the new lifers:

104. Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus
105. Wilson’s Plover Charadrius wilsonia
106. American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus
107. Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
108. Snowy Plover Charadrius nivosus
109. Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
110. Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
111. Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina
112. Bahama Woodstar Calliphlox evelynae
113. Common Ground Dove Columbina passerina
114. American Kestrel Falco sparverius
115. Bahama Mockingbird Mimus gundlachii
116. Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
117. Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus
118. Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens
119. White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
120. Cave Swallow Petrochelidon fulva
121. Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
122. Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
123. Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
124. Palm Warbler Setophaga palmarum

All the above new lifers plus the species that I had seen already before makes my total to:

Turks and Caicos Islands 30

That completes the Turks and Caicos Islands story.

Peter
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Old Sunday 3rd April 2016, 11:06   #16
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Amendment No.6 to my Life List

After our visit to the Turks and Caicos Islands described above, we flew to the Dominican Republic. We stayed there for four days in Sosúa on the north coast in Puerto Plata province.

Not much birding was done but nevertheless a few lifers could be noted.

Near the hotel a kingbird was seen sitting on a power line. At first I thought that it would be a tough one to identify because a similar species could be expected too. However, the notched tail made it easy to recognize it as a Grey Kingbird.

A bit later a heavily streaked songbird could be seen sitting on the same power line holding a long twig in its bill. It was the Palmchat, the only member in the Dulidae family. That is a very good species to see as it is endemic to Hispaniola.

The third lifer, a tern, was seen flying along the beach. Although the photo was from very far away and very bad quality, the long sharp yellow bill, the white forehead and especially the two dark primaries made it a Least Tern.

So the Dominican Republic adds the following lifers:

125. Grey Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis
126. Palm Chat Dulus dominicus
127. Least Tern Sternula antillarum

Apart from these three, non-lifers Western Cattle Egret and Northern Mockingbird were noted which makes the country list:

Dominican Republic 5

On the way back home we flew via Miami airport. I spotted one species, the Boat-tailed Grackle, but that didn’t add to any life- or country listing.

That completes the whole 1984 Caribbean trip. Back to Europe again!

Peter
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Old Sunday 17th April 2016, 22:41   #17
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Amendment No.7 to my Life List

For the rest of 1984 I didn’t see any more additions to my life list. However, my wife and I visited De Panne at the south coast of Belgium for two days in October. While at the beach I made some pictures of the birds there. All very common, but nevertheless they form the start of my list for Belgium. They were Mew Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, European Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Eurasian Oystercatcher and Great Black-backed Gull.

In January 1985 there was serious cold winter weather in the Netherlands with lots of snow. My little garden in Maastricht, Limburg province, was visited by many birds and one of them was a lifer, the Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Unfortunately I only had a pocket camera available, so I only could make a very bad proof photo which you can see below.

So the above makes:

128. Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus

Belgium 7
Netherlands 74

Peter
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Old Friday 29th April 2016, 15:34   #18
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Amendment No.8 to my Life List

The next life list event was a short holiday early September 1985 in France. We visited the area around Orléans in the Centre region.

My country list for France stood at the mighty total of 1 from a previous visit. It was time to let that grow!

The following country additions were seen: Barn Swallow, Black-headed Gull, Common Chaffinch, Common Linnet, Common Moorhen, Common Wood Pigeon, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Mallard, Mute Swan and White Wagtail.

But in the park around the world famous Chateau de Chambord in the Loir-et-Cher department, a real lifer was found, the Eurasian Nuthatch. It was showing itself quite well while hanging on a tree trunk (see photo below).

In the last week of September we spent a week with friends in a holiday park in Hapert, Noord-Brabant province, Netherlands. There were a lot of Mallards around on the ponds. Many were of the domesticated variety (called Soup Ducks in Dutch), but also quite a few looking like wild ones. Although I had noted them already in the USA, Switzerland, France and Germany, I noticed that the species didn’t feature on my Dutch list yet, so finally it could be added to my home country list.

This results in the following:

129. Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea

France 13
Netherlands 75

So only 2 lifers for the whole of 1985. Hmmm. An excuse might be that it was quite a hectic year with the birth of our children in January, yes two in one go!

Peter
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 21:36   #19
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Amendment No.9 to my Life List

In April 1986 we stayed for a week with friends and the children in a holiday park in America, Limburg province. There were quite a few birds around in the wooded park but they were all quite common. I made an effort to identify the more difficult ones by making a few sound recordings together with the photos. Therefore I was able to separate Willow Warbler from Common Chiffchaff. To my great surprise I saw that the latter was not yet featuring on my life list! Very strange that I missed such a common bird with such a characteristic song on my youth list. So the park unexpectedly produced a lifer for me! This results then in the following:

130. Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita

Netherlands 76

Peter
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