Sunday, 30 September 2018

Finds List

White-crowned Sparrow (Corvo, Azores 2005) 

I've been birding since I was 13 which means this is my 33rd autumn. My focus in birding has never been listing how many birds I can see  (although I've done plenty of twitching and listing and love it too) but rather how many birds I can find (local, national or WP- basically description species) and how many significant discoveries worthy of a scientific paper/write up in particular (publications here). I like a challenge and always thought that twitching and listing was not quite twisted enough for my liking; Exploration and discovery much more challenging and unpredictable.  However once you've been in this exploration game as long as I have I find you begin to loose the will to exist, especially with no tangible end game- at least in listing there is some kind of end game and a competitive league. I do keep a Beddington, Azores, WP and World List and also plan to start a WP Moth and Butterfly list, mammal list and perhaps herp list too, so I could always focus more on listing rather than having an existential wobble.

 However one must endure no matter what, for no better reason than to annoy one's adversaries, and I'm finding my new challenge of trying to defeat the entire Capitalist empire on my local patch and founding a nature-centric urban community, somewhat of an overreach, especially they are now imprisoning people for protesting and causing trouble. Not sure I can be arsed with going to prison- although it could be a laugh. Should try everything once I suppose.

 I've also taken on new groups in natural history to stave off the boredom of existence- lepidoptera in particular, and found a fair few rare moths but nothing matches the challenge and excitement of finding a rare bird (apart from winding up powerful Capitalists) so I've been reflecting on what new targets I should set myself in bird finding. I even tried Oil and Gold Exploration in the past (and pursued it as a career for nearly 7 years) but after finding both Oil and Gold it still couldn't match the buzz of finding a rare bird.

So I've been referring to BB Scarce Bird Reports and Rarities Reports and the Netfugl WP list (to extract the vagrant species) to see what species I have found so far - so basically anything not on this list is still what I have to find i.e. loads of stuff. I've identified some targets at the end of the list.

A lot of these birds I've found/co-found with mates particularly Darryl Spittle, Sam Woods, Simon Buckell, Gary Messenbird, Lee Dingain, Chris Townend, Mushaq Ahmed and Kate Armstrong. All the records have been accepted by the relevant rarities committee (or pending) except an un-submitted  fly over Tawny Pipit at Beddington (no photos, no sound recorded so I wouldn't accept if I hadn't seen and heard it).  I might have missed a few out as Jacob keeps coming in trying to turn off my computer and hitting the keys.

WP rarities found (all Azores- not including Azores local rarities) 
Zino's Petrel (1) (Found on an Azores pelagic and identified by Bob Flood- one of the few at sea sightings outside Madeira)
Trindade Petrel  (1)
Swinhoe's Storm-Petrel (2)
Brown Booby (1)
American Coot (1)
American Golden Plover (11+)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (2+)
Western Sandpiper (1)
Least Sandpiper (1+)
Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1)
Hudsonian Godwit (1)
Hudsonian Whimbrel  (1+)
Wilson's Snipe (1 ?)
Solitary Sandpiper (1)
Lesser Yellowlegs (1+)
Wilson's Phalarope (1)
Bonaparte's Gull (2)
Laughing Gull (2)
Short-billed Gull - a first for the WP (1)
American Herring Gull (10+)
Forster's Tern (1)
Mourning Dove (1)
Common Nighthawk (1)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (2+)
Chimney Swift (28)
Eastern Wood Pewee (1)
Buff-bellied Pipit (2)
Grey-cheeked Thrush (1-2)
White-eyed Vireo- a first for the WP (1)
Red-eyed Vireo (5+)
Philadelphia Vireo (1)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (1)
Northern Parula (1)
American Redstart (1)
Ovenbird (1)
Hooded Warbler (1)
Summer Tanager (1)
Scarlet Tanager (1-2)
White-crowned Sparrow (1)
Indigo Bunting (10+)
Bobolink (2+)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (4+)
Baltimore Oriole (1)

BB rarities found 
Pacific Golden Plover (in on the 2010 Beddington bird with Roger and Johnny)
Semipalamted Sandpiper (1 Tresco- someone else submitted this))

Reserve: Brown Shrike (identified the first Scilly bird from photographs on internet)

BB Scarce Migrants found
Green-winged Teal (1)
Cory's Shearwater (2)
White Stork (1-2)
Kentish Plover (1)
Temminck's Stint (8+)
White-rumped sandpiper (3) (BB rarity at time of finding)
Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1 and 2, Ireland*)
Pectoral Sandpiper (4)
Red-necked Phalarope (2)
Grey Phalarope (1 + multiple off coast)
Sabine's Gull (2)
Ring-billed Gull (1)
Caspian Gull (50+)
Kumlien's Gull (2, Ireland*)
Hoopoe (1)
Red-footed Falcon (1) (BB rarity at time of finding)
Red-backed Shrike (1)
Yellow-browed Warbler (2-3)
Siberian Chiffchaff (1-2)
Barred Warbler (1)
Red-breasted Flycatcher (1)
Citrine Wagtail (1) (BB rarity at time of finding)
Red-throated Pipit (1) (BB rarity at time of finding)
Richard's Pipit (1)
Tawny Pipit (1) (Now a BB rarity)
European Serin (1)
Ortolan Bunting (2)

In reserve:
Black Kite (confirmed the one Johnny found in Beddington)
Olive-backed Pipit (had one going over the Ovenbird on Scilly but confirmed by someone else later)

Local Rarities (Beddington, London and Surrey) (local rarities which are not national BB scarce/rare migrants but not including local scarcities)
Long-tailed Skua
Arctic Skua
Great Skua
Common Crane
Northern Fulmar
Honey Buzzard
Lapland Bunting
Snow Bunting

So basically a few major gaps- need to find an Eastern Mega and an African vagrant in the WP and also more BB rarities (doesn't help I've spent the last 20 years and most of my birding trips on the Azores in autumn and often in summer and winter too and also most of the ones I found before that have now been demoted to scarcities). Also would be good to find a mega outside the WP. Also still need to help in overthrowing the entire Capitalist's empire or else they are going to kill off all the birds making it harder to find anything new!

Here's a few more memorabilia posts:

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