Fighting Identity Amnesia

Taking a short break. Back on 18 December 2019.

Here's looking at you ... This blog started because I was getting fed up with the never-ending process of looking up a bird that I didn’t know, finally identifying it, and then forgetting all about it; only to go through the same process the next time round. In a way this is a photographic diary of what I’ve seen where and when. I hope it’s of as much use to the casual visitor as it is to me. Enjoy!
Read on…

NEW – St.Kilda bird list – NEW

Latest blog entry (7 December 2019)

Some recent blog entries :
6 December

5 December

Meadow Pipit
4 December

Common Tern
3 December


Around the time when I was compiling the website in support of this blog, I became aware that DNA studies had upset the apple cart of bird classification in a big way (see the Nature and Science articles), and I wanted to capture my pictures in that new framework. That’s what I’ve done in the Galleries (#1, #2, #3 and #4), although for a number of bird orders (Anseriformes, Columbiformes, Charadriiformes, Accipitriformes, Strigiformes, Psittaciformes and Passeriformes) I’ve preferred to follow the more recent efforts of the Taxonomy in Flux list on

As I started to collect pictures from my photo archive, I realised that some of my trips abroad could be grouped together in what I call Hotspots, with entries for the Galapagos archipelago, Botswana and Argentina & Brazil. Somewhat later I reckoned that hot spots did not have to restrict themselves to places abroad, but suited some of the British island nature reserves such as Lundy, Skomer and Skokholm very well, or other sites such as the Somerset Levels, the nearby Forest Farm nature reserve or the Goldcliff Lagoons a bit further afield. Only as an afterthought did I add the birds seen in or near my front and back garden in an entry called Garden Ticks. Since then, a number of further entries have been added, such as Roath Park Lake and Cosmeston Lakes under local hotspots, and Ramsey Island and Bardsey Island under island hotspots.

After all these efforts, and even though I’m not really a “list” person, I became aware of the existence of the official British bird list, and thought it would be nice to see how it matched up with my own (slightly unorthodox, since it also contains birds seen outside the UK, and also includes captive birds) “life” list.

Coming Soon:

  • 8 December – Black-winged Stilt
  • 9 December – Great Black-backed Gull
  • 18 December – Saker Falcon
  • 19 December – Local Robins
  • 20 December – Local Wrens
  • 21 December – Shetland Eider Ducks
  • 22 December – Western Orphean Warbler

Some more pages :

Note: All the photographs as well as the YouTube videos in the blog are mine. Still, I don’t mind if people want to use them elsewhere (you’ll find a small number of the pictures in Wikimedia Commons).

On most pages I have embedded bird sounds which come from Xeno-Canto’s sound library, and where appropriate, the UK distribution maps from the Bird Atlas Mapstore. If anyone has any problems with this, please contact me, and I’ll see what I can do.

Also, a special thank you to the Bird Identification Q&A part of the Bird Forum for helping me out on several occasions. Their comments have always been concise, spot-on and courteous.

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