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The real 2017 BOU no. 1 lister (updated 18/1/18)

June 5, 2017

This post mainly deals with George’s and Graham Jepson’s 2017 BOU list.

On bubo i.e. here, it shows George at no. 1 with 349 but that includes the plastics and strung birds mentioned below. There are also other birds not mentioned below that we suspect George did not see as well. His nearest rival Graham Jepson had 340 but his list is plastic free. So the real no. 1 is in fact Graham Jepson!! Well done Graham.

Does the above sound familiar? On many occasions George has claimed to be the no. 1 UK lister when the record belonged to someone else e.g. Richard Bonser, Anthony Brydges, Mark Marshall, Bob Walthew, Matt Mulvey, Sean Brown, Ian Robinson, Andy Stockhausen. There many others as well but we can’t be bothered to name them all.

Compared to his 2016 list it was much more difficult to prove what scarce birds he had seen because he did NOT provide any details (i.e. NO dates, locations, witnesses or comments). However Graham Jepson did supply dates for his scare birds. 

The following is in chronological order:
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 by the end of March. We are at a loss of when and where George saw this because we had a tip off that none of the other participants on the ‘Round Britain’ trips saw Golden Eagle.

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!!


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”. BBRC have never accepted a summer record.

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

We strongly suspect that George did not see other birds as well which are not mentioned in this post at the moment. It can be quite difficult to prove a negative.



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