Personal birding highlights of 2014

Such annual reviews are normally posted before the end of the year, but I was busy with the preparation of a new and exciting project of World Shorebirds Day (to be announced soon).

2014 was an interesting year with waves of ups and downs. Birding wise the first half of the year was good with a nice amount of days in the field. It drastically reduced after selling our car in mid September.

One of the most important events of the year was an idea, born in February and came into reality on the 6th September. The World Shorebirds Day was celebrated for the very first time on hundreds of different locations around the world. This definitely was one of the biggest success in my life, and it encouraged me to come up with new ideas, all supporting shorebird conservation.

Bellow are the facts and figures of 2014.

Life birds in the United Kingdom (4):
Sooty Shearwater (Portland, Devon),
Manx Shearwater (Portland, Devon),
Pink-footed Goose (Colne River Estuary, East Mersea, Essex),
Ross’s Gull (RSPB Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, Devon),
Parrot Crossbill (Budby Common, Nottinghamshire).

Life bird in Hungary (1):
Ural Owl (Zemplén Hills, Sátoraljaújhely)


A long desired and my most sought after bird, the Ural Owl was the last of the regularly breeding bird species in Hungary, what I could only manage to see after more than 30 years of birding. Illustration by Szabolcs Kókay

1 Self found rarity: European Bee-eater (Otmoor RSPB Marshes, Oxfordshire)

• 184 species seen in the United Kingdom;
• 52 new species were added to the British list;
• British list is up to 193;
• Hungarian list is up to 345;
• World life list is up to 2,182;

• 460 complete eBird checklists were submitted in the United Kingdom;
• I was ranked 2nd on the Top 100 eBirders (based on the number of submitted complete checklists) in the United Kingdom.

New birding equipment: Zeiss Victory HT 10×42 binoculars.

Other milestones

Relaunching my publication project, The New Shorebirds Handbook with a new and talented artists from Thailand.

2015/01/img_5574.pngBuilding up partnerships for a new fundraising project for the protection of shorebirds.

Thanks for Szabolcs Kókay for the excellent Ural Owl illustration. Special thanks to anyone who helped me in any way!


6 thoughts on “Personal birding highlights of 2014

  1. And many more successes to come eh Gyorgy, stick at it. One other question, do you not participate in BirdTrack then, the British Trust for Ornithology would certainly welcome your records, I’d imagine.

    Well done anyway and all the best in 2015 and beyond.


    • I don’t find BirdTrack as user friendly as eBird although some features of BirdTrack would be nice to have in eBird. Since within the Tringa Project data are exchanged between the two databases, my data will anyway be available for BTO.

      • Ah good to know. I wouldn’t like to think that the BTO were missing any data given the rates of change we are seeing these days in a great many species. Keep fighting for the cause.


      • Like you Gyorgy, I prefer eBird. Mainly because I wanted to add my foreign trips which until very recently Birdtrack did not allow. I have tried various platforms for recording my sightings over the year, but I am sticking with eBird.

        Have recently found igoterra which allows recording of all taxa so might use this for all other sightings. Tried Mapmate but did not get on with that either.

        Happy listing

      • I think eBird is on track in terms of integrating relevant part of their databases with national ones, like BirdTrack. I’m happy that despite I don’t use BirdTrack BTO will still be able to use my data. I hope more and more databases will follow this model.

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