The following list complies with reports and decisions finalised by that of the British Ornithological Union (BOU), International Ornithological Union (IOU) and the British Birds Rarity Committee (BBRC).

Note – An Orange-billed Tern species was found off New Quay, Ceredigion in August of 2015; positive identification to down species level wasn’t possible and no description was submitted to the BBRC. This bird has NOT been incorporated into the British list as you will read on.

An image of the unidentified Thalasseus can be found here the Rarities Gallery.

Colour code: Common/Uncommon, Scarce, Rare & MEGA 

Self found – SF


Total: 309

Mute Swan

Tundra Swan

Whooper Swan

Taiga Bean Goose: (6) Spurn YWT, East Yorkshire (SF)

Tundra Bean Goose: (2) Spurn YWT, East Yorkshire (SF)

Pink-footed Goose

Greater White-fronted Goose

  • Anser a. albifrons (Greenland)
  • Anser a. flaviorostris (Russian)

Greylag Goose

Snow Goose: (1)

  • Anser c. caerulescens (Lesser) Nateby, Lancashire

Greater Canada Goose

Barnacle Goose

Brent Goose

  • Branta b. bernicla (Dark-bellied)
  • Branta b. hrota (Pale-bellied)

Red-breasted Goose: (1) RSPB Marshside, Lancashire (05.01.17)

Egyptian Goose

Ruddy Shelduck

Common Shellduck

Mandarin Duck

Eurasian Wigeon


Eurasian Teal

Green-winged Teal: (1) RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire


Northern Pintail


Northern Shoveler

Red Crested Pochard

Northern Pochard

Ferruginous Duck: (1) WWT Washington, Co. Durham (26.01.17)

Tufted Duck

Greater Scaup

Common Eider

King Eider: (2) – (1) Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire (26.06.16)

                            – (1) Ynyslas, Ceredigion (12.07.17) 

Long-tailed Duck

Common Scoter

Black Scoter: (1) Goswick, Northumberland (26.06.17)

Velvet Scoter

Surf Scoter: (1) Meols, Wirral

White-winged Scoter: (1)

  • Melanitta d. deglandi (American) Blackdog, Aberdeenshire (26.06.16)

Common Goldeneye


Red-breasted Merganser


Ruddy Duck

European Quail

Red-legged Partridge

Willow Grouse

Black Grouse

Grey Partridge

Common Pheasant

  • Phasianus c.colchicus (Ring-necked)
  • Phasianus c.versicolor (Green)

Golden Pheasant

Red-throated Diver

Black-throated Diver

Pacific Diver: (1) Druridge Bay CP, Northumberland (26.01.17)

Great Northern Diver

Northern Fulmar

Cory’s Shearwater: (1) Bardsey Island, Gwynedd

Great Shearwater: (1) Bardsey Island, Gwynedd (SF)

Sooty Shearwater

Manx Shearwater

Balearic Shearwater: (6) Bardsey Island, Gwynedd  (3 SF)

European Storm Petrel

Leach’s Storm Petrel: (69) – (67) New Brighton, Wirral (14 SF)

                                                  (1) Seacombe Ferry, Wirral (SF)

                                                  (1) Hilbre Island, Wirral (SF)

Northern Gannet

Great Cormorant

  • Phalacrocorax c. carbo (Atlantic)
  • Phalacrocorax c. sinensis (Continental)

European Shag

Great Bittern

Little Bittern: (1) RSPB Old Moor, Yorkshire (05.06.16)

Black-crowned Night Heron: (1) 

  • Nycticorax n.hoactil (American) Shrewsbury, Shropshire (24.04.17) 

Western Cattle Egret: (15) – (3) RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire

                                                – (2) Burton Marsh, Cheshire (1 SF)

                                                – (6) RSPB Marshside, Lancashire

                                                – (1) Shotton, Clwyd (SF)

                                                – (3) Birkdale, Lancashire

Little Egret

Great Egret: (58)   – (13) RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire (4 SF)

                                    – (12) Burton Marsh, Cheshire (4 SF)

                                    – (19) Neston Marsh, Cheshire (8 SF)

                                    – (3) RSPB Ynys Hir, Ceredigion (1 SF)

                                    – (10) Parkgate, Cheshire (3 SF)

                                    – (1) RSPB Marshside, Lancashire (SF)

Grey Heron

Purple Heron: (1) RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk

Glossy Ibis: (1) RSPB Marshside, Lancashire

Eurasian Spoonbill: (14) – (1) Parkgate, Wirral (SF)

                                             – (12) RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire (1 SF)

                                             – (1) Birkenhead Docks, Wirral (SF)

Pied-billed Grebe: (1) RSPB Leighton Moss, Lancashire (26.04.15)

little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Slavonian Grebe

Black-necked Grebe

European Honey Buzzard: (2) Undisclosed Site, Gwynedd (SF)

Red Kite

Western Marsh Harrier

Hen Harrier

Pallid Harrier: (2) – (1) Whitendale, Lancashire (03.05.17)

                                  – (1) Neston, Cheshire (01.10.17) 

Montagu’s Harrier: (2) RSPB Blacktoft Sands, West Yorkshire

Northern Goshawk

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Common Buzzard

Rough-legged Buzzard: (1) Undisclosed Site, Powys (SF)


Water Rail

Spotted Crake: (2) – (1) RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire

                                   – (1) CWT Red Rocks, Wirral

Corncrake: (1) Hale, Cheshire

Common Moorhen

Purple Swamphen: RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk (03.08.16) 

Eurasian Coot

Common Crane: (7) Lakenheath Fen RSPB, Suffolk

Eurasian Stone-Curlew: (12) – (2) Kelling Heath, Suffolk

                                                    – (3) Undisclosed Site, Norfolk

                                                    – (4) RSPB Minsmere Suffolk

                                                     – (3) Thetford, Norfolk

Black-winged Stilt: (2) WWT Martin Mere, Lancashire (June 2004*c) 

Pied Avocet

Eurasian Oystercatcher

European Golden Plover

Grey Plover

Eurasian  Dotterel: (1) Brynteg, Caernarfon (SF)

Common Ringed Plover

  • Charadrius h. hiaticula (European)
  • Charadrius h. psammodromas (Arctic)
  • Charadrius h. tundrae (Tundra)

Little Ringed Plover

Northern Lapwing

Kentish Plover: (1) Audenshaw Reservoir, Greater Manchester


Eurasian Curlew

Black-tailed Godwit

  • Limosa l. limosa (Continental)
  • Limosa l. islandica (Icelandic)

Bar-tailed Godwit

Ruddy Turnstone

Great Knot: (1) Scolt Head Island NNR , Norfolk (20.06.16)

Red Knot

  • Calidris c. cantus (Greenland)
  • Calidris c. islandica (Siberian)


Curlew Sandpiper

Temminck’s Stint: (1) RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire



  • Calidris a. alpina (Siberian)
  • Calidris a. schinzii (European)
  • Calidris a. arctica (Greenland)

Purple Sandpiper

Baird’s Sandpiper: (1) White Holme Reservoir, West Yorkshire (15.09.17)

Little Stint

White-rumped Sandpiper: (1) RSPB Blacktoft Sands, West Yorkshire (31.10.17)

Buff-breasted Sandpiper: (1) RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire

Pectoral Sandpiper: (4) RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire

Red-necked Phalarope: (4) – (3) Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire

                                                   (1) Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire

Red Phalarope: (4) – (1) Seacombe Ferry, Wirral (SF)

                                     (1) Liverpool Bay, Irish Sea (SF)

                                     (1) West Kirby, Wirral

                                     (1) New Brighton, Wirral

Common Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper: (1) Belvide Reservoir, Staffordshire (17.05.17)

Green Sandpiper

Spotted Redshank

Common Greenshank

Wood Sandpiper

Common Redshank

Eurasian Woodcock

Common Snipe

  • Gallinago g. faeroeensis (Faerones)
  • Gallinago g. gallinago (Continental)

Jack Snipe

Long-billed Dowitcher (2) : (1) – Banks Marsh, Lancashire 10.10.17

                                                  (1) – RSPB Marshside, Lancashire 21.10.17

Eurasian Woodcock

Pomarine Skua (11): (7) Bardsey Island, Gwynedd (2 SF)

                                      (2) Porth Colmon, Gwynedd (SF)

                                      (1) New Brighton, Wirral (SF)

                                      (1) Hoylake, Wirral (SF)

Arctic Skua

Long-tailed Skua: (1) New Brighton, Wirral

Great Skua

Atlantic Puffin

Black Guillemot


Little Auk: (1) Hilbre Island, Wirral (SF)

Common Guillemot

Little Tern

Whiskered Tern: (2) Sandbach Flash, Cheshire (07.05.16)

Black Tern

Sandwich Tern

Elegant Tern: (1) RSPB Pagham Harbour, Sussex (14.06.17) 

Common Tern

Roseate Tern: (1) Birkenhead Docks, Wirral (SF)

Arctic Tern

Sabine’s Gull (5): (1) Pennington Flash, Gtr Manchester

                                  (3) Bardsey Island, Gwynedd (1 SF)

                                  (1) Porth Colmon, Gwynedd (SF)

                                   (1) Hilbre College, Wirral (SF)

Black-legged Kittiwake

Black-headed Gull

Little Gull

Laughing Gull: (1) New Brighton, Wirral (21.2.15)

Mediterranean Gull

Common Gull

Ring-Billed Gull: (1) RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire (SF)

Lesser Black-backed Gull

  • Larus f. graellsii (Western)
  • Larus f. intermidius (Scandinavian)

European Herring Gull

  • Larus a. argenteus (Western)
  • Larus a. argentatus (Scandinavian)

Yellow-legged Gull

Caspian Gull: (1) New Ferry, Wirral (SF)

Iceland Gull (2): (1) Birkenhead Docks, Wirral (SF)

                               (1) Hartlepool, Cleveland

Glaucous Gull (3): (1) Seacombe Ferry, Wirral (SF)

                                  (1) Hartlepool, Cleveland

                                  (1) Elton Hall Flash, Cheshire

Great Black-backed Gull

Rock Dove

Stock Dove

Common Woodpigeon

Eurasian Collared Dove

European Turtle Dove

Common Cuckoo

Barn Owl

Little Owl

Tawny Owl

Long-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

European Nightjar

Common Swift

Eurasian Hoopoe: (1) New Brighton, Wirral

European Bee-Eater: (2) Brampton, Cumbria (24.08.15)

Common Kingfisher

Eurasian Wryneck: (5) Bardsey Island, Gwynedd (1 SF)

Lesser-Spotted Woodpecker

European Green Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Common Kestrel

Red-footed Falcon: (1) Chatterley Whitefield, Staffordshire (11.07.15)


Eurasian Hobby

Peregrine Falcon

Ring-necked Parakeet

Eurasian Golden Oriole: (1) Undisclosed Site, Suffolk (SF)

Daurian shrike: (1) Holyhead, Anglesey (16.10.17)

Red-backed Shrike: (1) Meols, Wirral

Great Grey Shrike (2): (1) Little Woolden Moss, Gtr Manchester

                                         (1) Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire

Red-billed Chough

Black-billed Magpie

Eurasian Jay

Western Jackdaw


Carrion Crow

Hooded Crow

Northern Raven


Common Firecrest

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Coal Tit

Willow Tit

Marsh Tit

Bearded Reedling

Common Skylark


Horned Lark (3): (1) Spurn YWT, East Yorkshire

                               (1) Hartlepool, Cleveland

                               (1) Hilbre Island, Wirral

European Sand Martin

Barn Swallow

Northern House Martin

Cetti’s Warbler

Long-tailed Tit

Arctic Warbler: (1) RSPB Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire (08.10.16)

Pallas’s Leaf Warbler (5): (1) Heswall, Wirral

                                               (1) Easington, East Yorkshire

                                               (2) YWT Spurn, East Yorkshire

                                                (1) Flamborough, Yorkshire

Yellow-browed Warbler (13): (2) Gilroy NP, Wirral (SF)

                                                       (2) Leasowe, Wirral

                                                       (2) Bidston Moss, Wirral (SF)

                                                       (4) Flamborough, East Yorkshire

                                                       (3) Spurn YWT , East Yorkshire

                                                       (1) Birkenhead, Cheshire (SF)

Radde’s Warbler: (1) YWT Spurn, East Yorkshire (15.10.16)

Dusky Warbler (4): (1) Flamborough, East Yorkshire (08.10.16)

                                    (3) YWT Spurn,  East Yorkshire (15.10.16)

Wood Warbler

Common Chiffchaff

  • Phylloscopus c. tristis (Siberian)
  • Phylloscopus c. collybita (European)
  • Phyllosopus c. abietinus (Scandinavian)

Iberian Chiffchaff: (1) Kelsall, Cheshire (01.06.17)

Willow Warbler

Common Blackcap

Garden Warbler

Lesser Whitethroat

Common Whitethroat

Dartford Warbler

Subalpine Warbler: (1) 

  • Sylvia c. cantillans (Western) – CWT Red Rocks, Cheshire (10.05.17)

Common Grasshopper Warbler

Savi’s Warbler: (1) RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk (10.05.17)

Booted Warbler: (1) Great Orme, Conwy (04.10.2016)

Icterine Warbler (4): (1) RSPB Ynys Hir, Ceredigion (SF)

                                      (3) Bardsey Island, Gwynedd

Melodious Warbler (3):  Bardsey Island, Gwynedd

Sedge Warbler

Marsh Warbler (2): (1) Haverton Hill, Cleveland

                                    (1) Bowesfield Marsh, Cleveland

Eurasian Reed Warbler

Bohemian Waxwing (50): (11) Back Garden, Wirral (SF)

                                               (30) St Asaph, Clyde 

                                                (9) Thingwall, Wirral

Tree Nuthatch

Eurasian Treecreeper

Winter Wren

Common Starling

White-throated Dipper

Ring Ouzel

European Blackbird

Dusky Thrush: (1) Beely, Derbyshire (11.12.16)

Black-throated Thrush: (1) St Asaph, Denbigh (22.12.16)


Song Thrush

  • Turdus p. philomelos (Continental)
  • Turdus p. clarkie (British)


  • Turdus i. iliacus (Scandinavian)
  • Turdus i. coburni (Icelandic)

Mistle Thrush

Spotted Flycatcher

European Robin

  • Erithacus r. rubecula (Continental)
  • Erithacus r. melophilus (British)

Bluethroat: (1) RSPB Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire

European Pied Flycatcher

Black Redstart

  • Phoenicurus o.ochruros (Eastern) (1) Skinningrove, Cleveland (15.01.17)
  • Phoenicurus o. gibraltariensis (European)

Common Redstart

Common Rock Thrush: (1)  Blorenge, Gwent (25.10.17)

Blue Rock Thrush: (1) Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire (31.12.16) 

Common Whinchat

Common Stonechat

  • Saxicola r. hibernans (British)
  • Saxicola r. rubicola (Continental)

Northern Wheatear

  • Oenanthe o. oenanthe (Northern)
  • Oenanthe o. leucorhoa (Greenland)

Desert Wheatear: (1) Fairhaven Lake, Lancashire (19.11.16)


Siberian Accentor: (1) YWT Spurn, East Yorkshire (15.10.16)

House Sparrow

European Tree Sparrow

Western Yellow Wagtail

  • Motacilla f. flava (Blue-headed)
  • Motacilla f. flavissima (Yellow-crowned)
  • Motacilla f. flava X flavissima (Channel)

Citrine Wagtail: (1) Morfa Madryn, Gwynedd (07.05.17)

Grey Wagtail

White Wagtail

  • Motacilla a. yarrelli (Pied)
  • Motacilla a. alba (White)

Richard’s Pipit (2): (1) CWT Red Rocks, Wirral 

                                  (1) Bidston Moss NR, Wirral (SF)

Olive-backed Pipit: (1) Easington, East Yorkshire (09.10.16)

Tree Pipit

Meadow Pipit

  • Anthus p. pratensis (Eurasian)
  • Anthus p. whistleri (Hebridean)

Eurasian Rock Pipit

  • Anthus p. petrosus (European)
  • Anthus p. littoralis (Scandinavian)

Water Pipit

Buff-bellied Pipit: (1)

  • Anthus r. rubescens (American) – Burton Marsh, Cheshire (21.12.13)


Common Chaffinch


European Bullfinch

European Greenfinch



Lesser Redpoll

Mealy Redpoll

Common Crossbill

European Goldfinch

Eurasian Siskin

Snow Bunting

  • Plectrophenax n. insulae (Iceland)
  • Plectrophenax n. nivalis (Scandinavian)

Lapland Bunting: (1) CWT Red Rocks, Wirral

Corn Bunting

Ortolan Bunting: (1) Bardsey Island, Gwynedd


Pine Bunting: (1) Venus Pool, Shropshire (04.01.17)

Common Reed Bunting

Little Bunting: (1) YWT Spurn Point, East Yorkshire


One thought on “British Life List

  1. Tony Akhaloma says:

    Great piece of nostalgia. I remember the days when I used to self find rare birds every time I went somewhere New. Then I grew up. Thanks for the memories this list has invoked. Pure youthful fantasy


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