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My 200 Bird Year - Bird Watching Magazine (1 Viewer)

Mother_of_birds

Active member
United Kingdom
I have been reading this years back issues of Bird Watching magazine since I only started birdwatching in February, and came across their 'My 200 Bird Year' challenge. Just wondering if any of you are taking part? If so, how are you doing?

It also got me thinking, what is considered a good number of birds to see in a year? I've looked up the records but I want to know what is good for the average person that doesn't have the luxury of birding full time!
 

david kelly

Drive-by Birder
200 species in a year takes effort. If you are not an avid twitcher over 150 in a year in the UK is what I would expect. Last year I recorded 166 species in East Lothian. There are better places in the UK to bird but for mainland Scotland it’s one of the better areas. This included White-winged Scoter, Surf Scoter, Avocet, Terek Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Roseate Tern, Long-tailed Skua, Goshawk and Lesser Grey Shrike. I stopped working in March last year so from May was out nearly every day. I missed a few too.
 

Mother_of_birds

Active member
United Kingdom
200 species in a year takes effort. If you are not an avid twitcher over 150 in a year in the UK is what I would expect. Last year I recorded 166 species in East Lothian. There are better places in the UK to bird but for mainland Scotland it’s one of the better areas. This included White-winged Scoter, Surf Scoter, Avocet, Terek Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Roseate Tern, Long-tailed Skua, Goshawk and Lesser Grey Shrike. I stopped working in March last year so from May was out nearly every day. I missed a few too.
Thanks David. I'm in Norwich, Norfolk which I know is a great place for birdwatching but I don't own a car, work full time and have pet birds that I don't like leaving for long periods of time so I'm limited to weekends and limit that time also so leaving Norfolk isn't really an option. I'm on 66 so far which I'm quite happy with being a newbie!
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
The Members Lists section includes a reasonably good cross-section of year listers, including those like myself who can't get out birding that often and don't generally travel to see rarities, and others with more impressive totals. I've had over 180 without any twitching, but that involved a bit of travel (Islay for geese, southern England for things like Cetti's warbler etc.).
I'm sure there are people who can reach 200 in a single county in a year, if it is large and coastal (Norfolk, Northumberland, Yorkshire...). David's total of 166 in East Lothian is impressive, given its not a large county...I've tried to connect with the scoters there without success, and in fact had a holiday booked this March which had to be postponed to May. I'll be too late for the scoters, but looking forward to getting back to Aberlady and Gullane, not to mention being able to meet up with my son again now the border is opening for leisure travel.
 

Mother_of_birds

Active member
United Kingdom
The Members Lists section includes a reasonably good cross-section of year listers, including those like myself who can't get out birding that often and don't generally travel to see rarities, and others with more impressive totals. I've had over 180 without any twitching, but that involved a bit of travel (Islay for geese, southern England for things like Cetti's warbler etc.).
I'm sure there are people who can reach 200 in a single county in a year, if it is large and coastal (Norfolk, Northumberland, Yorkshire...). David's total of 166 in East Lothian is impressive, given its not a large county...I've tried to connect with the scoters there without success, and in fact had a holiday booked this March which had to be postponed to May. I'll be too late for the scoters, but looking forward to getting back to Aberlady and Gullane, not to mention being able to meet up with my son again now the border is opening for leisure travel.
Thanks for pointing out the Members Lists, I hadn't noticed them before. I'm in Norfolk so I'm lucky but I don't have a car and a lot of the RSPB reserves are out of reach of public transport. I think next year, once things calm down and we know there isn't going to be another lockdown then I might get a car purely for my weekend birdwatching 😂 it seems a bit excessive but public transport can get expensive when you have to take a minimum of two buses to get anywhere!
 
Only tried once for a serious year list and I just made 300 with a lot of effort! I've heard people say 300 is easy, but personally I think it takes a lot of effort, luck, planning and added expenditure especially if you are having overnight stays anywhere. Personally I'm only c90 minutes from Spurn, Flamborough and the Lincs coast so that bumps up the total significantly,
 

Mother_of_birds

Active member
United Kingdom
Only tried once for a serious year list and I just made 300 with a lot of effort! I've heard people say 300 is easy, but personally I think it takes a lot of effort, luck, planning and added expenditure especially if you are having overnight stays anywhere. Personally I'm only c90 minutes from Spurn, Flamborough and the Lincs coast so that bumps up the total significantly,
300 is amazing! I don't know how anyone could consider that easy.
 

d.steeley

Well-known member
England
Personally, I don't keep any lists, I just enjoy the birds that I see when I see them. I'm a very casual birder from Warwickshire but enjoy birding mostly when on holiday in places such as Devon, Suffolk and Scotland.

Dave
 

Jon Turner

Well-known member
Wow that's impressive! Do you have a goal or expected number for the whole year?
Not really, just like to get out and see what I can. I did a big year back in 2014 - reached the target in early December - 1000 species. That was in Uganda and bird no 1022 was Shoebill. Came home the next day and hung up my binoculars till January 1st. The following two years Noah Strycker (an American birder) and Arjan Dwarshuis (a Dutch birder) Pushed the boundaries to absurd lengths of over 6000 species in twelve months. They were both on the go all the time.
 

Mother_of_birds

Active member
United Kingdom
Not really, just like to get out and see what I can. I did a big year back in 2014 - reached the target in early December - 1000 species. That was in Uganda and bird no 1022 was Shoebill. Came home the next day and hung up my binoculars till January 1st. The following two years Noah Strycker (an American birder) and Arjan Dwarshuis (a Dutch birder) Pushed the boundaries to absurd lengths of over 6000 species in twelve months. They were both on the go all the time.
It's impressive to me, my list now is 84 and I'd be happy to get 150 for the year. I'm very jealous that you've seen a shoebill, that is the bird I'd most like to see.
 

Owen Krout

Registered User
Supporter
Somebody I follow on Twitter had a day list longer than my year list yesterday :ROFLMAO:
Personally, I am always somewhat suspicious of people who consistently have what might seem to be extraordinary claims when nobody else is reporting the rarities they seem to always find and no geo-tagged photos are provided. Just saying. Hence why I personally am shy of claiming anything new or rare without photos or at least another experienced birder to back me up.
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Personally, I am always somewhat suspicious of people who consistently have what might seem to be extraordinary claims when nobody else is reporting the rarities they seem to always find and no geo-tagged photos are provided. Just saying. Hence why I personally am shy of claiming anything new or rare without photos or at least another experienced birder to back me up.
Hi Owen. I think the comment was more about my year list than the size of the day list. Ive no doubt it was easily doable in the right part of the country. Trip to Scotland will hopefully add a few to my year list.

Rich
 

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