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Comparing the British list to other countries (1 Viewer)

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
Okay, I certainly don't have local knowledge, but a car can be rented (for sure in Ecuador and Peru, don't know Colombia but would expect it can - the only real problek is Bolivia where there is not much offer of rental without driver). But car takes you only so far, there aren't really any roads in most of the Amazon, is the number of birds restricted to the roadless part really that small??
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
@Farnboro John - I don't disagree with you. But I suspect if you had a competitive big year in Britain or in the US, money would be a bigger determining factor than field skill assuming all the competitors were generally knowledgeable enough to undertake a big year. In Peru or Colombia, I think raw field skill / experience would be a bigger factor and money a lesser factor once you get over the hump of "have a car and can afford to take a year off work and can afford petrol and food"

Yes, I think that's right, especially considering the information services in Britain particularly - where distances are not so great and infrastructure pretty decent - provide excellent up-to-date gen that enables a twitcher of little field talent to rock up and tick with the crowd.

But they would still have to find the trickier "common" birds.

If money was no object I'd be tempted to give it the maximum effort for one year. 400 ought to be fairly do-able in that case ;)

John
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Okay, I certainly don't have local knowledge, but a car can be rented (for sure in Ecuador and Peru, don't know Colombia but would expect it can - the only real problek is Bolivia where there is not much offer of rental without driver). But car takes you only so far, there aren't really any roads in most of the Amazon, is the number of birds restricted to the roadless part really that small??

If someone were to ask me how to effectively / economically see the most birds in S America with a large amount of time available I would say they should fly to Santiago de Chile and buy a used car and go crazy.

As far as seeing Amazonian birds - between sites you can drive to in Ecuador and Peru and locations you can fly to or travel to on boat, and a few research stations, various villages and national parks, etc, you can see most of what there is without extravagant expense. It just takes more local knowledge, more time, frequently more Spanish/Portuguese language skill, and more comfort winging it and being flexible.
 

bonxie2003

Going for the One
Supporter
United Kingdom
Some really interesting comments. Thanks guys.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, how big would my year list be (in the uk) if I didn’t use any rare bird alerts. Simply using previously acquired knowledge and experience, I would have a good chance of finding ptarmigan, stone curlew, cirl bunting and other “common birds”. I guess also that in the course of the year I would probably stumble on a rarity or two while visiting sites. But would I get near my record of 276? Probably not. But I can easily check.

So there is the challenge. What is each country’s record year list without using any alerts? Would the uk beat the Czech Republic? I guess the uk lists would be much lower, but what about the South American ones? Is anyone prepared to take on that challenge themselves? Maybe next year.
 
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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
I guess what I’m trying to say is, how big would my year list be (in the uk) if I didn’t use any rare bird alerts. Simply using previously acquired knowledge and experience, I would have a good chance of finding ptarmigan, stone curlew, cirl bunting and other “common birds”. I guess also that in the course of the year I would probably stumble on a rarity or two while visiting sites. ...
What if, say you're visiting Titchwell to yeartick Avocet, and when you'd just seen one and were getting ready to go, someone tells you 'Oh, there's a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper just been found at the next hide along'. You weren't planning on going to that hide, but you've just been alerted about a rare bird . . . do you go, or say "no, I'm refusing rare bird alerts"? :-O
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
Some really interesting comments. Thanks guys.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, how big would my year list be (in the uk) if I didn’t use any rare bird alerts. Simply using previously acquired knowledge and experience, I would have a good chance of finding ptarmigan, stone curlew, cirl bunting and other “common birds”. I guess also that in the course of the year I would probably stumble on a rarity or two while visiting sites. But would I get near my record of 276? Probably not. But I can easily check.

So there is the challenge. What is each country’s record year list without using any alerts? Would the uk beat the Czech Republic? I guess the uk lists would be much lower, but what about the South American ones? Is anyone prepared to take on that challenge themselves? Maybe next year.

I went through the Czech check list (pun intended) and judged all species from the 402 on it quickly. I have counted birds I consider "sure" to see without timely information - that's breeders, commonly wintering waterfowl and passage shorebirds common enough to be reasonable able to "sit them out" visiting a few prominent stops, I got 224. Then I got another 26 that you are quite likely to bump into if you invest a lot of time during passage/in winter, so a dedicated loner should get around 250 - if I tried this, I would probably get about 240 max, as I am too lazy to really get all of the "harder" 26. I guess the UK will still beet us, even if narrowly, mostly due the ocean giving an extra very different habitat - also the UK is bigger than it looks and that helps.
 

bonxie2003

Going for the One
Supporter
United Kingdom
I did say I would probably stumble on a couple of rarities, but I believe you know what I am trying to say.
 

bonxie2003

Going for the One
Supporter
United Kingdom
I went through the Czech check list (pun intended) and judged all species from the 402 on it quickly. I have counted birds I consider "sure" to see without timely information - that's breeders, commonly wintering waterfowl and passage shorebirds common enough to be reasonable able to "sit them out" visiting a few prominent stops, I got 224. Then I got another 26 that you are quite likely to bump into if you invest a lot of time during passage/in winter, so a dedicated loner should get around 250 - if I tried this, I would probably get about 240 max, as I am too lazy to really get all of the "harder" 26. I guess the UK will still beet us, even if narrowly, mostly due the ocean giving an extra very different habitat - also the UK is bigger than it looks and that helps.
Thank you Opisska, that is exactly the information I was interested in. I’ve done the same for my 1996 list. 37 were “alert” birds, but I guesstimate that I would have seen 8 of them anyway. I also think I missed out on 3 British birds that I would probably have made more of an effort to see, had that been my aim rather than all birds. So I reckon my list could been 276 - 37 + 8 + 3 = 250.

Looking at the British list itself there are 237 species listed as common. All of these are getable, with the exception of lady Amherst. Of the next 78 scarce, not many could be guaranteed but some you could make more likely by choice of trips. Cley/titchwell for waders, Scilly Pelagics, flamborough head, fair isle, so I think 250 is a decent shout.
 
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Farnboro John

Well-known member
Thank you Opisska, that is exactly the information I was interested in. I’ve done the same for my 1996 list. 37 were “alert” birds, but I guesstimate that I would have seen 8 of them anyway. I also think I missed out on 3 British birds that I would probably have made more of an effort to see, had that been my aim rather than all birds. So I reckon my list could been 276 - 37 + 8 + 3 = 250.

Looking at the British list itself there are 237 species listed as common. All of these are getable, with the exception of lady Amherst. Of the next 78 scarce, not many could be guaranteed but some you could make more likely by choice of trips. Cley/titchwell for waders, Scilly Pelagics, flamborough head, fair isle, so I think 250 is a decent shout.

Would you mind putting up the 78 you think couldn't be guaranteed so we can also take a view?

Cheers

John
 

Had.enough

Registered User
Supporter
Thank you Opisska, that is exactly the information I was interested in. I’ve done the same for my 1996 list. 37 were “alert” birds, but I guesstimate that I would have seen 8 of them anyway. I also think I missed out on 3 British birds that I would probably have made more of an effort to see, had that been my aim rather than all birds. So I reckon my list could been 276 - 37 + 8 + 3 = 250.

Looking at the British list itself there are 237 species listed as common. All of these are getable, with the exception of lady Amherst. Of the next 78 scarce, not many could be guaranteed but some you could make more likely by choice of trips. Cley/titchwell for waders, Scilly Pelagics, flamborough head, fair isle, so I think 250 is a decent shout.

Many years ago, I got tired of twitching, when I realised I was spending a lot of my fairly limited free time driving long distances to look for a crowd of birders as opposed to actually birding. Subsequently I went off in the completely opposite direction, and tried to build a list without twitching as such.
It was good fun, and 250 was a realistic target which I eventually reached, based in Milton Keynes, and going to coastal locations mostly, plus scillies and shetland etc. It did get incredibly difficult shortly after 250, and I don't think I have got beyond 260 since, even though there are many scarce birds left for me to find. I had a top 30 list of most likely species i could "find", some appear quite easy but I've never had any success with, e.g. Roseate tern, Long Tailed Skua, Barred Warbler, Crane, RB Fly, so maybe 280 would be a more realistic target. 300 if you could put the hours in, in quality coastal locations I'm sure.
 

bonxie2003

Going for the One
Supporter
United Kingdom
Would you mind putting up the 78 you think couldn't be guaranteed so we can also take a view?

Cheers

John

American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
Ferruginous Duck
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Surf Scoter
Quail
White-billed Diver
Wilson’s Petrel
Leach’s Petrel
Scopoli's Shearwater
Cory’s Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Great Shearwater
White Stork
Glossy Ibis
Spoonbill
Night-heron
Cattle Egret
Purple Heron
Great White Egret
Montagu’s Harrier
Black Kite
Rough-legged Buzzard
Spotted Crake
American Golden Plover
Kentish Plover
Temminck’s Stint
White-rumped Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Red-necked Phalarope
Grey Phalarope
Sabine’s Gull
Little Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Iceland Gull
White-winged Black Tern
Pomarine Skua
Long-tailed Skua
Little Auk
Alpine Swift
Bee-eater
Hoopoe
Wryneck
Red-footed Falcon
Great Grey Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
Waxwing
Penduline Tit
Short-toed Lark
Red-rumped Swallow
Yellow-browed Warbler
Pallas’s Warbler
Radde’s Warbler
Dusky Warbler
Greenish Warbler
Blyth’s Reed Warbler
Marsh Warbler
Melodious Warbler
Icterine Warbler
Barred Warbler
Subalpine Warbler
Rose-coloured Starling
Bluethroat
Red-breasted Flycatcher
Siberian Stonechat
Citrine Wagtail
Richard’s Pipit
Olive-backed Pipit
Common Rosefinch
Mealy Redpoll
Arctic Redpoll
Parrot Crossbill
Serin
Lapland Bunting
Ortolan Bunting
Little Bunting
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
Interesting how different we are, despite being so close, I counted 24 birds on that list that I can basically go and show you in the Czech Republic (while there are many, mostly seabirds and some transatlantic migrants, that are essentially impossible here).
 

Had.enough

Registered User
Supporter
I've found 26 of that list in UK, in ~15 years. The vast majority found within a couple of miles of the coast, and since moving to Hampshire, with trips further afield. Birding 2-3 days a month typically
 
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KenM

Well-known member
I've found 26 of that list in UK, in ~15 years. The vast majority found within a couple of miles of the coast, and since moving to Hampshire

Interestingly I’ve had ten (sort of) off that list from the house in 37 years. :eek!:
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
Ferruginous Duck
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Surf Scoter
Quail
White-billed Diver
Wilson’s Petrel
Leach’s Petrel
Scopoli's Shearwater
Cory’s Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Great Shearwater
White Stork
Glossy Ibis
Spoonbill
Night-heron
Cattle Egret
Purple Heron
Great White Egret
Montagu’s Harrier
Black Kite
Rough-legged Buzzard
Spotted Crake
American Golden Plover
Kentish Plover
Temminck’s Stint
White-rumped Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Red-necked Phalarope
Grey Phalarope
Sabine’s Gull
Little Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Iceland Gull
White-winged Black Tern
Pomarine Skua
Long-tailed Skua
Little Auk
Alpine Swift
Bee-eater
Hoopoe
Wryneck
Red-footed Falcon
Great Grey Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
Waxwing
Penduline Tit
Short-toed Lark
Red-rumped Swallow
Yellow-browed Warbler
Pallas’s Warbler
Radde’s Warbler
Dusky Warbler
Greenish Warbler
Blyth’s Reed Warbler
Marsh Warbler
Melodious Warbler
Icterine Warbler
Barred Warbler
Subalpine Warbler
Rose-coloured Starling
Bluethroat
Red-breasted Flycatcher
Siberian Stonechat
Citrine Wagtail
Richard’s Pipit
Olive-backed Pipit
Common Rosefinch
Mealy Redpoll
Arctic Redpoll
Parrot Crossbill
Serin
Lapland Bunting
Ortolan Bunting
Little Bunting

If you put some work in on a year list, nearly all these would be available to twitch, you might struggle with some of those in bold.
 
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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
If you put some work in ona year list, nearly all these would be available to twitch, you might struggle with some of those in bold.
Little Auk is a lot easier than most of the ones you've not listed in bold! I guess the advantage of being close to the northeast coast . . .
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Little Auk is a lot easier than most of the ones you've not listed in bold! I guess the advantage of being close to the northeast coast . . .

I thought it was dependent on having a good passage year?

I once had one in my pocket, picked it up off the beach at Filey during that massive passage in the 90's. It was being attacked by a Crow, that's how I noticed it, took it to RSPB Bempton Cliffs.
 

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