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2017 Western Palearctic Big Year

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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 14:15   #26
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Because future proofing on taxonomy will accept that it doesn't exist

Though it's on the current Netfugl list . . . so they could try for it . . but would it waste too much time trying to find something that isn't there?
I assume they'll go twitching a few times, maybe that's when they'll try for local species, such as Scottish Crossbill. Would make things cheaper

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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 14:27   #27
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1) The information given is very rudimental. They don't tell us anything about themselves and their background.
Give them a chance, the page has only just started!

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What taxonomy does netfugl use? (Could look it up, but they might aswell just give us half a sentence more)
A mix of BOURC, plus AERC for taxa not covered by BOURC (stated on Netfugl's taxonomy page). So includes one or two taxa that other lists like IOC don't accept (e.g. Lesser Redpoll), but also omits others (e.g. Iberian Green Woodpecker, now accepted by IOC).

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2) Their spelling should really be double checked. I notice, they aren't native speakers, but come on... "Mars" "Catagory C" "Suthern Europé" "Kazakstan"
As above! They do welcome comments, so send them some

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4) As far as I know at least L.G. Evans has already done a WP Big Year with 704 species seen.
"To our knowledge, no one has ever attempted a full Big Year in the WP region – that is what we’ll be doing in 2017."
Did LGRE explicitly call it a WP Big Year? Also could be contentious, there's some people at least who consider his personal bird lists a bit iffy . . .
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 14:44   #28
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Did LGRE explicitly call it a WP Big Year? Also could be contentious, there's some people at least who consider his personal bird lists a bit iffy . . .
But he doesn't count Scotbill!

I think he claimed to have the biggest WP list at one time?

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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 14:52   #29
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But he doesn't count Scotbill!
That's true, and a point in his favour
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 17:14   #30
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A very interesting prospect. It'll be interesting to see what sort of total they achieve, I look forward to seeing their itinerary. Best of luck to them.
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 20:20   #31
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Yes, very interesting indeed.

Will all 3 end up competing with each other as time goes by (ie will they have their own local agenda between trips as intimated in the blog page) could it all get quite messy?

For those dissing Britain, they seem to be forgetting that as an island (group) it is extremely well placed to receive extra-limital vagrants which will be hard to pick up elsewhere - Sibes to a degree, but also the Yanks. The Azores will of course be good, but in a good year the UK can get 12+ Nearctic shorebird species alone. A potentially greater variety and much easier to twitch. Depends where the birds turn up in the particular year.

Budget will be interesting.


Re future proofing - Just how many subspecies will they be targeting along the way? They could go for the full 2000+ if they were really keen just to make sure ...
Presume they'll have gen for specialities like Andalusian Hemipode (Small Buttonquail), but there are others eg Cape Verde Buzzard? Bourne's Heron which they will just catch? Too late for some species ...

And yes Iran and area would potentially be a good idea but don't they have to be careful about having Israel stamps in the same passport?
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 20:34   #32
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Yes, very interesting indeed.

For those dissing Britain, they seem to be forgetting that as an island (group) it is extremely well placed to receive extra-limital vagrants which will be hard to pick up elsewhere - Sibes to a degree, but also the Yanks. The Azores will of course be good, but in a good year the UK can get 12+ Nearctic shorebird species alone. A potentially greater variety and much easier to twitch. Depends where the birds turn up in the particular year.
I really don't think you can plan a big year and realistically legislate for a significant number of vagrants.

Though it's not like a World list, they will presumably be back and forth a lot so could easily spend a week on the Scillies, a week in the Hebs and a week on the Azores?

I suspect though that any vagrants may be mopped up if the chance presents and that solid coverage of each important destination will be of more benefit?


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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 20:37   #33
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... don't they have to be careful about having Israel stamps in the same passport?
So long as flying in and out, Israel will put the stamps on a slip of paper which can be thrown away afterwards (they will do the same if travelling overland, but you have exit stamps from Egypt or Jordan and these countries won't put on a slip of paper).

Alternatively, for British passport holders at least, you can travel on two passports.
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 20:38   #34
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Not sure ending the year in Iceland is so good an idea though, very limited daylight, for very little potential return
Not ending, just sometime in the second winter period. Presumably they'll only be needing the two main ducks (Barrow's Goldeneye, Harlequin Duck) Possibly Brunnich's, Gyr and Snowy Owl, but they'd hope to get those in Scandinavia already? And a White-winged Scoter type thing if still there. Presume they'd hope to tie in with an autumn twitch for some mega yank or another ...

??
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 20:46   #35
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I really don't think you can plan a big year and realistically legislate for a significant number of vagrants.

Though it's not like a World list, they will presumably be back and forth a lot so could easily spend a week on the Scillies, a week in the Hebs and a week on the Azores?

I suspect though that any vagrants may be mopped up if the chance presents and that solid coverage of each important destination will be of more benefit?
Looking at vagrancy patterns and weather and such, it would be a very good idea to plan for the unplanned, as it were. By keeping the time free, or effectively trial booking the event so they can be as efficient as possible if they have to go. But they could get lucky or unlucky wherever they go.

Residents/regulars can get mopped up just by good planning mostly. And take much less than half the given year.

It'll be balancing the givens with twitching the chance birds - either being in roughly the right place already or luck of the draw.

Anyway ... I'm sure they'll be looking into it. We'll see how it pans out.
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 20:55   #36
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I think budget is key here - have they planned for an all out push (ie twitching "all" available vagrants) or is this just a mop up of the residents plus a few stays in vagrant hot spots. If the latter, there is no doubt a big money effort should smash it - one for Paul on his retirement perhaps?

cheers, alan
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 21:28   #37
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Dan, you may not want to blow your own trumpet as it were (at least I can't see any reference to it), but you did a big WP year of sorts and I'll bet you spent less than they'll spend in a month!
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 22:47   #38
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Alternatively, for British passport holders at least, you can travel on two passports.
That's interesting, didn't know that?

A

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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 23:09   #39
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That's interesting, didn't know that?

A
A friend of mine holds three passports. Irish, British and US. He usually uses his American passport in Israel and his British passport in other countries in the Middle East. He also requests that the Israeli border police stamp a piece of paper and he's only been refused on one of about five trips to Israel IIRC.

As far as I know though it's obligatory in some countries to use the same passport for both entry and exit on any one trip. This is the case in Switzerland at least.
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 23:19   #40
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A friend of mine holds three passports. Irish, British and US. He usually uses his American passport in Israel and his British passport in other countries in the Middle East. He also requests that the Israeli border police stamp a piece of paper and he's only been refused on one of about five trips to Israel IIRC.

As far as I know though it's obligatory in some countries to use the same passport for both entry and exit on any one trip. This is the case in Switzerland at least.
Jos is speaking of actually having two British passports, not dual nationality. I just Googled it and it seems that with permission it's possible. Some businessmen need the facility for when one passport is away awaiting a visa so they can still travel on the other.

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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 23:34   #41
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Jos is speaking of actually having two British passports, not dual nationality. I just Googled it and it seems that with permission it's possible. Some businessmen need the facility for when one passport is away awaiting a visa so they can still travel on the other.

Andy
Also possible in Ireland apparently but it seems to require a request from your workplace plus proof of extensive travel for work.
Much easier to have been born in the US to British citizens and then live in Ireland from an early age like that friend of mine. Then choose your passport which suits best where you're travelling to ;-)

Good luck to those WP listers.
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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 09:56   #42
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Auks etc ?

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They've missed out Britain!
Also leaving Ireland till Sept; and Iceland till late in the year; and with no mention of Norway that I can see ... Shurely shome mishtake.
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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 21:12   #43
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Good luck to them, and looking forward to (hopefully) follow their adventures next year!

In WP listing, perhaps crucial is how much budget one has, and how many long-distance air trips to catch rarities one can afford. Hopefully they counted it in advance - or are so rich that don't care. Anyway, regular species would make already a great adventure.

Single most problematic regular might be connecting with the last remaining Siberian Crane during his stopover in Volga delta.

Jos, really good to hear you are well! Please, do not read the paragraph below, OK?

Algerian nuthatch is possible, at least one man seen it this year and lived to post pictures on Observado. One can fly from Algiers to Jijel, and from there it is under 2 h drive to Mount Babor. Algerian government apparently confiscates binoculars on entry, but not moderate telephoto lenses. If one keeps head down, and the nuthatch behaves like Corsican and Kruper's species, one could do it during light hours in a single day. But not the plan I would announce on the internet in advance.

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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 14:32   #44
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Another one to go for!

http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=5919

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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 14:35   #45
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In WP listing, perhaps crucial is how much budget one has, and how many long-distance air trips to catch rarities one can afford. Hopefully they counted it in advance - or are so rich that don't care. .
Surely this is the single greatest factor in any attempt of this kind for any region. Even doing a year list in the UK will cost a lot of money!

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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 14:43   #46
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Again however, if Iran is included in the WP, it is not the first breeding record as per the title.
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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 14:49   #47
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When I initially saw this thread I thought for sure John Wiegel was going for the WP record, after conquering Australia and the ABA.
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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 14:50   #48
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Again however, if Iran is included in the WP, it is not the first breeding record as per the title.
Why would Iran be included, I'd like to know how the boundaries are suggested and decided?

The 'Wallacean' region in Asia, the obvious transition zone where birds become more obviously Australasian rather than Asian is a good idea but does this apply to Iran, does it apply anywhere?

If the most abundant birds are more typically Asian or African, it can't be part of the WP can it? Perhaps we need a transition zone like Wallacea?




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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 14:57   #49
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Why would Iran be included, I'd like to know how the boundaries are suggested and decided?
Because, with the exception of the far south-east (east of Bandar Abbas), the species present (birds, mammals, plants, etc) are essentially Western Palearctic. Travel in the mountains of northern Iran fro example and I think there is not a single non-WP species present - Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Red-breasted Flycatchers, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, etc etc in the woodland, mountain species basically the same as the Caucasus Mountains, etc.
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Old Wednesday 21st September 2016, 15:02   #50
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Because, with the exception of the far south-east (east of Bandar Abbas), the species present (birds, mammals, plants, etc) are essentially Western Palearctic. Travel in the mountains of northern Iran fro example and I think there is not a single non-WP species present - Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Red-breasted Flycatchers, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, etc etc in the woodland, mountain species basically the same as the Caucasus Mountains, etc.
I think this could run and run as ever increasing boundaries are set. The World remains the World and cannot have it's boundaries altered. The WP is potentially susceptible to change at any time?

What's the history of the ABA region, has it remained stable and unaltered for the various record attempts?


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