Jan 122013

200 birds in 1 year! Could I do it? I had never even been close before. A good start to the year gave me 100 birds before the end of January. This entailed going out once or twice a week, so not in twitch mode yet! A highlight of January was seeing lesser spotted woodpecker, a bird becoming increasingly hard to find due to its recent breeding population decline.

During March I was able to add considerably to my list with a visit to the Cairngorms. Speciality birds such as capercaille, ptarmigan, golden eagle and crested tit increased my count to 154.


A trip to Salisbury Plain in April added great bustard and stone curlew both rare birds to see. The great bustard is in fact being reintroduced to Britain after becoming extinct here due to over hunting. Along with summer came the summer visitors, swallows, warblers, nightingales, terns and by the beginning of June I was up to 186.

Of course there are the special habitat places, such as heaths, that we visit where some less common birds are to be found and during June and July I managed to add tree pipit, wood lark and nightjar to my growing list to give me a total of 192 birds.

A late holiday to Norfolk added ring ouzel, which was a first for me and another summer migrant that is from north Africa or the middle east that is of conservation concern. Creeping ever closer to that magic 200, I eventually make it with a glaucous gull at Dungeness on 22nd November.

200 wonderful birds, that I confess I would not have seen without a lot of help from my friends. So thank you for a great year and here’s looking forward to the next.



 Posted by on 12 January 2013 at 10:11 pm

  4 Responses to “The 200 bird challenge”

Comments (4)
  1. What a brilliant account of a great year’s birding Irene, congratulations. What are you going for this year? 220?

  2. Well done Irene. Didn’t get to 200 myself. This year my target is 100 sightings of Kestrel in Kent to be logged on BTO BirdTrack. Apparently Kestrels are in a slight decline at the moment. No idea why. So I would like to get some idea myself of what is happening in Kent. Up to five at the moment.

  3. Brilliant work Irene!

    I read this just before “Countryfile” started last weekend and as I watched the birds in the programme, I had an idea: How many british birds could I see on TV in one year?

    So that’s my light-hearted challenge for 2013 – with the “Winterwatch” series just finished, my current count is already up to 78 – roll on “Springwatch”…

    I know – I should get out more!

  4. I am not sure how you can post a comment with “no comment” – but how sad! Sally and I decided to count and collect all the drinks cans that we found on our bird watching trips. It was inspired by a visit to Cliffe Pools. We actually started before Christmas but the count to date is 474 – most have been collected on the footpaths and sea wall near us. Assuming that they are all aluminium (probably not) that comes out to about 7 kg of aluminium which evidently saves about 100kw of energy (recycled aluminium production uses much less power than from “raw”). This is enough to run my laptop for about 7 months. Mind you when I tried to pay my electric bill with cans they did not seem to understand what I was talking about.