Rarity Hunting – Punkbirder Self Found Rules

With my primary focus now swinging to self-found rarities instead of twitching I thought that it was time to get my list up-to-date. As I was doing the list I came to a rough total of 272 on the old, now defunct 250 Club, rules.

A bit of a web search revealed that the boys at Punkbirder have updated those rules and to my mind they seem pretty good. A quick look probably means knocking Taiga Bean Goose off as I’ve only ever seen them in known wintering areas. Under the old rules these would have counted. Thanks to a fly-over at Bempton Cliffs last year Honey Buzzard can stay so now I would reckon I’m down to 271 with a (sub)species find in reserve, Siberian Stonechat. Golden Eagle might cause headaches – I’ve found plenty in the Highlands but looking at the rules would that count? Surely any suitable habitat should count and I’ve found them away from the traditional areas that site guides report.

The self-found rules can be found here. Anyone else going to go public with their total? As I get time I will try and date all my self-found rare and scarce birds and publish the list somewhere.


12 responses to “Rarity Hunting – Punkbirder Self Found Rules

  1. To me self found is just that self found. Under the Punk rules I could quite legitimately add Pechora and Lancy but that’s just crap I didn’t find em someone else did. I might have helped with the Lancy ID but I didn’t find it. The Punks rules are only there to boost their self found lists which, having had two duff years in Ireland, are now taking a right bashing. In short there rules are bollocks.


  2. Of course I meant ‘their’

  3. thedrunkbirder

    Well they do say if you have any comments you can email them… Personally I think they are a good compromise especially when you look at the ‘genuine surprise,’ ‘time-lapsed’ etc.

  4. The genuine surprise and time lapse are ok it’s the every man and his dog claims that are rubbish. Each to their own. There is a dark side to self found lists though – they encourage stringing!

  5. A lot of the Punkbirder self found rules are a bit flaky in my opinion. The ‘joint found rule’ is a difficult one, and I would use some common sense with this. I don’t agree with their interpretation of the ‘news ignorance’ rule either – I count Crane on my found list, having seen one in the Norfolk Broads in 1982. I knew no other birders at the time, read no bird magazines and had NO IDEA that there were Cranes resident anywhere in Britain. How could I not count that as self found? Obviously that wouldn’t be the case these days though.

    I also think some of their ‘re-find’ and ‘time and distance’ rules are highly arbitrary (and unnecessarily complicated) and I certainly wouldn’t count ‘re-identifications’ or identifying birds I’d heard about from members of the public as self found. Or being the first person in a given season to re-find a regularly returning bird

    On ‘common sense’ (i.e. more strict than Punkbirder) self found rules, my list is a fairly poor 275, and has been for about two years now! I have a long list of common species I’ve never found, headed by Leach’s Petrel, Spoonbill, Spotted Crake, Ring-necked Duck, Red-necked Phalarope, Roseate Tern, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch and Ortolan.

  6. One tiny thought just crossed me addled fucked-up brain…..’rules’ and ‘punks’ just don’t compute with me….[then again…..if johnny rotten can do a fuckin stupid butter advert then i guess anything is possible]….!

    ps…don’t mention iggy pop……

    pps…i ‘find’ myself with a hang-over this morning….

  7. My number is 0!

  8. Just wondered does this list include birds you have found outside the UK?
    As I have found birds in the eastern seaboard of USA, Canaries and Biscay!

  9. thedrunkbirder

    Dave – Why would it? My world/WP self found list would be pretty much my world list less Wallcreeper and anything I’ve twitched here less the ones I’ve self-found abroad. I don’t do guided tours – rather ID my own stuff.

    Leigh – Under Punkbirder rules you certainly can claim the Wryneck and Red-throated Pipit (if accepted by the ISBG) or you can claim it, because that’s what it was and me trying to describe a bird call is as fucking fruitless as me knowing about Workaday Yellow or whatever fanciful colour Farrow & Ball bring out… though if it was a buffy/yellow wash to the undertail coverts we’re in!
    You have also quite a number of self-found birds. All the common stuff counts so everytime you see a House Sparrow or a Green Woodpecker you’re in the game.

    I wish it was only rarities as a list of 271 would be brilliant and we’d probably be living in a heligoland trap on Fair Isle.

  10. John, I haven’t included the birds I found in America, but my WP found list is around 290!

  11. Quite a few folk have gone public with their self-found lists. Look at surfbirds:


    (or BUBO: http://www.bubo.org/)

    Ken Shaw & Graham Catley seem to be leading the pack.

    Incidentally Mark – surely any kind of listing (or indeed birding full stop) leads to the temptation of stringing. I don’t see why someone keeping a self-found list should be especially prone to this

  12. thedrunkbirder

    When I posted my self-found list on BUBO I’m running at about 275…

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