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The real Top 10 listers

When George creates UK400 listers totals he uses guesswork resulting in quite a number of birders list totals being way out. Many have never submitted their list to George. The above also applies to the UK400 Top 10 listers. George stated that the top 10 as of 9/9/16 in numeric order were: Steve Gantlett, Mel Billington, Chris Heard, David Oddy (i.e. Steve Webb), Lee Evans, John Regan, Ron Johns, Neil Alford, Gerry Warne, Chris Bell.

We contacted a number of high listers asking what species they had seen on their combined BOU/IRBC list. We also looked at Steve Webb’s, Brett Richards’ and Paul Chapman’s combined detailed lists which are on bubo (i.e. here). The combined Top 10 looks very different to George’s Top 10. In surname order they are: Mel Billington, Paul Chapman, Lee Evans, Steve Gantlett, Chris Heard, John Hewitt, John Regan, Brett Richards, Gerry Warne, Steve Webb.

Also the numeric order is quite different e.g. Mel Billington no. 9, George no. 10!!

We encourage everyone to put their combined list on bubo so its clear to all what birders are counting at the species level and also what their totals are.

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BOU & UK400 life list claims (16/10/17)

This site was going to permanently stop putting on new posts but then George starts telling big porkies again.

On 1/10/17 on Facebook George stated “My UK Life List is 582 (UK400 Club) 564 (BOU)”. Both of these claims as you would expect are fiction. We think George’s BOU list is a maximum of 549 and probably 548 BOU birds.

evans bou claim

The UK400 club contrary to its UK title actually includes Irish records as well – some Irish birders are not too happy about this! So although George stated a BOU total we think he is really referring to his combined Britain and Ireland list (BOU/IRBC) which is a maximum of 554 and is probably 553.

George’s claim total of 564 is just 1 behind Steve Webb’s combined list of 565. Steve’s list (i.e. here) is on bubo so its not just a total but a breakdown to the species level. George has never published a full combined list to the species level. By looking at Steve’s list and knowing what birds they have seen over each other it is possible to get a very good idea of George’s real total.

On the combined list there are 12 birds that Steve has seen that George has not. George has only seen 1 accepted bird over Steve. The 12 birds are Lammergeier, Caspian Plover, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Kingbird, Purple Martin, Grey Catbird, White-crowned Black Wheatear, Green Warbler, Thick-billed Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Chestnut Bunting, Brown-headed Cowbird. Also George has probably not seen Indigo Bunting – see below for details.

George has accepted the Lammergeier as a real bird. He stated on Facebook on 15/10/16 “This includes no fewer than EIGHT new additions to the list: Dalmatian Pelican, Brown Booby, Red-footed Booby, Purple Gallinule, Lammergeier, Vega Gull, Siberian Accentor and Seaside Sparrow!”.

George has 1 accepted record on Steve which is Moltoni’s Warbler. Although George has claimed Barolo Shearwater and Yelkouan Shearwater on the same seawatch off Pendeen in 2009 neither bird has been submitted to BBRC. The Barolo was only seen by a few people and the Yelkouan was seen by even less. There has only been accepted 1 record of Yelkouan and that was photographed!

There are also a few records that we have also given George the benefit of seeing when it quite feasible for him to have pretended to see them. For example, George claims he saw the Indigo Bunting on Ramsey Island the only accepted BOU record. This bird was there from the 18th to 26th October. George and many others at the time were on the Scillies. Some of these came off on Saturday the 19th and saw the bird on the 20th which involved a charter boat to Ramsey and was a difficult journey. George was not there on the 20th. We think that George came off Scillies on Saturday the 26th and missed the bird. Please send us a comment if you know otherwise.

If George thinks that any of the above is incorrect we suggest that he publishes his full combined list on bubo.

It is not possible to determine George’s real UK400 total because he has never published a full UK400 list. He published on 31/12/16 on bubo a UK400 life list that showed only 338 birds. However we are aware that George has quite a lot of string on his UK400 life list. It’s about time George published his full UK400 list on bubo so we can do a post on that as well.

George has a habit of creating fictional bird totals for himself and others. For example, “The Top 10 Listing Birders in the UK” is a fictional list of UK400 totals. It is also not helped by the fact that a number of these birders have also cheated on their totals. George is not only one in the “top 10” that claims birds they have not seen.

This top 10 list shows a David Oddy. It states “David Oddy, once of Surrey but now in a caravan in Yorkshire, arguably one of the least deserving of such a high accolade, on 592 species”. This person is actually Steve Webb. Steve registered a complaint to the Data Protection Information Commissioner’s Office because George was using Steve’s list data without Steve’s permission and also giving the wrong total for him. This resulted in George not putting the name Steve Webb in the totals list but instead calling him The Invisible Man. Then later George changed this to David Oddy.

This top 10 totals list was last updated on 9/9/16. Since then George and Steve have seen 3 more birds (i.e. Masked Wagtail, Red-winged Blackbird, Amur Falcon). On the combined BOU/IRBC the above has shown Steve on 565 and George on 554 and probably 553 which is a difference of 11 to 12. However David Oddy is shown on this top 10 totals list with 592 and George with 588 which is only a difference of 4!!

It has been noted by some birders that if George likes you he marks your total up and if he dislikes you he marks your total down. We think Steve’s combined total puts him at least within the top 2!

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Welcome to Lutonstan

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George posted the above which included a link to this video on his Facebook account stating “I knew this subject would be controversial but as I have strong concerns about the situation……Nobody will spend more time in the company of these trusted friends as I do but to say multiculturism is working in this country is a misnomer. I’m not going to get involved in a heated discussion about this because all that will be said is that I am a racist but trust me, working at first-hand, this will not end happily.”

Not surprisingly there were a wide range of comments including “Posting a Britain First reference to ‘Lutonstan’ and claiming not to be racist is the sign of a very confused man. You’re not racist but will share, promote and explicitly defend the platform and policies of an avowedly racist group, who have an entire paramilitary wing dedicated to intimidation and violence and whose members include M.P Jo Cox’s murderer? Hmmm”

Although George claims not to be racist putting out tweets that there are at least 10 species of humans and other comments shown in this post are not helpful.

2017 the year of the plastics (7/10/17)

The previous post dealt with George’s recent UK year lists on bubo and also his AERC WP life list. This post only deals with George’s bubo 2017 UK BOU list as there is no UK400 2017 list on bubo!

Compared to his 2016 list it is much more difficult to prove what birds George has seen because for scarce birds he is now NOT providing any details (e.g. dates, locations, witnesses, comments). E.g. the following have no details: Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked duck, Ferruginous Duck, Surf Scoter, White Stork, Night-heron, Kentish Plover, WWBT, Hoopoe, Red-footed Falcon, Red-rumped Swallow, Pallas’s, YBW, Rose-coloured Starling, Richard’s Pipit, Little Bunting, etc.

By not putting in the details, George has a much better chance of adding birds to his list that he did not see and not be found out. For 2016, because George put in dates we proved, e.g., that he did NOT see American White-winged Scoter on 2/7/2016 and Hume’s YBW on 9/12/2016 as claimed on his bubo list. He also fabricated other 2016 ‘records’. So we appreciate information being sent in on George’s real activities. 

In May, George claimed that in 2017 he obtained “My fastest ever UK400 300.” However George has not published a UK400 list so we have no idea what the extra birds are.

The Stow Blue Rock Thrush is on his BOU 2017 list and UK400 2016 year list even though he claimed it was an escape in 2016/2017, but it was accepted by BBRC. E.g, George stated on twitter on 3/1/17 “Adult male Blue Rock Thrush of presumably captive origin still present”.

George’s has Cackling Geese for the 24/2/2017. George stated on twitter “Family party of Dutch Cackling Geese still present in the Cuckmere this afternoon with the Barnacle Geese that also came from Holland.” Someone replied: “Only 4 ‘pure’ Cackling surely?” George’s replied “Yes, but who were the parents of the 5 young?!!” Netherlands has a feral population but there is no certain evidence that these 9 birds came from there.

George claimed on bubo that he had seen Golden Eagle (GE) by the end of March. We are at a loss of when and where George saw GE because we had a tip off that none of the other participants on the ‘Round Britain’ trips saw GE.

George claimed on bubo that he had seen White Stork in April. Yet another plastic for his totals!! On 6/4/17 on Facebook it shows that he saw the Sackers Green, White Stork. As of mid June we are not aware of a real White Stork for 2017. E.g. Rare Bird Alert in their weekly birding roundup articles said all the White Storks in East Anglia and nearby for April were plastic. George also stated on Facebook Yet another UK rarity of unknown origin. In fact, you may as well give up as far as WHITE STORKS are concerned. In addition to at least three free-flying colonies in the UK, there is the problem of rehabilitated injured birds, a large number of reintroduction birds on the Close Continent and any number of foreign escapes from Zoos & collections. This particular bird currently in Suffolk (… Sackers Green …) is unringed but has extensive damage to its flight feathers, either picked up in captivity or taken on during migration where White Storks are shot upon”. 

George’s bubo list shows for the 19/05/2017 a Bufflehead at Potter Heigham Marshes with the comment “A female of presumably captive origin – apparently has a plastic ring (per Barry Jarvis)”. Rare Bird Alert stated it was an escape.

Each year George includes plastics on his claimed total to boost his yearly tally. But George does not like others counting possible escapes even when they are not escapes!!

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By end of May he also claimed Ptarmigan which also seems very doubtful.

Also a Red-breasted Goose is on George’s list for 11th June at Newbury with the comment “An unringed adult of unknown but very likely captive origin”. Yet another plastic to boost his totals!! BBRC have never accepted a summer record.

Yet another plastic this time a Great Bustard on 22nd Sept, “a female banded in 2016”.

List accuracy (1/6/17)

The following is from a UK400 Editorial (see post below) where the policeman of birding stated “Like it or not, birding attracts a disproportionate number of fabricators and it is my job to make sure that the national bird record archives is not distorted by these claims. I am passionate about bird records and wish to give an accurate representation of what has been seen….I am a perfectionist and strive to make accurate and fully comprehensive reports …. it is beneficial to us all that only definite claims are accepted.” Elsewhere he has stated “I keep meticulous notes on all of the birds that I see and record even every Song Thrush and Lesser Black-backed Gull.”

We all know who is the biggest fabricator!! Only in recent years has George been putting his lists on bubo. His key bubo life lists are totally inadequate e.g. the UK400 life list only gives 338 out his claimed around 590 birds, missing out the key birds. His AERC WP life list only has 618 birds and states “A work in progress; 200 or so vagrants to add to list”, again missing out the key birds. This is not helpful for someone who has claimed to be the number one WP life lister and states on his website he has seen 880 birds. 

His UK400 year lists are not exactly accurate either. Lets start with his UK400 2013 year list and then move on to later ones. Remember that the following examples are boosting his year list totals as each record adds yet one more to his year tally. George would not be happy if a rival counted some of these. George has even accused rivals of counting escapes when they have turned out to be real birds and accepted by the BBRC (e.g. Adrian Webb’s Black Kite).

On 23/6/2009, George rejected the Dorset Hooded Merganser with the details here – “After much deliberation, the drake HOODED MERGANSER …has now been formally accepted on to Category D1 … The bird therefore becomes UNCOUNTABLE on any UK400 Club day, life, county or year lists.” But that did not stop George counting it on his 2013 year list for 13/3/2013. 

Ross’s Snow Goose on 3/12/2013, Marshside Marsh RSPB, Lancs, George stated “A first-winter of unknown origin with Mallards”. This stayed around Marshside and nearby sites for nearly 4 years and then it was believed to have died.

Black-winged Stilt on 15/3/2014, Castle Mills. On 2014 year list George stated “bearing an orange ring indicating captive origin”. There were quite a number of escapes that year.

Ross’s Snow Goose on 8/4/2014, Wilstone Reservoir (Tring). George stated “first-winter of presumably captive origin with Greylag Geese”. This was regarded by many as an escape.

Bufflehead on 29/10/2015 at Priory Country Park, Bedford. On his 2015 list George stated this “first-winter drake bearing a metal ring on its right leg”. Of course UK400 (i.e. George) can count what he likes but we prefer BBRC views and they rejected it.

A resident pair of Ruddy Shelduck on 20/2/2015 and 26/7/2016 at Pitsford Reservoir. These were counted on his 2015 list and 2016 list and George even stated in 2016 “Perhaps now of highly dubious origin as seemingly resident now”.

Looking at George’s 2016 UK400 list on bubo we found 9 errors and/or probable fabrications. Some of these are discussed below.

Since 2016, George has been sending twitter messages from Little Charfont which are time stamped. This has shown that he did not see the American White-winged Scoter on 2/7/2016 at Murcar Beach, Aberdeenshire and the Scratby Hall Hume’s YBW on 9/12/2016. We believe he didn’t see these 2 birds on any date.

George strung his only record of Rustic Bunting for 2016. He was at Kilnsea on the 6/10/2016 but there are witnesses who say he did not see it. George needs to supply witnesses for this record on his year list. 

Also George is claiming Greenish Warbler at Bempton on 6/10/16. There was no Greenish there – it was an Arctic Warbler. Some Arctic’s are very Greenish-like. As George had seen Arctic at Landguard that’s yet another one off his 2016 list! 

George posted on Facebook on 23/2/2017 with the title “Did I throw away a Pale-legged Leaf Warbler last year?” with some good photo’s which included the crown of the Arctic at Bempton on 6/10/16. George received quite a number of comments back. As it looked nothing like a Pale-legged, unsurprisingly no one thought it was one, e.g. “Definitely not a Pale-legged, or Sakhalin Leaf Warbler, would expect a greyish crown among other things.”, e.g. “Well, it is a leaf warbler and it does have pale legs. But i wouldn’t worry too much about this one.”

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Stow Blue Rock Thrush on 29/12/2016 is on his UK400 2016 list even though he claimed it was an escape. For example, George stated on twitter on 3/1/17 “Adult male Blue Rock Thrush of presumably captive origin still present”.

Gareth Hughes had 352 for 2016, and George claimed 355. We believe that George got less than 352, which is typical of George of adding a few more on to beat his rivals.

His 2017 listing claims are now in a new post. Below there are 2 comments on Blue Rock Thrush.

The Master list keeper (23/3/17)

The Master list keeper has been keeping a beady eye on Mark Pass’s 2016 year list.

mark pass

Here is a new excellent Hitler video on Mark’s list and of course George. It is a mixture of fact and fiction – a bit like George’s lists. Its at http://www.captiongenerator.com/400972/I-got-the-biggest-of-all-time – this website makes it easy to post it onto Facebook.

The rest of this post is background to the Hitler video.

Although George pretends to be a top twitcher, on important megas especially on islands, he does not always go or takes a slow travel option, unlike his rivals. So he has missed many key island birds. Quite a number he has caught up with at a later date but some he still needs (e.g. Eastern Kingbird, Thick-billed Warbler, Brown-headed Cowbird, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Magnolia Warbler, Caspian Plover, Purple Martin). In an attempt not to get left behind the big listers, he pads his list out with birds that are not what he claims them to be (e.g. Scilly Isles Amur Wagtail, Bicknell’s Thrush, etc). When he does year lists, other than his guided tours, he does not twitch Scotland that much. 

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Adrian Webb’s all time record of 383 was obtained in 2000 but George knocked it down to 378 with no real justification. George’s 1996 year-list was originally 375. Then in Nov. 2002, he claimed that he had beaten Adrian’s record with 384 birds. His 1996 list had grown by 8 new splits and WH Duck. This claim of 384 birds was not believed. Also he didn’t add any splits or WH Duck to Adrian’s list some of which Adrian did see!! Then a few years later George increased it to 386. 

In 1996 George claimed he had seen 41 YBW, 24 Wryneck, 68 Wood Sand along with other unlikely high bird counts. He claimed for 2016 American WW Scoter and Humes YBW. We believe he didn’t see either of these 2 birds. 

Was George sacked? (18/7/17)

There was speculation that George was sacked from the Birdwatching Magazine because of his racist tweetsOn Feb 13th, George stated on twitter “The magazine couldn’t afford to keep me on I’m afraid” and he “wasn’t prepared to work for £3.12 per hour anymore.” This claimed figure of £3.12 per hour clearly is not true. The minimum wage is £7.20 and anyway freelance contributors are not paid by the hour, but by the number of words e.g. a set figure per 1000 words. We also understand that Birdwatching’s contributor rates are very good.

We also have it on good authority that he was not sacked and it had nothing to do with his political or racist views. So either George is a very slow writer or left of his own accord for some reason, perhaps he was getting a bit greedy.