Sunday, December 05, 2010

I'm a listing geek, but my gosh don't I just know it

After reading in quite a few peoples different blogs and talking to different birders. There seem to be quite a few birders that don't keep track of their lists. Is this because listing has got a recent bad press due to the programme and birders want to try and distance themselves from being associated with that? Personally I think keeping lists is a great thing, I'll probably come across a bit weird now but oh well. The reason I keep such a detailed list is because its such an easy reference tool, I'm not obsessed with adding new birds to my list. Of course I like doing that, but if a bird is reported that I haven't seen before the first thing I think isn't how quickly can I get there but about the finder of that particular bird. Do I know them? Wonder what it was like finding x? Probably why I like the Finders Keepers articles on Birdguides

Probably similar to most people who actually keep lists I have mine laid out in excel. So thought I'd put up a few screen shots of my list and maybe it will inspire some of you to do similar, or more than likely just prove how weird I am.

Points scores for species from

This shows the bottom of my list and the various different stats and information that I can quickly gather from looking at this.

This is another part of the area under the list with various different pieces of information.

This table shows 2010 broken down into how many lifers, yearers etc in each individual month.

This is a list of the birds that I have seen that my Dad hasn't and vice versa for the year and life. Nice reference tool for gripping Dad off, especially for the year! Red/Orange/Green highlights show how hard/medium/easy a bird will be to get back either in the year or life. 

A seperate sheet to the above, has the order of birds I have seen in that particular month, only started this year in Feb. Red highlight is a lifer and green is a highlight bird/species. Orange over the number means I have only seen that species on one occasion/location this year.

This is the last page that I call bogey picking. Basically its all the birds that are on my 'list' but not if you understand that. I've then split them into categories of where I need to go in order to see them.

As you can probably tell from those screen shots there are a lot of different components to my list but its nice to be able to go through it and pick out random trivia from it really easily but mainly its just so I can turn to my dad and say, I have seen 24 more species than you this year because what's birding without a bit of competition!

If anyone else has a similar system to this then I'd love to hear from you and anything that you do differently to me!


  1. Hi Tim,

    Sorry, I realised that I forgot to link you to the blog, which means you've followed the wrong blog of mine! The one you are following is defunct/out of use (I will never post in that again!). Sorry about that! If you could please follow this instead, it would be much appreciated, any comments welcome, and it's properly up to date!

    As for your ways of listing, I wouldn't call you weird for doing what you do at all - it's fantastic! I am quite envious of how well organized and well thought of it is, and I really like how you colour code the birds, how you use a points system and how you've got so many different lists which you can add to. This makes me want to use Excel!

    All the Best and looking forward to reading more,


  2. Hi Tim! That's seriously impressive. I'm one of those people that doesn't seriously keep lists but I have lots of notes and some very dodgy sketches! I do have a local and Upton Life list though, but as to an overall life list I have no idea.. It all has importance and is vital data - have you thought of submitting your sightings and listing to Bird Track?

  3. Anonymous9:15 PM

    Hi Tim - I think everyone develops a listing system that suits the type of birding they do. Mine includes my record counts of certain species at Upton Warren, my earliest / latest records of migratory birds, various county / site lists, a dip list, a calender of when I have recorded lifers (needless to say May / Sept / Oct are top, and also what forms / subspecies I have seen (alway eager for a split).

    However you do it, enjoy your birding!


  4. Cheers for feedback guys.

    I also have all my notes and sketches from trips out but its a lot easier to find the last time I saw Long-tailed Duck etc on excel than tralling through notebooks!

    I do also enter most of my records onto Birdtrack, got a bit of a backlog at the moment but I'm sure I'll catch up soon!


  5. Bloody hell Tim. That's some serious spreadsheet! And I thought I was a bit of a listing geek - not a patch on you! Anyway, nice to see you had a few good birds up in Yorkshire, just need to find a goody at Upton in the next few weeks before you go back - or better still I'll find it and just tell you!!

  6. Glad to hear that someone else also has a similar list Phil!

    Cheers Mike, got 3 weeks over Christmas so hopefully will be able to get down Upton a fair bit, always a chance of something good, I'm hoping that I'll beat you to it and be the one telling you!