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2017 the year of the plastics

June 5, 2017

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!!


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”.


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