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.

I've also taken on new groups in natural history, lepidoptera in particular, and found a fair few rare moths but nothing matches the challenge and excitement of finding a rare bird so I've been reflecting on what new targets I should set myself in bird finding.

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.

National Rarities

Surf Scoter (1) 
Zino's Petrel (1) (Found on an Azores pelagic and identified by Bob Flood- First for Azores and one of the few at sea sightings outside Madeira)
Trindade Petrel  (1)
Swinhoe's Storm-Petrel (2)
Brown Booby (1)
American Coot (1)
Water Rail (1) 
Western Sandpiper (1)
Buff-breasted Sandpiper (2)
Hudsonian Godwit (1) First for Azores
Hudsonian Whimbrel  (2)
Wilson's Snipe (1-2)
Solitary Sandpiper (1)
Wilson's Phalarope (1)
Bonaparte's Gull (2)
Laughing Gull (4) (Marie, Corvo airfield, flyover Corvo and Terceira air base) 
Short-billed Gull - a first for the WP (1)
American Herring Gull (10+) (First accepted for the Azores)
Forster's Tern (2) First for Azores
Whiskered Tern (1) First for Azores
Merlin (1) 
Mourning Dove (1) First for Azores
Common Nighthawk (1)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (3-4)
Chimney Swift (28)
Eastern Wood Pewee (1) 2nd for Azores and WP
Buff-bellied Pipit (2) First for Azores
Sedge Warbler (1) First for Azores 
Grey-cheeked Thrush (3-4)
Swainson's Thrush (2-3)
Wood Thrush (1) 
White-eyed Vireo- a first for the WP (1)
Philadelphia Vireo (1) First for Azores
Black-throated Blue Warbler (1) First for Azores
Northern Parula (1)
American Redstart (1)
Ovenbird (1)
Common Yellowthroat (1) 
Hooded Warbler (1) First for Azores
Summer Tanager (1) First for Azores
Scarlet Tanager (3)
White-crowned Sparrow (1) First for Azores
Indigo Bunting (10+)
Bobolink (2+)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (5-6)
Baltimore Oriole (1)
Purple Gallinule (from photos) 
'Icelandic Redpoll' 
Common Redpoll (2) 

Pacific Golden Plover (in on the 2010 Beddington bird with Roger and Johnny)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (1 Tresco- someone else submitted this))
Tawny Pipit (1)
Brown Shrike (identified the first Scilly bird from photographs on internet)
Eastern Stonechat 
Also found White-rumped Sands, Red-footed Falcon, Red-throated Pipit and Citrine Wagtail which were BB rarities at the time (see national scarce migrants below). 

Eastern Black Redstart

Terek Sandpiper
Desert Wheatear (3rd for Bulgaria)
Little Bunting (5th for Bulgaria) 

Western Sahara
Eurasian Bittern

Steppe Gull 

National Scarce Migrants
Deserta's Petrel (4) 
Night Heron
Wilson's Petrel (record counts at time) 
American Golden Plover (11 including a flock of 10)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (several)
Least Sandpiper a few)
Lesser Yellowlegs (a couple)
Red-eyed Vireo (5+)
Sabine's Gull
Common Gull (a few) 
Carrion Crow
Common Redpoll
Lapland Bunting 

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 (4+)
Dusky Warbler (1)
Pallas's Warbler (1) 
Siberian Chiffchaff (3-4)
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)
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)

Yellow-browed Warbler (Fuerteventura)

County Rarities 
 (not including national or scarce migrants above) 
London and Surrey
Long-tailed Skua
Arctic Skuas
Great Skua
Common Crane
Northern Fulmar
Honey Buzzards
Lapland Bunting
Snow Bunting
Bewick's Swan
Little Egret (first for Surrey)
Great Egret

Pink-footed Goose
White-fronted Goose
Brent Goose

White-fronted Goose
Black Redstart 

Little Auk
Local Rarities (not including anything from above) 
White-fronted Goose
Brent Goose
Red-crested Pochard
Black-necked Grebe
Little Tern
Sandwich Tern
Long-eared Owl
Bearded Tit
Wood Warbler
Dartford Warbler
Black Redstart
Blue-headed Wagtail
Common Crossbill

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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