For many birders keeping lists of birds seen in a particular locality or year is an enjoyable aspect of their hobby. Many keep lists of bird species seen in Kent and a significant number of people have now recorded over 300 species in the county.
The Kent Listers Club was set up in 1997. The list of Kent birders totals has been compiled and is maintained by Geoff Burton. The totals are based upon lists submitted by the individuals themselves and once submitted it is up to them to inform the list keeper of additions. The rules include:
Where rarer species are subject to consideration by the BBRC or the KOS rarities committees, only those accepted are countable.
Records of, for example, Greater Flamingo, Ruddy Shelduck, Falcated Duck, Marbled Teal, White-headed Duck and Desert Finch are not considered countable for the purposes of these totals.
The taxonomy followed is that used by the British Ornithologists Union Records Committee
The Kent List has been affected by recent changes to the British List. At the beginning of 2018, the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU) aligned itself with the International Ornithologists’ Union’s IOC World List. Changes affecting Kent are:
- the splitting of Bean Goose into Taiga Bean Goose and Tundra Bean Goose
- the splitting of Isabelline Shrike into Daurian Shrike and Turkestan Shrike
- the splitting of Subalpine Warbler into three species, Western, Eastern and Moltoni’s.
The Bean Goose split is likely to affect most listers and so will the splits for Isabelline Shrike and Subalpine Warbler when the BBRC has adjudicated on individual records. However, the latter two pose problems with the new specific identification. As far as I know, none of the decisions that have been made by the BBRC give specific status to any of the Isabelline Shrikes recorded in Kent and only the Subalpine Warbler trapped at Dungeness in May 2004 has been afforded specific status as an Eastern Subalpine Warbler. However, the KOS Kent List lists six records as referring to isabellinus whilst one at Dungeness in 2011, referred to in the KBR as phoenicuroides, is omitted from that list. I am keeping an eye on the situation but, as it stands, it seems that no-one would be able to claim more than one species of the Shrike and Warbler at this moment!
The table of Kent listers was last published at the end of September 2015 (shortly after the occurrence of the Acadian Flycatcher). However, a revision of the KOS website caused problems with updating this. Since then that, combined with only a scarcity of major finds, a lack of updates from listers, and some apathy on my part, has meant that the list has become dated.
If you wish to submit your Kent list for inclusion here, or notify the list keeper of additions to your
Kent listing – the way ahead. Nigel Jarman