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Longest twitch by public transport? (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Who reckons they've got this title then?

My personal longest (hitching doesn't count) was Nottingham to North Uist for a Snowy Owl which involded over 20 hours on a National Express bus.

The nice thing was that on arrival at the small harbour in Uig on the Isle of Skye, the Caledonian Macbrayne ferry actually waits for the bus and barring an unexpectedly long delay, won't go until it arrives.

Stayed in the cosy 'Outdoor centre' on North Uist and saw the bird by taxi the next day.



A
 

stuartvine

Well-known member
Ferries fit standard definitions of public transport, taxis not so much, but since that was only a tiny part of the overall journey...
 

nicklittlewood

Well-known member
Norwich to Wick for Harlequin (1991 or thereabouts).

There was a National Express student offer at the time for £9 return anywhere in the country. Four intrepid (stingy) students set off from Norwich one afternoon with Birdline last reporting the bird to have swum out through the harbour towards the sea. Bus Norwich-London-Edinburgh-Inverness-Wick, arriving after dark the following evening (with no further mention on Birdline). A cold February night spent partly in a shelter overlooking the harbour. We decamped in the middle of the night as a dodgy character was hanging about (even dodgier than four students) and we had visions of bodies being dredged up from the harbour. So we set up sleeping bags on the train station platform. Late in the night a car drove up and down the platform! Next morning we had two hours daylight before the only bus south, and lo and behold, there it was on the river!. Then a simple matter of bus Wick-Inverness-Edinburgh-London-Norwich, arriving back late the following afternoon. £9 well spent (though my second UK Harlequin, a couple years ago, involving a few miles drive across Aberdeen was rather easier).

Nick
 

Paul Chapman

Well-known member
When the Black-browed Albatross reappeared in 1990 (having skipped a couple of years), a friend who had dipped it in its last year in the 1980's, packed a rucksack that afternoon in Pinner, walked to the end of his road, hitched to Aberdeen, got on the ferry and hitched to Hermaness. He scored. I dipped it that year but got it back the next year.

I am sure that there are a number of Shetland and similar hitching stories from the 80's. A little before my time.

All the best
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
When the Black-browed Albatross reappeared in 1990 (having skipped a couple of years), a friend who had dipped it in its last year in the 1980's, packed a rucksack that afternoon in Pinner, walked to the end of his road, hitched to Aberdeen, got on the ferry and hitched to Hermaness.

Did a mirror of that in 1986, but from South Wales, probably almost same number of miles too.
 
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lewis20126

Well-known member
Off the top of my head:

Plane: UK - Ecuador (Rufous-crowned Pittasoma), UK - Japan (Baer's Pochard), UK - Japan (Japanese Night Heron - dipped); but all involved driving / taxi at the destination country
Bus: Cheshire - Oban on the bus, then ferry and hitch for Steller's Eider
Hitching: Cheshire - Aberdeen , then ferry and hitch for Albatross (1983)
Cheshire - Skye - Blacktoft - Cheshire (Rosefinch, Corncrake, RN Stint)
Aberdeen - Worcestershire for BW Stilt (dipped, 1985?)

cheers, alan
 

Stuart Ling

Well-known member
A couple of us twitched Albert from Ipswich in 1984 which took 27 by public transport just to get to Lerwick, not to mention countless hours between connections. I can't for the life of me remember how we got to Unst or by what means.
 

Captain_of_Crunch

YVdpep_re64
About 2,500 to 4,000km?

East Anglia to Sylt for the Albatross, returning via Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria for Saker Falcon and Little Crake. This involved about 25 different legs by train.

Longest single day trip was 18 hours from western Germany to Stollberg in far eastern Germany for Hawk Owl, of which 16 hours was in transit.

Other notable public transport twitches include trips from East Anglia to Ireland for Glaucous-winged Gull and American Bittern, as well as a two day trip from Dublin to Wales and the New Forest for Common Yellowthroat and Dark-eyed Junco.

Germany and the Netherlands are probably the easiest countries in Europe to twitch birds using public transport. Britain is trickier given the lack of somewhat frequent local bus routes in most areas. For International twitching, the Eurostar makes most of western Europe accessible in a day for birders based in London (limits Madrid, Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen), but short notice tickets would be quite pricey. Interrail tickets make things a bit cheaper but countries such as France and Spain require mandatory seat reservations on high speed services which can sell out unfortunately.
 
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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
About 2,500 to 4,000km?

East Anglia to Sylt for the Albatross, returning via Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria for Saker Falcon and Little Crake. This involved about 25 different legs by train.

Longest single day trip was 18 hours from western Germany to Stollberg in far eastern Germany for Hawk Owl, of which 16 hours was in transit.

Other notable public transport twitches include trips from East Anglia to Ireland for Glaucous-winged Gull and American Bittern, as well as a two day trip from Dublin to Wales and the New Forest for Common Yellowthroat and Dark-eyed Junco.

Germany and the Netherlands are probably the easiest countries in Europe to twitch birds using public transport. Britain is trickier given the lack of somewhat frequent local bus routes in most areas. For International twitching, the Eurostar makes most of western Europe accessible in a day for birders based in London (limits Madrid, Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen), but short notice tickets would be quite pricey. Interrail tickets make things a bit cheaper but countries such as France and Spain require mandatory seat reservations on high speed services which can sell out unfortunately.

This sets the mark so far I think, note that I did say in the OP that hitching didn't count.


A
 

Pariah

Stealth Birder
About 2,500 to 4,000km?

East Anglia to Sylt for the Albatross, returning via Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria for Saker Falcon and Little Crake. This involved about 25 different legs by train.

Longest single day trip was 18 hours from western Germany to Stollberg in far eastern Germany for Hawk Owl, of which 16 hours was in transit.

Other notable public transport twitches include trips from East Anglia to Ireland for Glaucous-winged Gull and American Bittern, as well as a two day trip from Dublin to Wales and the New Forest for Common Yellowthroat and Dark-eyed Junco.

Germany and the Netherlands are probably the easiest countries in Europe to twitch birds using public transport. Britain is trickier given the lack of somewhat frequent local bus routes in most areas. For International twitching, the Eurostar makes most of western Europe accessible in a day for birders based in London (limits Madrid, Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen), but short notice tickets would be quite pricey. Interrail tickets make things a bit cheaper but countries such as France and Spain require mandatory seat reservations on high speed services which can sell out unfortunately.

The Albatross is a twitch. How going for birds which are easy to see in their native ranges is a twitch I can't see for the life of me. By which standard anyone going on a birding trip to the other side of the planet wins when they see a House Sparrow in the airport.

Owen
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
The Albatross is a twitch. How going for birds which are easy to see in their native ranges is a twitch I can't see for the life of me. By which standard anyone going on a birding trip to the other side of the planet wins when they see a House Sparrow in the airport.

Owen

So flying to say Sweden for a Hawk Owl or Sibe Tit wouldn't count?
 

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