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Life list? Year list?

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Old Sunday 8th February 2009, 20:34   #1
BirderBoy
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Question Life list? Year list?

Okay, here I go. I'm about to embarrass myself in the Birdforum community.

I know I am about to sound like a complete novice but what is a year list and a life list? I think I know what they are but I'm not completely sure.
I would like to find out so I can start one.

So please help and remember I am a young birder (14) and don't call the birding police and have them confiscate my bins!!!

BirderBoy peace
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Old Sunday 8th February 2009, 20:59   #2
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Hi BirderBoy.
A year list is a list of the bird species you have actually seen that year.
A life list is a list of different bird species you have seen over your life time.
A life tick is a bird you have now seen, but have never seen before.
Hope this helps?
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Old Sunday 8th February 2009, 21:04   #3
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Red face Oh.

Oh right.
Thanks!!!
I had it completely wrong.
I thought you made a list of birds and tried to find them.
LOL
Thanks again.

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Old Sunday 8th February 2009, 21:13   #4
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Many birders are addicted to listing... me included.
I keep year list, life list, several county lists, world list, several country lists, continent lists, garden lists, holiday lists, day lists (e.g. 'big day' lists) and not just birds... dragonflies, butterflies, moths, hoverflies...
there must be a medical term for it
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Old Sunday 8th February 2009, 21:32   #5
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Glad to be of help, BirderBoy.

You are a Serial Lister, Ken
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Old Thursday 12th February 2009, 01:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirderBoy View Post
Oh right.
Thanks!!!
I had it completely wrong.
I thought you made a list of birds and tried to find them.
LOL
Thanks again.

BirderBoy peace

That doesn't sound like such a bad idea- making target lists for certain areas within a certain amount fo time.

I have a life list and am keeping a year list- doing a big year (trying to ID as much as possible) in Costa Rica actually.
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 09:21   #7
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I have one list,a life list and it gets added too VERY slowly! I should make a year list to note what birds I see each year but I can't be bothere plus I don't get to go birding that much anyway. Its looked upon as a bit sad in my neighbourhood
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 09:43   #8
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I've got a life list but it's pretty sparse at the moment and lives on a spreadsheet on my laptop.

It's not the be all and end all of the world if it doesn't grow, and it's unlikely to unless I can be bothered to go further afield. I just like mooching around locally at the moment...
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 09:47   #9
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Okay, here I go. I'm about to embarrass myself in the Birdforum community.
Don't be embarrassed. It's perfectly acceptable not to know something and how are you supposed to find out if you don't ask?

Superior types who look down the nose tend to get short shrift around here so ask away. Why have we got these forums if it's not to ask for help and give it in return?
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 11:10   #10
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I thought you made a list of birds and tried to find them.

LOL
Thanks again.

BirderBoy peace
I'd call that a "Target List" and often make one in preparation for a trip to a new location. By comparing a list of all species known to be recorded at a location and then identifying ones of particular interest to yourself (maybe birds that would be new "life birds", or species of special interest like owls, hawks, etc) and make a shortlist of your "Targets" for that trip.
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 12:59   #11
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Originally Posted by mikfoz View Post
Don't be embarrassed. It's perfectly acceptable not to know something and how are you supposed to find out if you don't ask?

Superior types who look down the nose tend to get short shrift around here so ask away. Why have we got these forums if it's not to ask for help and give it in return?
Absolutely,we all have to learn somehow. Wish I had this forum when I started birding back in the mists of time
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 13:02   #12
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On the subject of life lists. Do the majority of life lists actually mean British lists, or life list as in every bird seen by the individual anywhere in the world.

Personally I keep one list of birds seen anywhere in the world, and a separate list for birds seen in Britain.
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 13:12   #13
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On the subject of life lists. Do the majority of life lists actually mean British lists, or life list as in every bird seen by the individual anywhere in the world.

Personally I keep one list of birds seen anywhere in the world, and a separate list for birds seen in Britain.
Either or both.... (Don't know about the majority bit - you'll have to do a survey!)

For some examples, and a generally good listing website;

http://www.bubo.org/listing/
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 14:31   #14
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Anyone keep a garden bird list? I was thinking of starting one. Would be quite small tho the usual suspects plus GoldFinch,Dunnock and Sparrowhawk
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 18:02   #15
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I have one list,a life list and it gets added too VERY slowly! I should make a year list to note what birds I see each year but I can't be bothere plus I don't get to go birding that much anyway. Its looked upon as a bit sad in my neighbourhood
I gave up taking any notice of what others thought about me going out birding a long time ago.
People were always having little comments as soon as they found out my hobby was birdwatching, and still do sometimes.
But the same people are also asking me what this bird was they saw while out yesterday.

If you like doing it and you get pleasure out of it, then get out there and do it. Never mind what others think about it.
That dosen't just apply to birdwatching either.
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 18:13   #16
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I gave up taking any notice of what others thought about me going out birding a long time ago.
People were always having little comments as soon as they found out my hobby was birdwatching, and still do sometimes.
But the same people are also asking me what this bird was they saw while out yesterday.

If you like doing it and you get pleasure out of it, then get out there and do it. Never mind what others think about it.
That dosen't just apply to birdwatching either.
Yea you're right. Doesn't help when you have zero confidence tho and you live in a land of chavs with no interest in anything.
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 20:16   #17
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The only problem with lists, especially keeping a year list, is it has a tendency to take the enjoyment out of birding as it becomes more of a case of having to go birding rather than wanting to.

Many a time I've been watching a scarcity when birders turn up, watch the bird for a couple of minutes then they're gone.

I hadn't kept a year list since the nineties until this year but if I feel birding is becoming a chore I'll scrap it.
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 21:51   #18
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Well thanks for all your reply's!

The only problem is I've been birding for ages and I can't remember all the birds I've seen. :S So it would be hard to do a life list.

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Old Monday 16th February 2009, 10:03   #19
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Well thanks for all your reply's!

The only problem is I've been birding for ages and I can't remember all the birds I've seen. :S So it would be hard to do a life list.

BirderBoy peace
Then either don't do one or reset to zero.

http://www.bou.org.uk/recbrlst.html there's a spreadsheet on there of all recognised British species you can start filling in. What I did effectively was fill in all the common birds I know I have seen for ages as "common" then start filling in dates for ticks after I installed it. You might have to re-tick a bird, but it's not like the adjudication police are going to come and get you if you make an error.

You'll soon sort it out.
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Old Monday 16th February 2009, 10:17   #20
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Well thanks for all your reply's!

The only problem is I've been birding for ages and I can't remember all the birds I've seen. :S So it would be hard to do a life list.

BirderBoy peace
I was a bit like that, and ended up jettisoning all the birds I'd seen in childhood, meaning I had to refind barn owl, raven, green woody, pied flycatcher... Only annoying one is I still haven't to get merlin on there!

I agree, set it to zero! It may mean leading to a few annoyances, but will add to the thrill when you start seeing new birds for the life list. Plus you won't end up with a nagging doubt later on that birds you confidentaly had down in your younger days may not stand up to your ID scruitiny in later life...

Oh and check out http://www.bubo.org/listing for a good way to log your lists.
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Old Monday 16th February 2009, 10:30   #21
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I was a bit like that, and ended up jettisoning all the birds I'd seen in childhood, meaning I had to refind barn owl, raven, green woody, pied flycatcher... Only annoying one is I still haven't to get merlin on there!

I agree, set it to zero! It may mean leading to a few annoyances, but will add to the thrill when you start seeing new birds for the life list. Plus you won't end up with a nagging doubt later on that birds you confidentaly had down in your younger days may not stand up to your ID scruitiny in later life...

Oh and check out http://www.bubo.org/listing for a good way to log your lists.
Same for me. The biggest loss is Pheasant from the garden list - an extraordinary thing to turn up on a lawn in west London.
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Old Monday 16th February 2009, 16:53   #22
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The only problem with lists, especially keeping a year list, is it has a tendency to take the enjoyment out of birding as it becomes more of a case of having to go birding rather than wanting to.

Many a time I've been watching a scarcity when birders turn up, watch the bird for a couple of minutes then they're gone.

I hadn't kept a year list since the nineties until this year but if I feel birding is becoming a chore I'll scrap it.
This year I have found the complete opposite to that.
At the start of the year I entered a patchlist competition, and have two local patches that I go to at least once a week, normally weekends as work and lack of daylight hours after work at present mean no time during the week.
But entering the competition has made me look forward to birding even more than before.
I didn't enter the competition with any ambitions of finishing near the top of the table, as I knew other patchlist entrants would see more birds at their choices and would know far more of the birds and their calls than I would.

But that wasn't the point of entering, it was to get me up and out birding.
Which it has done every weekend of this year so far.

I'd agree with you on the scarcity point though. I have seen many a birder turn up, see the bird get a tick and off to the next one.
I have asked myself more than once, where's the enjoyment in that?
But for some that is the enjoyment, and who am I to question it.
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Old Monday 16th February 2009, 18:55   #23
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Well thanks for all your reply's!

The only problem is I've been birding for ages and I can't remember all the birds I've seen. :S So it would be hard to do a life list.

BirderBoy peace

Ah, that's easy enough. Make this your rule then:

If you can't remember seeing it then don't count it. Go and see it again for the first time.

For those with very short memories this isn't a good idea!

EDIT: Sorry - I hadn't read Pete's similar reply - setting it to zero is a bit extreme if you can remember some.

Personally I keep two lists now (gave up on my British list when I stopped twitching & had reached 400): my world list & my garden list - the latter now a respectable 98.
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Old Monday 16th February 2009, 19:30   #24
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Oh and check out http://www.bubo.org/listing for a good way to log your lists.
See post 13 above lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
Anyone keep a garden bird list? I was thinking of starting one. Would be quite small tho the usual suspects plus GoldFinch,Dunnock and Sparrowhawk
On the right hand side of above website apparently they are now doing garden bird lists- haven't checked it out myself yet though. Otherwise do it in the 'lists' section on bf I guess...

On the setting the list to zero front, I agree it sounds a bit harsh. Either you saw the bird or you didn't. Be harsh and eliminate everything you have doubts on, but if you really did see something obvious like a pheasant you can't pretend you didn't....
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Old Monday 16th February 2009, 19:58   #25
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Thumbs up

Hi all,

Well today I got a new log book and it has a check list in!

So I have worked out my Life List is… a modest 108. Not bad.
I saw two new species today thought, a Pintail & a Peregrine (I Peregrines are common but I always miss them but finally saw one today!)

Thank you all for your reply's and help!

BirderBoy peace
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