Fighting Identity Amnesia

Taking a short break. Back on 10 August 2020.

Here's looking at you ... This blog started when I was getting fed up with the never-ending process of looking up a bird I didn’t know, 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 memorandum 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 – BTO Bird Song Basics – NEW !!!

Latest blog entry (27 July 2020)
RED-WHISKERED BULBUL

Some recent blog entries :
26 July
Stonechat
25 July
Mandarin Duck
20 July
Common Redpoll
19 July
Iberian Magpie

Coming Soon:

  • 10 August – Shags from Scotland
  • 14 August – Pochard
  • 16 August – Teal
  • 17 August – Grey Wagtails from Forest Farm
  • 19 August – Welsh Whitethroats
  • 21 August – Various Mistle Thrush

Some more pages :

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 jboyd.net.

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, as well as captive birds) “life” list.


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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