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British Big Year - 2016. 398 so far.

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 12:22   #1
Paul Higson
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British Big Year - 2016. 398 so far.

Just heard that Mark Pass was up looking at the Black throated Thrush on Orkney very recently and it was his 398th sp for the year. . .

His attempt seems to have slipped beneath the radar big time. (Well it has up here).

Anyone know anything more ??
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 12:48   #2
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He's a fellow Derbyshire lad and was keeping things very low key for a while. But saw him at Spurn recently and he acknowledged this massive attempt was "out there". Its been a fantastic year for him obviously and during it he's moved house and kept working.......!
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 13:03   #3
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What's the current record?
Can't imagine anyone in germany getting anything near 400! What an impressive number!

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 13:11   #4
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PS Northern Harrier made 399 - on his way to Shetland now.
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 13:12   #5
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Killdeer for the big 400 !!
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 13:14   #6
Paul Chapman
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That is a fantastic number. Of course, the immediate question has to be the basis of the attempt - what taxonomy and approach to status eg UK400 or BOU? Also the geographical area - British or British & Irish?

All the best
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 14:27   #7
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Originally Posted by Paul Chapman View Post
That is a fantastic number. Of course, the immediate question has to be the basis of the attempt - what taxonomy and approach to status eg UK400 or BOU? Also the geographical area - British or British & Irish?

All the best
Actually a more immediate and interesting question is whether we can persuade Mark to open up about his year in general. I knew it was going on back in the summer but given the history of the record I'm not at all surprised its only just becoming generally known.

To that end we might reasonably hope that Mark will sooner or later publish his list - maybe on Bubo or eBird? And perhaps some key events? It sounds like a spectacular if gruelling year. It would be nice to have it written up on here (please, Mark!)

It looks to me as if Britain (or the British Isles) has a new "champion twitcher" -at any rate in the year listing arena. Now that is definitely something to celebrate!

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 16:32   #8
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He's seen more birds in 2016 than I have in 57 years!
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 16:48   #9
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That is a fantastic number. Of course, the immediate question has to be the basis of the attempt - what taxonomy and approach to status eg UK400 or BOU? Also the geographical area - British or British & Irish?

All the best
UK400 & British - though he wasn't strictly doing UK400 to begin with so didn't go for things like BH Wagtail & Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll!

Sam
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 16:53   #10
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UK400 & British - though he wasn't strictly doing UK400 to begin with so didn't go for things like BH Wagtail & Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll!

Sam
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 17:16   #11
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What's the current record?
Can't imagine anyone in germany getting anything near 400! What an impressive number!

Maffong
The current (generally accepted) record is held by Adrian Webb who in 2000 saw (I think) 383 sp. The total was disputed by a certain well known birder here who has a history of, well, disputing 'big year' attempts.

I don't know which list Adrian followed.

Haven't held much interest in attempts since that year so I'm not really up to speed but I'm pretty sure this total hasn't been surpassed.

Hope he takes pics. As he'll be hauled before the dock for some very intense interrogation by someone no doubt!
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 18:25   #12
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I don't know which list Adrian followed.
Adrian's list is in the February 2001 Birding World pages 76 and 77 (Vol. 14 No. 2) and was a UK400 club British and Irish List. Not sure what converting it would produce.

The editorial comment ends with - "Can the magic 400 species now be year-listed?"

All the best

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 19:46   #13
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Adrian's 2000 year list numbering 383 is attached. It predates Lee splitting at least White Wagtail and Siberian Stonechat (I believe). I am not sure whether there is anything else?

There are 11 species first recorded in Ireland - Lesser Canada Goose, Gannet, Great White Egret, Short-billed Dowitcher, Whimbrel, Little Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Ross's Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Pale-bellied Brent Goose and Blue-winged Warbler but I anticipate that Lesser Canada Goose, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Ross's Gull, Gull-billed Tern and (definitely!) Blue-winged Warbler are the only ones only seen in Ireland - so I anticipate a converted comparison to a British current UK400 Club list may be 379 for comparison (including White Wagtail and Siberian Stonechat)?

A conversion from there to a BOU British list would also deduct Ruddy Shelduck, Tundra Bean Goose, Greenland White-fronted Goose, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Black Brant, Marbled Teal, Booted Eagle, Black-headed Wagtail, Desert Lesser Whitethroat and Siberian Chiffchaff so 369.

As the Ruddy Shelduck was on my patch, it should obviously have been accepted......

All the best

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 20:09   #14
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Even based on a potentially record breaking year in terms of number of species (as per the other thread) it's a hell of a conversion rate.

Are we sure the 398 is BOU and Britain only?
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 20:20   #15
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Even based on a potentially record breaking year in terms of number of species (as per the other thread) it's a hell of a conversion rate.

Are we sure the 398 is BOU and Britain only?
UK400 & British.........

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UK400 & British - though he wasn't strictly doing UK400 to begin with so didn't go for things like BH Wagtail & Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll!

Sam
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 20:22   #16
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UK400 & British.........
Ahh - thanks Paul, should have read more closely.

As may have been said up thread the sooner Mark can go public with his list and dates the better to silence the inevitable doubters.
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Old Wednesday 16th November 2016, 04:29   #17
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Hope he takes pics. As he'll be hauled before the dock for some very intense interrogation by someone no doubt!
Already happening. Looks like British Birding has a new policeman. Too early to start drinking?

Owen
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Old Wednesday 16th November 2016, 04:59   #18
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Have said before that 400 in a year should be possible ... but not many agreed

A theoretical 400 shouldn't be too much of a problem at all - hindsight of what to go for and when and should be easy(ish) to work out where to be for the next one and link it all up.


But that's a moot point. For the guy (Mark) to get 400 (we assume he's there by now?) is pretty amazing - apart from a lot of good decision making/accessibility of the birds and them playing well/presumably a very flexible job!
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Old Wednesday 16th November 2016, 05:51   #19
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Have said before that 400 in a year should be possible ... but not many agreed

A theoretical 400 shouldn't be too much of a problem at all - hindsight of what to go for and when and should be easy(ish) to work out where to be for the next one and link it all up.


But that's a moot point. For the guy (Mark) to get 400 (we assume he's there by now?) is pretty amazing - apart from a lot of good decision making/accessibility of the birds and them playing well/presumably a very flexible job!
Would 400 ever be possible listing to BOU?
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Old Wednesday 16th November 2016, 06:04   #20
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Would 400 ever be possible listing to BOU?
Sorry, yes, thinking BOU when we're actually talking UK400 (or the other way around ). Will have to see if/when we know what's been seen how it would convert.

Still ...
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Old Wednesday 16th November 2016, 07:03   #21
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A theoretical 400 shouldn't be too much of a problem at all - hindsight of what to go for and when and should be easy(ish) to work out where to be for the next one and link it all up.
Dan

I don't agree. We are talking 420's species totals for the highest 3 or 4 BOU British years in history and all of those contained a myriad of brief short stayers or ungettables as with this year - Red-footed Booby, Siberian Thrush, Eye-browed Thrush, etc, etc.

400 on a BOU British List may be possible with a lot of luck and good judgement in an exceptional year but even then you'd need to check if it has ever really been possible.

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Old Wednesday 16th November 2016, 09:48   #22
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Have said before that 400 in a year should be possible ... but not many agreed

A theoretical 400 shouldn't be too much of a problem at all - hindsight of what to go for and when and should be easy(ish) to work out where to be for the next one and link it all up.


But that's a moot point. For the guy (Mark) to get 400 (we assume he's there by now?) is pretty amazing - apart from a lot of good decision making/accessibility of the birds and them playing well/presumably a very flexible job!

Don't forget that it also needs to be a year of good rarity numbers which hang on long enough to be twitched.

If I did it, I'd keep quiet as well to prevent a certain person pipping me at the post with e.g a Savi's Warbler on an undisclosed site which no one else knew about (93 or 94 I think that was)!


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Old Wednesday 16th November 2016, 11:21   #23
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Would 400 ever be possible listing to BOU?
Yes, if the BOU adopt UK400Club taxonomy next year over IOC/Clements etc
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Old Wednesday 16th November 2016, 13:24   #24
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Yes, if the BOU adopt UK400Club taxonomy next year over IOC/Clements etc
I know he deson't recognise 'Scotbill' but what does he split that differs from the IOC, Geese I assume?


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Old Wednesday 16th November 2016, 13:43   #25
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The Killdeer obliged...


I can assure you all that this list is totally real, Mark is a genuine and great chap. He kept it secret because he didn't want fuss and attention at the start because of the very reasons mentioned above. He's been more relaxed about it recently hence the greater knowledge. He has had an amazing year.The thing is time and cash were not a major problem from what I understand, only physical endurance judging by a couple of times I've seen him on the road... Oh and an understanding wife on logistics!

If I were able to do the same I wouldn't want anyone to know either, the grief through the year given the history and baggage it carries would be too much.

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