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48 years between sightings!

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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 17:04   #1
Richard Prior
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48 years between sightings!

One for the rainy day reminiscing members, I was reading kb57's 2020 thread: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=385208
and was tickled to see he had recently seen some Dartford Warblers in Surrey, 48 YEARS after his last sighting of the species! Naturally that got me thinking, what was the biggest gap between sightings of a same species for me? So how about you ?
Let's keep it to the country we normally bird in (otherwise those 'just twice in a lifetime' foreign trips would skew things somewhat).
Despite my 'senior' status as the French call it I can't beat KB's 48 year gap, I had a gap of 29 years (I think) between sightings of Grey Phalarope (1965 Somerset, 1994 Scillies).
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 17:24   #2
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I'm also making a bid for the top two places with my 47 year Jack Snipe record - 1971 Gosforth Park to Saltholme on 07/10/2018. Unfortunately I don't have the exact date of the first record as my mother chucked out all my field notes while I was away at Uni, obsessive tidier that she was.

I do have my old year list notebook from 1972, so I can tell you my gap in sightings of Dartford Warbler is from 09/07/72 (Arne Heath) to 03/03/20.

I was a keen birder as an adolescent but didn't keep my hobby going into adulthood, hence some long gaps - I'd break my record if I saw a Pomarine skua again (Holy Island, August 1970), unfortunately another one I don't have detailed notes for.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 19:05   #3
Jeff hopkins
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Mine isn't that long, since I've only been birding since 1998, but it was a little over 19 yaers for me. I just saw a Crissal Thrasher right after New Years, and the last one I saw was in December of 2000.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 19:40   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Prior View Post
One for the rainy day reminiscing members, I was reading kb57's 2020 thread: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=385208
and was tickled to see he had recently seen some Dartford Warblers in Surrey, 48 YEARS after his last sighting of the species! Naturally that got me thinking, what was the biggest gap between sightings of a same species for me? So how about you ?
October 1964, Lammergeier in East Africa, just over the border from Kenya in what is now Tanzania, while serving with the RAF, then two in central Austria late April 2015, when it had morphed into Bartgeier or Bearded Vulture...

I make that 50.5 years... At least I didn't have to wait so long for the next sighting, in the Pre-Pyrenees in spring 2016...!
MJB
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 20:46   #5
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My record must be over 25 years between my two Ross's Gulls.
There's a 27 year gap between the two Nutcrackers I've seen in the Netherlands, but I saw it (although of a different subspecies) elsewhere in between.
Of the birds I could have seen more often, 23 years between Common Quails anywhere in the world is quite impressive as well...
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 22:30   #6
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Around 40 years Dartford Warbler.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 01:42   #7
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My gaps are pretty much 30 years or less. However, there are three species I haven't seen since the 1970s, so not in over 40 years. One was the Smew in Rhode Island, one is Pine Grosbeak (only in Maine), and one is Spot-breasted Oriole (only in Florida). Clearly I need to travel more.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 09:18   #8
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My longest gaps are for Myrtle Warbler (29 years between Scilly 1985 and High Shincliffe 2014) and Greater Sand Plover (Dawlish Warren 1988 and jamming into one on Benbecula, 2012). The jamming into the second GSP is unusual for me in that second or more records are normally either because I want a photo (or a digital or better one) or because Marion hasn't seen one. Those two reasons keep the gaps down, and get me to see more birds.

Obviously there are birds I've only seen once, so I don't have a personal return time for them. Of those, the one that hasn't occurred at all for longest since is Little Whimbrel (August 1985), making it, without malice, my best blocker. Prepares to wince as longer absent and bigger rarities start to get mentioned.....

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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 09:25   #9
Richard Prior
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Obviously there are birds I've only seen once, so I don't have a personal return time for them. Of those, the one that hasn't occurred at all for longest since is Little Whimbrel (August 1985), making it, without malice, my best blocker. Prepares to wince as longer absent and bigger rarities start to get mentioned.....

John


Sounds as though the thread is about to mutate (virus-style)
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 13:28   #10
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In a UK context I think my biggest gap is just over 31 years between Rock Thrushes (June '86 on Anglesey to October '17 at Pwll Dhu), although I've seen them abroad in between times. In world terms I think it must be Harlequin at just over 28 years between the Sullom Voe bird in February '87 and the one in Aberdeen in April '15.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 13:34   #11
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Some of these gaps are longer than some of us.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 14:14   #12
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Mine would be 41 years ( 1979 ) since I saw both Capercaillie and ptarmigan. Only been back up there one or two times since and only made half-hearted attempts to see them again. I know that I really should make more effort - there’s no other British birds that come remotely close to that length of time.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 14:31   #13
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I missed one: 31 years Little Bustard, 1988 Christchurch to 2019 Slimbridge: the latter was a tick for Marion.

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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 16:38   #14
Steve Lister
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My longest gaps are both special gulls.

Ross's Gull - March 1976 at Scalby Mills then 32 years until my only other at Lytham St Annes in May 2008.

Ivory Gull - February 1986 at Saltburn then a 27 year wait for the Patrington Haven bird in December 2013.

All four sightings were twitched - would love to find either myself.

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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 21:03   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Lister View Post
My longest gaps are both special gulls.

Ross's Gull - March 1976 at Scalby Mills then 32 years until my only other at Lytham St Annes in May 2008.

Ivory Gull - February 1986 at Saltburn then a 27 year wait for the Patrington Haven bird in December 2013.

All four sightings were twitched - would love to find either myself.

Steve
I saw both your original Ross’s and the ivory but not seen since!

Ural owl 1985 - then 2015...
Little bittern 1976 - 2014(?)
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 21:57   #16
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I was thinking mine was Black-throated Thrush, 23 years, Werrington 1996 to Whipsnade 2019, but then I was reminded of Capercaillie, Grantown 1985 to on a minor road roadside near Loch Garten, 2009 (on the way back from the Orkney Sandhill Crane), and Ptarmigan, Cairngorm 1983 (walked up, won’t do that again) to Pass of the Cattle, 2013 (on the way to the North Uist Harlequin).

So Ptarmigan wins at (a bit less than) 30 years.

Chough would have been a contender (waiting for the Skomer ferry 1982 to Cape Cornwall on the way to a Scilly pelagic, 2011), but I forgot about a record in south Cornwall sometime in the late 80s or early 90s which we stumbled on on the way back from something (Gull-billed Tern on the Hayle? Queen Eider with bonus Least Sand at Porthscatho?)
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Old Sunday 8th March 2020, 07:03   #17
Farnboro John
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Originally Posted by Steve Lister View Post
My longest gaps are both special gulls.

Ross's Gull - March 1976 at Scalby Mills then 32 years until my only other at Lytham St Annes in May 2008.

Ivory Gull - February 1986 at Saltburn then a 27 year wait for the Patrington Haven bird in December 2013.

All four sightings were twitched - would love to find either myself.

Steve
I saw your second Ross's Gull, it walked up to within six feet of us! Lovely bird. The first one pre-dates my birding.

I dipped the Saltburn Ivory Gull by a day or two, ticking an adult in the Firth of Forth instead. I thought I'd found one once, in winter at the Benbecula sewage outflow, but it was a leucistic Common Gull: it ought to have been an Ivory! I took Marion to see the Aldeburgh immature, another very showy individual.

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Old Sunday 8th March 2020, 07:17   #18
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I saw your second Ross's Gull, it walked up to within six feet of us! Lovely bird. The first one pre-dates my birding.

I dipped the Saltburn Ivory Gull by a day or two, ticking an adult in the Firth of Forth instead. I thought I'd found one once, in winter at the Benbecula sewage outflow, but it was a leucistic Common Gull: it ought to have been an Ivory! I took Marion to see the Aldeburgh immature, another very showy individual.

John
I decided to see in the millennium with the Aldeburgh Ivory Gull. The good folk of Aldeburgh decided to see in the millennium with a massive firework display on the beach at midnight. Their plans bore more fruit than mine.

A distant White-tailed Eagle at Benacre had to step in and provide some consolation. I only hope the Ivory Gull had buggered off and wasn't immolated in the spectacle.
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Old Sunday 8th March 2020, 07:19   #19
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Franklin's Gull in UK 44.5 years
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Old Monday 9th March 2020, 13:23   #20
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Originally Posted by MJB View Post
October 1964, Lammergeier in East Africa, just over the border from Kenya in what is now Tanzania, while serving with the RAF, then two in central Austria late April 2015, when it had morphed into Bartgeier or Bearded Vulture...

I make that 50.5 years... At least I didn't have to wait so long for the next sighting, in the Pre-Pyrenees in spring 2016...!
MJB
And with that, I think I'll have to concede my early lead...in fact, were Austrian birds countable as self-sustaining in 2015? If not, then strictly speaking you're at 51.5. I'd love to not beat either record by seeing a fully-spooned Pom somewhere this spring (49.5)!
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Old Monday 9th March 2020, 13:27   #21
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And with that, I think I'll have to concede my early lead...in fact, were Austrian birds countable as self-sustaining in 2015? If not, then strictly speaking you're at 51.5. I'd love to not beat either record by seeing a fully-spooned Pom somewhere this spring (49.5)!
I think I'm right in saying that there's at least one record by 2015 of a tracked bird from the Pyrenees visiting the Alps!
MJB
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Old Monday 9th March 2020, 14:44   #22
Richard Prior
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You’re still the leader under the ‘in the same country’ rule (see Post 1) KB, but Mike’s over half a century gap has the World lead

I also read somewhere about a (or some) Pyrenees-born Lammergeier(s) having been logged in the Alps, not sure whether there has been breeding proved up to now though. It’s hopefully only a matter of time thanks to the réintroductions that have been done in some areas between the two mountain ranges (Verdon gorge, Cévennes etc) which break up the gap.
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Old Monday 9th March 2020, 14:44   #23
Larry Sweetland
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In UK I think Hudsonian Godwit might be the longest gap, though I've seen them in South America in between.
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Old Monday 9th March 2020, 15:58   #24
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My longest gap is 19 years. 2000 I saw Siberian Jay in Kuusamo, Finland and right after that 2019 in Lapland, Finland.
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Old Monday 9th March 2020, 20:18   #25
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Can't get anywhere close to 48 years personally, but my local reserve (Upton Warren, Worcs.) had its second Glaucous Gull record last month, it us still roosting on occasion, just over 48 years after the only previous record.
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