I’m not sure anyone is interested in my personal milestones but I always like reading about other peoples. So here are a couple of mine.

This is my 200th blog. For the special occasion I was going to write a few thoughts on the state of birding. Nothing deep or mind altering, and probably not original. Just some observations of mine.

I started what was to be the 200th blog last Friday night/Saturday morning at 38,000 feet over the Atlantic. I didn’t get it completed with the attempt to sleep on the plane or the ensuing next day’s Jet Lag. That post will just have to be at a later date.

As you can guess I’m somewhere outside of the US. Not anything special but kind of fun is that I saw my 500th species yesterday. It was on a non-birding stroll with my wife at a public park.

Here is lucky 500.


Since I don’t have time to write a full blog I’ll let you guess the species. It isn’t hard and it isn’t a RING-NECKED DUCK. Mike please don’t answer in the comment section since you know where I’m located. And no there isn’t a prize except the satisfaction that you know this rare visitor to North America.

If you don’t know or haven’t guessed the species in the photo or where I’m located, let me tell you it has to do with me blowing one question which kept me off the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” I briefly reference about the experience here. The only question I missed was about putting 4 houses of this county’s royalty in the order they held the throne. The above duck was seen on one of their palace’s ponds.

As we toured the palace’s grounds and a few other historical sites where we kept seeing the names of the different houses of royalty, we couldn’t get the game show experience out of our heads.

I’ll post tomorrow with the answer and a few more details of the trip.


7 Replies to “200-500”

  1. Even before I read the stuff about the royal houses, my guess was that you saw that Tufted Duck at Hyde Park in London, because that’s where I got mine!

    If that is truly where you are, do you count the Mandarin Ducks there on your life list? I didn’t at the time, but am now reconsidering after having read that they have colonized much of the UK.

    1. You are correct on both counts! The 500th was originally a Wood Pigeon until I remembered I had seen the Pacific Loon at Eagle Creek. So I had to redo the post.

      About the Mandarin Duck, they are countable. Follow this link – http://www.bou.org.uk/thebritishlist/British-List.pdf. It is the official list of the BOU. The problem I have is that I saw a pair of Garganey at the Wetlands. Not sure they were residence and not wild? Probably will just them go…

  2. I would guess Kensington Gardens in London on the Serpentine. If you in fact are there, I would suggest you check out Ralph Hancock’s daily blog and great photos at http://kensingtongardensandhydeparkbirds.blogspot.com/. Ralph has been in the park daily for decades.

    I also highly recommend Rainham Marsh. Fabulous property reachable by train with a great staff from the RSBP.Congrats on #500!

    1. You are correct, that is where we were located. I hadn’t been following Ralph’s blog, don’t know how I over looked it since I follow many British blogs. But believe it or not I ran into Ralph and he gave me some good tips on where to find several things including the Little Owls. Which weren’t at all cooperative when I went looking for them.

      And thanks for the tip on Rainham Marsh. I debated between it and the new Wetlands Center. The Wetlands Center won out since it was only 25 minutes from our location and fit our schedule. But I’m thinking we are going back in a year or two. Have you birded elsewhere in England? I’m thinking we will go back in a year or two and will make more time for birding. Like going to Norfolk.

      1. I am not surprised you ran into Ralph, he is like clockwork in the Park. I got the Little Owl there in January when I was last there. I have birdied most of the Royal Parks – Regent’s is probably next best but sometimes it’s hard to tell what is part of their collection and what is wild. Rainham has a great Friends of … Facebook page which will make you want to go there.

    1. Thanks for playing along. Even though Greg beat you it’s always good to at least think about different species since you never know where one will show up. Maybe I’ll post some of the weird hybrids I saw at the London city parks and see what kind of guesses we get on those!

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