A list of... birdwatching lists?

Making lists is a fundamental part of being a hobbyist, and the systematic recording of sightings is something that almost all birders do. Whether they pencil it into pocket journals or upload their data digitally, listing is a crucial part of the experience.

Most people will list their sightings by each session or trip. Those accumulate and can be compiled into larger lists. The three most common of the larger lists are: 

   Life List
   A list of every species of bird seen since beginning the hobby.

   Year List
   A list of every species of bird seen between January 1st and December 31st of each year.

   Garden List
   A list of every species of bird seen within the confines of a garden. 

But there’s a few alternative, creative options for those who can’t get their listing fix from the above. Here’s some unconventional ways to catalogue!

   County List
   A list of every species of bird within the confines of your county.

   Wish List
   A list of every species of bird that you’d like to see.

   Low Carbon List
   A list of every species of bird seen with travelling restricted to walking or cycling only.

   TV List
   A list of every species of bird seen on television.

   Online List
   A list of every species of bird seen on nature live streams, or when navigating Google Maps.


Am I missing any? List me out your alternative lists in the comments below! 


  • You're going to hate me but I make no lists at all! The closest I get to it is sorting all of my best photos by species and saving them on an external hard drive. When I'm out and about I've happy to see whatever shows itself. Even wood pigeons.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • I'm with Clare, except I sort my pictures by date, not species. They provide a chronology of what I see at each location.
  • So do I. It's only the best of my photos which get sorted by species.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • Hi- I keep the following:

    World List - c 3000
    Brit List - c 420 depending on splits
    County List c 320
    Garden list c 75

    Self-Found List ( the old 250 Club) c 270


    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • I have a folder on a portable hard drive of all the birds I have photographed of different species.

    I also have folders that are dated and the venue for each time I go out with the camera photographing birds

    In that folder I open up two empty folders named good and the other folder is named others.

    The good folder holds all the best photos and the others folder has the not so good photos in and the originals after editing. I delete any that are rubbish. It works for me.
  • I too am not a list lover.

    As a former hill and mountain walker (now disabled thanks to a careless motorist), I've seen folk become to fixated on lists and bagging to the point it takes the pleasure away from a hobby.

    While some days I will go out with a species in mind, I'm never disappointed in what I see, even if I never see the species in mind, for nature has its own agenda and what you actually see will tell its own story about the conditions at the time, weather, predators and many other contributory factors, which for me, provides a great learning curve.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Michael B said:
    disabled thanks to a careless motorist

    I'm so sorry to hear that.

    Michael B said:
    I'm never disappointed in what I see, even if I never see the species in mind

    That's a brilliant attitude.  Someone like you will never come back from a birding trip moaning that they've 'seen nothing'.  People who only want rarities are missing out on a lot.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to Clare:

    Thank you Clare.

    One thing I've found, and learned with the help of therapists, family and friends who have stood by me, if you let an incident take you down, it will, and yes, I have been close to the ultimate act, but the right support came along, and work happily took me back, which on its own, was a fabulous boost, they made feel I was able to contribute and self esteem was returned.

    I still mist the hills and moors, but I've always had a passion for nature ands was able to make the sideways move with the right support.

    Many of my reports have said something along the line of: "it was quiet, but that made me look elsewhere for other things". There is always something going on, you just may have to look a little harder.

    I learned from working on farms as a teenager a long time ago, nature has its own agenda and you can't fully make nature do what you want it to do. Science manipulates.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Hi Mike, A good point you make, although my records are my memories for instance, I was only looking back at the folder of all the different birds I had seen and noticed a couple of birds that I had named were not the species I had thought. This was when I had just started bird watching and photographing birds and any other wildlife I had seen. You may have seen on here recently I had identified a rock pipit as a dunnock and a house sparrow as a brambling so by looking back does have its merits. I also date my trips out and name the location which helps myself when looking back from last year at the birds that I had seen and the venue I had been to. Good memories
    For me. It also is a guide to how rubbish I was at photographing birds when I first started, I have since seen a vast improvement firstly when I upgraded my lens and learned more about my camera and settings.
  • I do keep a list of what species I see each year (and consequently the running total) and the date I first saw it that year. I don't really go out of my way to add to it (so it would probably shock many by how low it is), but it does help to know when migrants usually show up locally and therefore when to go looking for them and because it is mainly based in my locale and my habits it's more useful to me than national generalisations. I should possibly make it more seasonal because when I see winter migrants early in the year, I don't note when they return next winter as it is still the same year!

    __________

    Nige   Flickr