Friday 14 February 2014

Four Eyes

I pass this tree on my way to work.  Occasionally over the last two or three years, there is a Little Owl on it.  I've seen it several times this year but don't count it as a selfie because it is a bird found in previous years.  But today there were two.  So I'm having it.


  1. I was a bit confused by this on two counts. If we can't count birds because they were found in previous years, then year on year all our self-found lists should always diminish (unless we choose a new patch each year). Following this, my self-found list for 2014 would be 1 - the Pink-footed Goose patch tick that visited Poppy Hill Lakes. And not much hope of adding anything else until spring migration starts. I had assumed the slate was wiped clean for resident species, so the Chaffinch that visited your garden on new year's day could be counted as self-found even if there had been chaffinches in your garden on new year's eve, but the Great Northern Diver seen at Stewartby on the Christmas Bird Count could not be counted (even if you were the original finder) if it was seen in January.
    If a Little Owl pair occupy this site, but you have only ever seen one Little Owl, how do you know you hadn't previously seen both birds.

    I think I would have counted the first Little Owl seen at the site - should I be drummed out if the SFYL?

  2. Ahh, now I agree I couldn't be sure I've not seen both birds but only one at a time. So yes, perhaps I should remove this tick. I felt ok about it as I felt I was adding to my knowledge - there has been one bird there for a few years, now I know there are two.

    Certainly wiping the slate clean and not counting birds from 2013 is a good rule.

    I think a chaffinch and similarly widespread birds are different to a regular Little Owl tree or Peregrines on the chimneys. I only felt I could count it because it was a new bit of information. I feel OK about it to be honest.

    The best outcome of SFYListing is going to new places to look for new birds.