Monday, 27 April 2015

British Birds and birding in Britain

So I was doing a little research into how many birds have been recorded in Britain and who has seen the most of these and then I thought I'd expand that research into year listing in Britain and see where that takes me.

Firstly a visit to the BOU (British Ornithologist's Union) website gave me the top line figures stating that we have 596 species on the official British list.

Of these 596 species

578 sit in Category A
(Species in Category A have been recorded in an apparently natural state at least once since 1 January 1950.)

8 sit in Category B
(Species in Category B have been recorded in an apparently natural state at least once between 1 January 1800 and 31 December 1949, but have not been recorded subsequently.)

Ruddy Shelduck last recorded in 1946
White-faced storm Petrel last recorded in 1897
Egyptian Vulture last recorded in 1868
Spotted Eagle last recorded in 1915
Eskimo Curlew last recorded in 1880
Great Auk last recorded in 1840
Pallas's Gull last recorded in 1859
Red-necked Nightjar last recorded in 1856


10 sit in Category C
(Species in Category C, although introduced, now derive from the resulting self-sustaining populations)

Ring-necked Parakeet First recorded in 1969 now over 8600 pairs in the UK
Little Owl First recorded in 1758 now over 5700 pairs in the UK
Golden Pheasant Introduced in the 1870's less than 100 pairs remain in the wild
Lady Amherst's Pheasant Introduced in Bedfordshire in 1890 less than five birds remain
Common Pheasant Introduced in medieval times with an estimated population over two million.
Capercaillie Re - introduced in 1837 less than 1300 birds remain in Britian
Red-legged Partridge Introduced in 1779 and now over 86,000 territories in the UK
Ruddy Duck First recorded in 1949 but due to constant culling less than 50 birds now survive.
Mandarin Duck First recorded in 1866 and now numbers over 7000 wintering birds
Egyptian Goose First recorded in 1898 and now numbers over 3000 wintering birds

so that's the list but who holds the record for having seen the most of them?

Well it would appear that Steve Webb holds this title having connected with no fewer than 552 species on the BOU list.

As for year listing well that title seems to lie with Adrian Webb
with 367 BOU & 373 BOU/IRBC  (Adrian If I have these wrong please correct me.)

It's taken me four years to put 350 (ish) on my life list and my biggest year list is 289 so I can fully appreciate the dedication and commitment it takes to achieve the numbers above and congratulate the people involved.

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