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Finds Bird List Rules (1 Viewer)

bonxie2003

Going for the One
Supporter
United Kingdom
Hi all, just starting putting together my finds bird list and I’m really struggling with what counts as a find. If you are on fair isle and stumble across a Pechora that no one else has seen then that is clearly a Find. Likewise seeing a house sparrow in your garden. I’m not sure many would deny you that tick on your Find List. But then it gets tougher. Would you count an avocet at minsmere? Someone else has seen them first. Stone curlew at weeting Heath? Or what if you’ve heard that long eared owls are roosting in the lee valley park? I wasn’t told told where but I did see them on my own. Nobody else pointed them out, but I was only there because I knew they were there. Or what if I found a black browed albatross off Filey head? I was only there because I’d heard it had already been seen off Gibraltar and flamborough heads earlier in the day. I wonder if anyone else has any views and how they resolve these issues.
 
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Jhanlon

Well-known member
Hi all, just starting putting together my finds bird list and I’m really struggling with what counts as a find. If you are on fair isle and stumble across a Pechora that no one else has seen then that is clearly a Find. Likewise seeing a house sparrow in your garden. I’m not sure many would deny you that tick on your Find List. But then it gets tougher. Would you count an avocet at minsmere? Someone else has seen them first. Stone curlew at weeting Heath? Or what if you’ve heard that long eared owls are roosting in the lee valley park? I wasn’t told told where but I did see them on my own. Nobody else pointed them out, but I was only there because I knew they were there. Or what if I found a black browed albatross off Filey head? I was only there because I’d heard it had already been seen off Gibraltar and flamborough heads earlier in the day. I wonder if anyone else has any views and how they resolve these issues.

And some guidelines here http://www.surfbirds.com/uk250club.html

As Dan says there will never be full agreement on what counts and there are too many different scenarios that refuse to be accurately pigeon-holed.

With rare breeding species I would only count if I found them at a 'new site', which would have to be some miles from a known site. But a site within a larger known region would probably be OK. Therefore I would count capercaillie on my self-found list, but not crested tit or ptarmigan as I've only seen the latter two at known sites.

It's essential to be honest and use common sense and I think the 'genuine surprise' thing is good to remember. In the event of a 're-find' I would think there has to be a reasonable spatial and temporal shift to call something your own. Eg something which has moved a few miles would be fine in most situations but a few hundred yards, not really! Something which had been looked for and confirmed missing for weeks could count as a find if you relocated it but not something missing for a few hours or days, especially if few people had been searching in the interim. Eg I counted a local glossy ibis as a find as it had been reported there just once, a month previously, with lots of visitors in the interim. But when I relocated a cedar waxwing that hadn't been seen for 24 hours, well I'd have been kidding myself with that one had I tried to count it.
 

Had.enough

Registered User
Supporter
It is all around honesty isn't it. If I found a rare breeding bird site, which I didn't know about; but it turns out half of the County knew about it and managed to keep it totally secret. I found them!

But it works best for rare migrants. Rare breeding species has a whole host of vague scenarios..
What if I'd found a rare breeding bird by looking for its man made plots on google earth satellite imagery!!
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I get round this by enjoying birds and not worrying about artificial lists like finds, especially to the point of worrying about how other people consider theirs.

It's about the birds, not the lists.

John
 

bonxie2003

Going for the One
Supporter
United Kingdom
Thanks guys. The surfbirds one is good. Makes my finds list very small. Of course you are right John. Birding is 90% birds and 10% lists, or is it the other way round?
 

Trystan

Well-known member
I’ve never tried to create a list of this nature, in part because my birding is so limited, it usually involves a twitch followed by spending time in the area, or going to a site where I’m very familiar with the birds I’m likely to find.

In addition I could tie myself in knots over the ambiguity of any rules set.

How to ever ‘find’ a common bird? Just because you didn’t know it was there doesn’t mean it wasn’t likely to be there.

If I find a jacksnipe on canal scrape at spurn, it’s only based on previous experience so I reckon most people would say this can’t be self found, but extrapolate that and I’m only at spurn based on past experiences and the chance of a rarity. Without field guides, bird news, word of mouth, how would I know to be at spurn in the first place, ergo no rarity at a rarity hotspot is tickable as self found.

It’s not worth the hassle for a list which I see as little more than an ego boost anyway.
 

Had.enough

Registered User
Supporter
I get round this by enjoying birds and not worrying about artificial lists like finds, especially to the point of worrying about how other people consider theirs.

It's about the birds, not the lists.

John

I just like a challenge. It's not the list for me either, it's the approach of going out with no expectations of what's out there, and coming home with something that you've found and identified yourself. For me, that would be the ultimate high. It's hard work though, you don't see as many species, and I definitely need to supplement it with a twitch now and again, or a trip abroad!

It's made me a better wildlife watcher than I otherwise would have been. More independent and analytical, and patient. Before that I was just phoning birdline, writing down os grid refs, then looking for a crowd of birders.
 

Jhanlon

Well-known member
It’s not worth the hassle for a list which I see as little more than an ego boost anyway.

What a sad and cynical way to look at it.

Horses for courses as far as I’m concerned. Such lists just add a bit of spice to birding exploits, that’s all. I don’t publish my self-found one anywhere so it’s not about the competition either.
 

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