Friday, 4 September 2020

The Dipped List

 I keep lists

I'm a collector of things I like

It's what I do! I have always been of that nature......

As a young boy I had Panini albums, stamp albums, coins, badges, match boxes, books, football programmes and now it's bird lists! (and photographs were I can)

I know I have a degree of OCD never diagnosed but I know it's there I like things in straight lines, parallel lines, I like things tidy although I'm not obsessed with cleaning at that extreme end of the OCD spectrum. I like stats so keeping lists allows me to study statistics of my own hobby and I enjoy that as boring as it may sound I love looking back at previous years sightings venues and dates etc. Bubolisting is an ideal tool for me.

Not everybody in birding keeps a list but it's a big part of my birding experience, I like to record the species I see each year and I try to see as many as possible so that makes me a year lister and I enjoy it. My best year list was 2019 when I recorded 303 different species in the UK and I had a blast doing it.

My LIFE list is 415 so that is to say since I started listing in 2010 I have seen 415 different species in the UK (This includes the Naumann's Thrush I saw in Woodford in the 90's as it's just too rare to not be included and I'm unlikely to ever see another) It's also worth saying I have been birding all my life just never started listing until 2010. I was lucky to live with a large field and river on my doorstep and remember with great fondness my very first trip to Minsmere where I saw the at the time mythical Spoonbill and from then on I was hooked.

I also keep a garden list (birds seen in or from the garden) which is obviously much smaller but includes some good birds like Waxwing, Hobby, Red Kite etc and currently sits at 65 (66 if I could have ID the flyover Sandpiper a while back)

AND

Finally I keep a DIPPED LIST

This list includes all the rare birds I've twitched and dipped. I remove birds from the dipped list once I eventually see them and this year so far I have managed to remove Greenish Warbler.

The curent dipped list
ALPINE ACCENTOR

Dipped in Linconshire in 2016 but I did pick up a Bonelli's by default so not a complete wasted journey

BOBOLINK

Dipped in Lincolnshire in 2019 news came out late evening I was on site for first light the next day but we couldn't refind the bird.

BROWN SHRIKE

My new Bogey Bird...Dipped the 2013 bird at Warsash in Hampshire and then dipped again last year in Yorkshire. It will be a good day when this bird finally makes my life list

COLLARED FLYCATCHER

Dipped in Yorkshire last year along with the Brown Shrike

ELEONORA'S FALCON

Travelled to Winterton this year after one was reported late evening from photos taken earlier in the day, I didn't expect to connect but had to put myself in the area to have a chance and it's only two hours away so not too much hurt on this one but it may be a while before I get another chance. 

PIED CROW

I completely ignored this bird until the day it left the UK when I decided that was the day I best go to see it in case it ends up being accepted. It was only in Kent by this time or at least it was the day before I went. I got there to find out it had flown across the channel over night. Probably won't make the British list or at least I hope it doesn't now I missed it.

SCOPS OWL

This bird was showing really well for the crowds, picked up at it's roost so once on it you had it all day that was until I went and dipped it. The bird wasn't seen again from the day before my visit. This one hurts!

SLATY BACKED GULL

This one hurts the most. Fifteen miles from home just when I was starting to list again and DM finds a Slaty-backed Gull on the tip at Rainham. I travelled twice to see it spent hours looking was put on the bird a few times by people but couldn't see the target for looking among the throng of gulls. I probably saw it, people had it in their scopes and let me look but I can't say for sure I had any idea what I was looking for at the time and as such I haven't ticked it but it hurts.

SOOTY TERN

2020 one was seen at Minsmere "heading towards Sizewell" minutes later "one resting on rig at Sizewell" I was in the car and got to Sizewell within two hours but the bird had just flown south. Not to worry said the the small crowd it's done that a couple of times but comes back. I waited and waited but the bird was not seen again. Smart bird I would very much like to see at some point in the future.

TAWNY PIPIT

PH found one in Barking once and I was on site pretty sharp but dipped, the bird wasn't seen again after the original showing. I also missed one at Dunge but hopefully I'll add this one before long.

TEREK SANDPIPER

Rye harbour was the venue for this one and it's another bird I would dearly like to see at some point soon.

WHITE CROWNED SPARROW

I was travelling back from Scotland when news broke of this bird in Cheshire. A short detour and I was on site in good time but the bird had just minutes before vanished from site and was never seen again. I literally missed it by a couple of minutes.


So in ten years I have twelve scars that still need healing from this crazy hobby. It has to be considered that I don't twitch the Islands(Shetland / Scilly etc just because of time and money and I would love to experience both at some point if time and money permitted it.) I have stretched my two hour rule and now venture to Yorkshire and even as far as Cornwall to connect but I'm not in that drop everything no matter what the expense bracket and if I were then I'm sure I'd have many many more scars and I guess a lot more than 415 on my life list.

Anyway here's to the next success.

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