Making The List
If I am going to aim to photograph each of Britain's birds, the first thing I need to know is - what birds are in Britain? Googling 'British Bird List' gave me so many answers to this question, that I was confused right from the start. Lists appeared in many different forms and with anything up to 500+ species (including birds that Aunt Nellie's great grandfather brought back from the Antipodes in 1869 and then released in his back garden where they were promptly eaten by his neighbours cat. By the way, if you are going to google 'British Birds', I recommend doing so with the Safe Search on to avoid a plethora of unsolicited emails!!!)
I need to be realistic: I need a list of species that I have a reasonable hope of being able to find.
Taking the British Ornithologists' Union's 'Bird species recorded in Great Britain', I have extracated all 'resident' species, all breeding summer visitors and other visitors with at least ten records in any calendar year since 1999.
The second challenge was the bird's actual names. With many local variations, I was pleased to find that Messrs. Gill & Wright (2006) had addressed this issue and whilst I personally will never be able to refer to a Goosander as a 'Common Merganser', I see the sense in using universally agreed names and these are included in red in my list and on the individual species details pages.
My list comprises 270 species. (There will, no doubt, be inaccuracies - I am not an expert - and if you find any, please let me know; I am keen to learn.) If I should happen across, and be lucky enough to obtain a photograph of any species not on my list, then I shall open a new page for 'Happy Accidents'.