normal Dates/Locations for rare species on British BOU Life Lists

9 years 6 months ago #263 by Andy Musgrove
As BUBO listers will know, when you add a species to a list that we have flagged as "rare", you are required to include a date and location for that record. This is to add to the interest for other users (e.g. by seeing which particular Yellow-rumped Warbler features on the most British life lists). It also allows for more scrutiny of lists by other interested birders, particularly for those competing at the "top of the game". Unfortunately, misguided or fraudulent claims, whilst rare, are an almost inevitable part of listing, and insisting on dates and locations for particular records allows a level of peer-checking.

This insistence on dates/locations for rares was not a feature of BUBO in the first days of our operation. Consequently, many lists entered early on do not have this information for rare species. We're very keen to rectify this, and have started on a process of requesting dates and locations for rare species, initially for BOU British Life Lists (our most popular list). In particular, we would very much like to get this information completed for a) the rarest species and b) the top-ranking listers.

At the end of October, we had date/location for at least one rare species missing from 113 BOU British Life lists, involving a combined total of 6,662 records missing this information. Following an initial appeal to the listers involved, we're pleased to announce that seven listers have fully completed the required information (thanks Roger Broadbent, Chris Craig, Martin Culshaw, Nick Smith, Mike Wakeman, Gary White and Mike Armitage), whilst a further nine listers have started to make progress towards filling in the missing information. The number of such records missing dates/locations has fallen to 6,228 (7% done). But still a long way to go.

Therefore, we'd urge people to take on the challenge of hunting through old notebooks and finding some of these old records - a highly enjoyable task now the clocks have changed and those long winter evenings have reappeared.

We'd be very keen to hear other listers' thoughts on this issue. We'll try to keep updating folk on our progress to 100% "compliance"!

Cheers

Andy

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 6 months ago #264 by Jonathan Lethbridge
Hi Andy - doubt it applies to me, but how do people know that they have missing information? Have you emailed people directly, or flagged it in the lists somehow?
Regards
Jonathan

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 6 months ago #265 by Andy Musgrove
Good point, but yes, we've emailed people directly. As I say, only on BOU British Life Lists so far - we'll move on to others later.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 6 months ago #266 by Matt Willmott
Hi Andy,

Driving back from the Fan-tailed warbler in kent today got me thinking. Something else quite useful/interesting would be to list somehow some of the commonest birds still needed by the top say, 50 listers. It would be a bit of a laugh, and also might mean that when one of these birds turns up we know who to contact to share a lift ! For example, 2 of my bogey birds are Black headed bunting and Blyth's reed - birds I have travelled for on several occasions on my own because few people need them ! Make an interesting read anyway.

Matt

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 6 months ago #267 by Andy Musgrove
Ah, you know I can't resist a challenge like that Matt. OK, for a bit of fun, I worked out which species are needed by any of the top 50 listers (BOU British life), and ranked them in order of the number of all BOU British life lists on which the species appears. This enables the most embarassing gaps to be identified.

The most unexpected omissions are obviously cases of birders forgetting to tick certain species. For example, it seems somewhat unlikely that Mike Hodgkin has made it into the 470s without stumbling across a Skylark or Pied Fly on the way, and we can probably assume that Mark Stirland ought to have Fulmar on his list! After that it gets more interesting (although there may still be a few forgotten ticks out there). A further 20 species are missed by just one of the top 50 listers, these being:

Snow Goose - Jeremy Hurley
White-crowned Sparrow - Ian Hunt
Pallid Harrier - David Ludlow
Grey-cheeked Thrush - Jim Pattinson
Canvasback - Matt Wilmott
Baltimore Oriole - Jim Pattinson
Blyth's Reed Warbler - Matt Wilmott
Western Bonelli's Warbler - John Pegden
Thrush Nightingale - Mike Hamzij
Redhead - Matt Wilmott
Lady Amherst's Pheasant - John Walshe
Pallid Swift - David Beer
Black-headed Bunting - Matt Wilmott
Lesser Crested Tern - Tim Twiggs
Asian Desert Warbler - John Pegden
Isabelline Wheatear - Martyn Hayes
Spectacled Warbler - Ian Broadbent
Alpine Accentor - Ian Broadbent
Spanish Sparrow - John Pegden
Harlequin Duck - Richard Hunt

And then 16 more are missed by 2 of the top 50, 13 more by 3 of the top 50, and so on.

Of course, you can always go to 'view all lists' then choose the list type (e.g. BOU British Life, etc) then select "Combined List" instead of "Rankings". This is a good way to check the top blockers, and will also allow help you to check who might be worth contacting for a lift. Or you can click on anyone's list and click the "top targets" dartboard icon if you want to know which are the annoying species to slip into conversation if you want to wind your mates up...

All good fun, anyway. Now (while I've got people's attention) everyone go and do some atlasing please! Third winter of the BTO/SOC/BWI Atlas 2007-11 project has just begun, and we really need to get some of the gaps cleared up. Check out www.bto.org/birdatlas/ for details.

Cheers

Andy

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 6 months ago #275 by Andy Musgrove
Just a quick update on progress on this task. As of just now, there are still 103 British BOU life lists for which dates are missing for at least one rare species. However, the number of records involved has fallen from 6,662 to 5,750, so 14% of the job done - well done! Keep going folks, we'd hate to have start knocking species off lists now, wouldn't we....

AndyMus

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 6 months ago #284 by Steve Webb
Hi Andy,

Regarding your request for more details on BOU lists I presume that also applies now to the Britain & Ireland BOU/IBRC lists as the majority of this latter list is the same as the BOU list.

I fully agree that high listers should at least supply the date and location of their rare birds. Perhaps in the future the top 10 of some of the high profile lists should also supply the rough time of day (e.g. early morning, mid-morning) of their sightings to reduce fraud to a minimum.

Cheers
Steve

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 5 months ago #295 by Jeremy Hurley
Hello Andy,

I noted with interest that my name headed a list of top 50 British BOU life listers, registered with BUBO, that seem to have glaring omissions of certain "expected" species within their amassed totals.

I am flattered your scrutiny has brought this to my attention. To be fair, having a personal total of 483 species and not to include Snow Goose, could appear a little curious.

Well, adhering to your ethos of transparency, I feel I owe some kind of explanation. Call it obsessive puritanism or just plain pedantic, I have yet to convince myself that any Snow Goose I have seen in Britain has the sufficient wild provenance to warrant being ticked. Yes, I know the species has now been included in category C2 by the BOU and both Canada Goose and Red-crested Pochard, for example, have the same categorised status. I have certainly not agonised over counting those!

If only a proven ringed individual from Canada could grace our shores? (Similar to the much cited example that occurred in north Holland in 1980). Maybe I should just make the effort to see one with lots of Pinkfeet in Scotland , then tick and forget.

However, a birder's personal list is just that and is surely down to individual conscientiousness.

Regards,

Jeremy.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 5 months ago #296 by Andy Musgrove
Hi Jeremy - thanks for this. You certainly don't have to explain yourself. Snow Geese are obviously a nightmare to prove. Personally, if I see a Snow Goose with a big flock of pinks, that'll do me, although I accept this is not exactly complete proof. Each to his own though. And then there's Ross's Goose...

Of course, part of the reason for that list was just to check that folk hadn't forgotten to add any species by mistake. We did find one 500+ list a while back that was missing Avocet...

Cheers

Andy

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 5 months ago #299 by Mike Hodgkin
Andy Musgrove wrote:

For example, it seems somewhat unlikely that Mike Hodgkin has made it into the 470s without stumbling across a Skylark or Pied Fly on the way


Thanks for pointing those glaring errors on my part out - I couldn't work out why there was such a gap between my BOU & UK400 club lists, other than LGREs weird and wacky views on what we can count, but those two have closed the gap.

Back to Great Shearwater being the commonest bird on the BOU list I've not seen!

Mike

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
9 years 5 months ago #312 by Andy Musgrove
Another update on this task. It's pleasing to see that a little more progress has been made by BUBO Listers to add missing date/location information for rarities on their BOU British list lists, and over 21% of the gaps have now been completed, but we still need date/location for 5,227 records, from 98 listers (including six of the British500+ "club" and 33 of the British400+ "club"). Come on chaps, and chapesses - now we've got long winter evenings, surely it's time to dig out those notebooks and plug in some details.

Cheers

Andy

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum