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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:20 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Yip it all depends how much you bird. I've been birding for many years, but only started becoming serious about my lists in the past 3 years or so, so most of the 600 birds on my list have been seen in the past 3 years. For example this year I've seen over 400 just in the wider Gauteng area, and close to 500 this year in South Africa.


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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:31 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Yup Matt is correct in saying that it depends on how much you bird. I have been birding for about 6 years now and it took me about 4 years to reach my 500. For the last two years, I have been quite busy as family is priority which limits my birding time and travelling time by a lot, so I have only added about 60 new birds in 2 years.

One can easily reach 600 within a year, if you have the time and money to travel around South Africa.


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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:39 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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DotDan wrote:
One can easily reach 600 within a year, if you have the time and money to travel around South Africa.


Hmmm, WTM came into a small fortune lately? :twisted: ...more bucks than birding know-how, you say?

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Maybe you can persuade him to sponsor a 'good buddies birding trip' somewhere Joh!

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:21 pm 
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Don't stress too much about how quickly or slowly you reach a particular milestone - it will all come in good time. If you head out of the blocks too fast, you will soon get to a point where the lifers are very few and far between and that can be equally as depressing...

I spend a lot of time birding and have only added 2 to my SA list this year so far - that has also pretty much been my average increment of additions for probably the last 10 years or so. It's very slow going at the moment...

Having said that, people have achieved some fantastic totals in a year alone in Southern Africa with the current record still held by Niall Perrins at 826 species in a calendar year. So, if you have the time, money and motivation, anything is possible.

As much as I love my Southern African list and adding new birds to it, these days I spend time birding further afield to still enjoy the feeling of getting good numbers of lifers. My birding in Southern Africa this year has been limited to lots of time in the field in the Western Cape, 5 days in the Kgalagadi, a weekend in Jo'burg and another weekend at Nylsvlei, but I've also been fortunate to spend the first 6 days of 2013 in Colombia and then another 2 weeks in June in Peru. And I still have India to look forward to before the year ends. I'm not sure of my exact year list total at the moment, but I certainly went over 1000 species for the year a couple of months ago already...

It's all just numbers really and not all that important. As long as you enjoy whatever time you have available to go birding, that is all that is really important. Numbers are only secondary...

Of course, if the opportunity to add another lifer to my SA list pops up, I would certainly grab it with both hands and be smiling all the way... :lol:

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Last SA lifer: Amsterdam Albatross - 13 Jul '13 - Cape pelagic trip, Western Cape
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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Ferdelance wrote:
NetEk what do you mean 103 for the year. Is that your total or just what you have seen this year alone? :D :hmz: The totals that I mention are just goals that people can set for thier life lists... not a must! :-)



That's my year list. Never counted my life list yet. (guess what I'm doing tonight)

Hi Trevor I use the year list on Niall's nature page to keep track of my list

PM my if you want the link I don't think he minds anybody getting on and keeping their lists there. I also use his photos to double check my "findings" I find it easier to ID from a photo.

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:46 am 
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Super Mongoose wrote:
Oh WoW! Wiltuinman!

That is truly fantastic!!! :clap: :clap: 510 so far is mind boggeling to me, just awesome!

Best wishes for the 90 to go! It will be super fantastic for you to get to 600 for the year!

Keep us up to date please, we will be rooting for you and celebrate with you!


Thanks Super Mongoose. :D

It is going to be very tough to land the last 90, but I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve this December. :D

I will keep you updated. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:56 am 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
Maybe you can persuade him to sponsor a 'good buddies birding trip' somewhere Joh!


:lol:

You and Joh are most welcome to come visit me for a nice trip on the highveld somewhere in December! :D :D

Daan, I wouldn't say that it is easy to find 600 birds in a year in South Africa. It still takes a lot of effort! It is doable yes and people have done it before. If you are a tour or bird guide your chances are increasingly better as your job takes you out there. But for office bound okies like us, you really have to dig deep.

Also remember that I am just focusing on birds seen from dry land as well, so very few pelagic birds will be added to my year list at this stage which makes it all that much challenging.

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Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:28 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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No I agree with you. Office bound guys like us definetely don't have it easy :lol:

I personally think after your trips this year that if you added one triop to St Lucia and perhaps another to the Northern Cape area.. you probably would have had close to 600 by now.

It does take money and plenty of work leave to push a total like 600 in a year, that is for sure. But, I will bird alongside you a couple of times in December and hopefully you can push that total.

One day when me and you are retired.. we will do a big birding year. The D&D mega year..


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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:41 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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wildtuinman wrote:
Bush Baptist wrote:
Maybe you can persuade him to sponsor a 'good buddies birding trip' somewhere Joh!


:lol:

You and Joh are most welcome to come visit me for a nice trip on the highveld somewhere in December! :D :D


BB, how's your plans for December?

wildtuinman wrote:
Daan, I wouldn't say that it is easy to find 600 birds in a year in South Africa. It is doable but takes a lot of effort!


I have notched up 538 in a year (2012) with a 500 target with lots of travelling. I don't think 600 is possible without travelling extensively. Places like the northern and western Cape, Natal and Limpopo will have to feature in your birding itinerary... quite some distance apart. 90 to go with just over a month left! You'll have to up the game somewhat. :twisted: Maybe the extra oomf of extra ooms will help you to pull this one off... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:04 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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As the other guys have said, you have to do some traveling to 'endemic' places to get 600. I went to Nam/Bots from Cape Town last year and we got around 400 on the trip.

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:07 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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As for December... not this one I am afraid. I have just got back from the US where I birded seriously for 3 days and got 132 species.

But I will be put out to pasture in July and would love to get together again thereafter. It has been too long.

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Adding my two cents Super Mongoose..

I've been birding since 2008 and my life list is on 515 with the majority of my birding having been done in Gauteng, the Lowveld and the Eastern Cape. I haven't had the opportunity to venture further afield which has had a great impact on my list. School has also played a massive role in the lack of lifers these past two years and since Jan 2012 when I hit my 500 mark I have only added 15 more lifers. So I completely agree with what everybody else says when they say that people who work in the bush or who are professional bird guides can easily achieve a list with higher digits compared to those who's lists are influenced by other factors such as work and lack of money.

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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...and then you get ol' toppies like me who have been birding for 15 years + and are still short of 500. :?

You have to move around. You also have to sort out two groups: LBJ's and waders.

(IMHO)

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 Post subject: Re: How many birds on your list
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:34 am 
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My latest lifers to my list is Olive Sunbird in Durban, second trip to Wakkerstroom during September - Eastern Long-billed Lark, Cape Canary and Brown-backed Honeybird. Total is 491. Hoping to reach 500 during December :) (That is if I can get any available accomodation in Mpumalanga or Limpopo)

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