Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Lothian Year List

It is the 5 January and I gave the year list a gentle start in the late afternoon with a quick trip along to Longniddry and Aberlady, East Lothian. The tide was high and the conditions were calm, but the light was poor and weather drizzling. Nevertheless, within a short space of time I was in double figures for ducks: Velvet Scoter, Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Long-tailed Duck, Common Eider, Mallard, Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Pintail and Common Goldeneye. Of course, the Green-winged Teal had disappeared around the corner at Aberlady just before I had arrived - I will have to wait a little longer before connecting with that one perhaps...

Along with a walk locally on the 2nd this leaves me on a total of 59 for 2011 so far - not bad given the limited birding time available so far this year. Hopefully there will be an opportunity for some serious birding later this week.

For the last three years some of the Lothian birders have been logging their yearlists on Bubo.
I was pretty pleased to connect with 173 species in 2010, over 90% of which were self-found. On the Bubo list, honours for 2010 go to Mike Hodgkin for (a record?) 202 species, of which 178 were self found. In percentage terms, Stephen Welch had the highest self-found ratio with over 98% of his 154 species being self-finds. So, my congratulations to both. This year I plan to get nearer to 200, but I think I will aim for 180 in Lothian, while at the same time trying to keep my self-find ratio around 90%. The other target is to find a decent rare in 2011. Best I could manage in Lothian in 2010 was Corn Bunting and continental sinensis subspecies of Great Cormorant (the former is a local rarity and the latter is still a description subspecies in Scotland; both subject to acceptance - though I'll have to submit them first - edit: now both accepted by the respective committees 2013). I did have a couple of near misses as well, which may feature in this blog at some point in the future if I can bear to write about them...

Continental sinensis (left) and Atlantic carbo (right) forms of Great Cormorant

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