Bogey birds

I’m not some kind of uber-twitcher, but I do enjoy keeping birding lists. The only two I keep in any way more than half-arsed are my UK life list and UK year lists, and while I’m not exactly up there with the big boys, I don’t think I’m doing too bad for someone who’s only been birding “properly” for a few years, and doesn’t drive or have regular access to a car for birding purposes.

Black Redstart

Bubo is a great website for keeping bird lists, and a fairly fun feature is to compare your list with others and see what your “targets” are, to see the species that most other users have seen but you haven’t. Here’s my top targets, with percentage of other users that have seen the species afterwards.

  1. Black Redstart (72%)
  2. Hooded Crow (71%)
  3. Black-throated Diver (70%)
  4. Jack Snipe (70%)
  5. Nightingale (69%)
  6. Dartford Warbler (69%)
  7. Firecrest (68%)
  8. Woodlark (68%)
  9. Stone Curlew (66%)
  10. Glaucous Gull (64%)
  11. Temminck’s Stint (64%)
  12. Grey Phalarope (63%)
  13. Golden Eagle (63%)
  14. Lapland Bunting (62%)
  15. Honey Buzzard (61%)
  16. Iceland Gull (61%)
  17. Black-winged Stilt (61%)
  18. Wryneck (59%)
  19. Ring-billed Gull (58%)
  20. Golden Oriole (58%)
  21. Crested Tit (57%)
  22. Hoopoe (57%)
  23. Sooty Shearwater (57%)
  24. Pomarine Skua (56%)
  25. Storm Petrel (56%)
  26. Rough-legged Buzzard (56%)
  27. Red-footed Falcon (55%)
  28. White-tailed Eagle (55%)
  29. Glossy Ibis (55%)
  30. Lesser Yellowlegs (54%)
  31. Little Auk (54%)

As I’ve never set foot in Scotland I’m not worrying too much about Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle and Crested Tit, and I suspect many newer birders are finding it harder to get Black-winged Stilt now Titchwell’s resident one has passed away.


However a few on there I consider particular “bogies”. Black Redstart, Firecrest, Lapland Bunting and Wryneck are birds that should have poked their heads out of bushes during coastal passage-time walks by now. Sooty Shearwaters and Black-throated Divers really should have sheared or bobbed into view during boat trips, and surely Jack Snipe is one of the most embarrassing, as it’s a species that has a few rather regular winter sites in the Sheffield area?

Jack Snipe

Some show a certain birding idleness too – Nightingale and Woodlark have some regular sites just out of county, and lack of the white-winged gulls shows a certain lack of resolve for squinting through winter gull flocks!

Many of these will be possible over the autumn and winter – hopefully I’ll pick a few up before the end of 2010!

What are the birds you feel you should have seen by now?

Picture credits:

Black Redstart by lefthandgergo used under Creative Commons Licence (see here).

Firecrest by Sergey Yeliseev used under Creative Commons Licence (see here).

Jack Snipe by oldbilluk used under Creative Commons Licence (see here).


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My name is Pete

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