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Listing  a driving force

Like many birdwatchers I enjoy making all kinds of lists of the birds I encounter. One of the lists I keep is my self-found list: bird species found and identified by myself in the Netherlands. I know from first-hand experience that listing – like other forms of collecting – can easily become an obsession and should therefore not be taken too seriously. On the other hand, it can offer a lot of joy and satisfaction. The list, as shown in Appendix 1, contains all species found and identified by myself in the Netherlands. In a way, the list can be regarded as a trophy, with each bird name referring to a specific pursuit. The rarer or more secretive the species, the more memorable the pursuit. Why don’t you give it a go yourself!

Big Hour
Some birders enjoy doing a Big Day, which means trying to observe as many species as possible in a certain area in one full day. Some do a Big Year. And there are even birders who can afford to do a World Big Year; recently, both Noah Strycker and Arjan Dwarshuis observed more than 6000 species in one calendar year (Arjan holds the record with almost 7000 species in 2016). My own, less exhausting, version of a bird race is a ‘Big Hour’. I play it just for fun and since there is no-one to compete with, I always win. With a thorough planning, the help of others and some luck it might even be possible to observe 300 species in the Netherlands in 24 Big Hours. During my very first Big Hour, I discovered a Broad-billed Sandpiper and got no higher than 34 species. Since then, my highest number within one hour is 67 (30 April 2017). Appendix 1 shows how far I got in my first series of races.

Dutch list and ranking
A list of all bird species seen by myself in the Netherlands can be found
here.

Rosy Starling intobirding.com


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Published 6 March 2018