Sunday, 3 November 2019

Rarity finding

As I haven't actually found a rare bird in ages I was updating my finds list yesterday in order to remember what finding a rare bird is actually like. My definition of a rare bird is any description species (full description or notes) at any scale (county or national or biozone) and even on a uber local level, anything which is statistically rare (like a Woodlark at Beddington- common in Surrey, mega at the farmlands). Personally finding a Puffin at Beddington would be just as rewarding as finding a first for the WP on Corvo and I would value finding a Yellow-browed in Holly's garden as much as e.g. finding a  Brown Shrike at Shellness.

Rarity is a completely relative term. Just pop over to Bulgaria  and you will see nearly every eastern European rarity within a morning and an hour at Point Pelee in Spring and you'll get more yank wood warblers than Corvo in a decade. Paddyfield Pipit is an absolute dirt bird in India and I barely looked at one after the first hour when we visited Sri Lanka.

That's why you don't have to live on Scilly or Fair Isle or Spurn to find rarities. A Pechora on Fair Isle isn't worth anywhere near as much as a Pechora in any other vice counties and a Long-tailed Skua at Beddington is worth more than any national level Pechora.  The skill involved in rarity finding can be honed anywhere, it is a completely relative game and there are rare birds to find everywhere.

Confucius famously said  'A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace'. Personally I would say it should be more like 'A common man marvels at foxes and other common shit, a wise man finds the marvel (the rare) hidden within the commonplace' or even 'A common man watches the internet for a rare to be found by a wiseman and then drives miles to gormlessly gawk at it'

Here's a rough go at my finds list: FINDS LIST

It's still rough and ready and been talking with Jaffa aka Cream Tea Birder about the best way to organise it- nations, county or mega, vagrant, scarce migrant etc??

Here's some rules about self finds from Punkbirder SELF FIND RULES.

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