4 comments on “The Ness Terns Good

  1. Why add a bird to ‘your’ ‘life list’ if there is any doubt? Birding is about having fun, honing your own ID skills and building a rock solid list (preferably BOU- in my humble opinion) over many years – if you start adding ‘maybe’s and ‘possibles’ where do you draw the line? There are plenty of birders in the UK with big lists but many of them have dodgy records (and often cannot even recall key ID features for a given species that they have ‘ticked’). With more than 40 years of birding I have adopted simple criteria to live by before adding a bird to my list- get all the ID features! ( and be able to ID the bird for yourself in the future) If there is any doubt just wait until you get better views of the next one! Do you want to be a very good birder or a very good lister?- they are often not the same thing.

    • Hi Andy, your points are relevant to tick hungry inclined birders but just to clarify I don’t fit this category. I couldn’t care less about being a ‘very good lister’. This is clear from my lack of twitching and in my ‘fledgling list’ which I never will take pride in. I am not going for this bird as a Roseate Tern so I can simply ‘add it to my precious list’ and ‘move up one’; I know how easily I could pop on a boat to the Farnes to see Roseates and ‘tick ’em off nice and easy’. This has no baring on my ID of this bird.

      My call of this bird as a Roseate Tern is based on a vast majority of present pro Roseate ID features which I saw when watching the bird, not because I’m hungry for a tick. The only concerns I had were the primaries + streamers and otherwise I’d have straight away put it out as a Roseate. As its a regional rarity and such issues are important, it was right for me to take caution despite being largely confident. With this in mind its good to seek confirmation from those who have more experience of a species than yourself and with the majority of people having agreed with me and having seen it myself, I am confident with it as such. I have in fact honed my Roseate ID by reading up and by learning from those I’ve consulted, which is beneficial as its increased my confidence even more.

      Remove Roseate Tern from my list and I’d feel no pain. If this was just a ‘possible’ or a ‘maybe’ I wouldn’t have gone ahead with it. I feel my ID is correct and that’s what matters, not the list. Just because I would appreciate more opinions, it doesn’t mean I’m doubtful. As for your final comment, I bird for pure enjoyment, not to be a ‘very good birder or lister’. I don’t really care if I’m neither of those things and I don’t really try to be either as when it comes down to it there’s other things in life and none of it really matters; my passion is for birds, not lists.



      • Sorry Joseph, I misunderstood the bird forum thread- I thought you were going with common tern and had been influenced to rosy by some of the comments on that forum. It is an interesting bird and a good find- lets hope it gets accepted by the county recorder. Wishing you continued good birding, cheers, Andy

  2. Hi Andy,

    No worries at all, these things happen, I’m sorry if I appeared to be taken aback. Thank you very much, a nice and very educational bird.


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