Listing, as stated, is a futile activity, unless you happen to be able top your own or other people's! There is no chance that I could ever challenge the major listers - at a national or county level. My National list has stagnated around 460+ (I am not sure what it actually is!) and only rarely do I twitch outside of the County, but it is known!
My BOU County list is 364 (376 UK400!), 358 of which I have seen since I moved here in August 1996 - oh to have moved here a few years earlier. A (very) few twitches to Norfolk before this adds the extra fortunate six. There have only been another 16 species accepted during this time, two of which I should have seen and another two I might have seen! The highest County List currently stand at 392 BOU (I am lead to believe) and is held jointly by two listers. Obviously, I will never be able to challenge their totals, but that won't stop me trying!
It is for this reason that I have occasionally attempted to beat the County Year List Record. This currently stands at 280 BOU species, set by Rob Martin in 2005, where he 'beat' Robin Able by one species. My attempt in 2008 reached 278 (with one heard only and a couple of non-accepted sightings! - I always wonder how any record would stand to total scrutiny). This equaled my 1998 total (adapted to subsequent splits!). Another attempt was started (but not completed) last Year, with the highest total (I believe) being Dave Appleton's 271, so no record there (I tease him that I could have beaten him be one bird if I had continued, but that is completely subjective).
I will not be going fo any type of record this year, but am still setting myself some targets:
Norfolk Year List target: 250
Work Route list target: 150
Swanton Morley Target: 120
Sparham Pools target: 115
(The latter two based on Dave Appleton's recent Patch listing:
For the local patches my year lists were:
Sparham Pools Swanton Morley
2007 102 111
2008 94 109
(not including the Ruddy Shelducks!)
I didn’t count in 2009 as hardly made any visits there! I reckon 110 should be possible at Sparham Pools and 115 at Swanton Morley, without a ridiculously huge amount of effort. I think Charles said he used to get 110 regularly at Sparham Pools, but not so many in recent years.)
Norfolk Bird Info to: