Potential lifers around me

It sounds a bit silly to have nice life bird lists from Asia, Africa or South America while there are a couple of potential new resident bird species just ‘next door‘. Quite many potential lifers are around me which I yet have to find. Here is a short list of the European breeding birds to be seen. One of the most shameful and already embarassing miss of all the potential species is the Hungarian resident Ural Owl. It’s been 12 years now I am not able to manage to find one (mainly due to laziness…).


My potential lifer zones in Europe. Red pin is my current location.

Zone 1
Ural Owl (Strix uralensis) – Hungary (250km)

Zone 2
Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) – Austria (250km)
Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca) – Croatia, Austria, Italy (600-1,000km)
Western Bonelli’s Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli) – Austria, Italy (300-800km)
Citril Finch (Carduelis citrinella) – Austria (550km)

Zone 3
European Storm Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) – Croatia, Corse (1,000km)

Zone 4
Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara) – Sardinia, Italy (1,600km)
Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) – France, Spain (1,200km)
Western Orphean Warbler (Sylvia hortensis) – France, Spain (1,300-2,200km)
Corsican Nuthatch (Sitta whiteheadi) – Corsica (1,400km)
Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata) – Italy, France, (1,000-2,000km)
Melodious Warbler (Hippolais polyglotta) – Slovenia, Italy, France, Spain (800-2,200km)

Zone 5
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) – Greece, Spain (2,200km)
Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler (Phylloscopus orientalis) – Croatia, Greece 1,200-2,000km) 

Zone 6
Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) – Mallorca (2,200km)
Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) – Spain (2,700km)
Red-necked Nightjar (Caprimulgus ruficollis) – Spain (2,700km)
Dupont’s Lark (Chersophilus duponti) – Spain (2,700km)
Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae) – Spain (2,700km)
Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) – Spain (2,700km)
Balearic Warbler (Sylvia balearica) – Mallorca (2,200km)
Western Olivaceous Warbler (Iduna opaca) – Spain (2,700km)
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) – Spain (2,700km)

Zone 7
Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) – Scotland (2,700km)
Leach’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) – Scotland (2,700km)
Pink-footed Goose (Anas brachyrhynchus) – The Netherlands, UK (2,200km)
Scottish Crossbill (Loxia scotica) – Scotland

Zone 8
Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor) – Turkey (2,700km)
Spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus erythropthalmos) – Turkey (2,700km)
Cyprus Warbler (Sylvia melanothorax) – Cyprus (2,400km)
Cyprus Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca) – Cyprus (2,400km)
Kurdish Wheatear (Oenanthe xanthoprymna) – Turkey (2,700km)
Trumpeter Finch (Bucanetes githagineus) – Turkey, Spain (2,700km)

Zone 9
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) – Norway (3,400km)
Booted Warbler (Iduna caligata) – w Russia (2,200km)
Azure Tit (Cyanistes cyanus) – w Russia (2,000km)
Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) – Finland (2,700km)
Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla) – Finland (2,700km)
Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola) – Finland (?), w Russia (2,700km)


Northern Gannets at a North Sea colony. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I did not list the Canary Islands, Madeira and Iceland where a couple of additional lifers could be found.

Western Bonelli’s Warbler was ticked in Thörl, Austria on 2 June 2012
Melodious Warbler was ticked in Doberdo del Lago, Italy on 19 May 2012
Citril Finch was ticked in Dorbatsch Naturpark, Villach, Austria on 19 May 2012


5 thoughts on “Potential lifers around me

  1. Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata)
    Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata)
    Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler (Phylloscopus orientalis)
    Spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus erythropthalmos)
    Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor)
    Trumpeter Finch (Bucanetes githagineus)

    can be easily located and seen in every tour we do in Israel

    Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)
    Cyprus Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca)
    Kurdish Wheatear (Oenanthe xanthoprymna)
    are seen rarely but every year

    and there are probably some other lifers you can see here

    so… when are you coming to Israel?

  2. Thanks for commenting. Good question… I think I have to go anyway as I need to photograph local race of Cream-colored Courser for my book. 🙂

    Best, Szimi

  3. Gyorgy, you can pick up the following in areas within 2 hours drive off Seville:
    Bonelli’s Eagle, Black Vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Melodious Warbler, Azure-winged Magpie plus it’s a good area for lots of other stuff, see Birding Sevilla website for details.

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