Welcome to my website

My Name is Garry Bagnell. I am 47 years old and I absolutely love watching Birds.

My main birding achievement was being featured in the hit BBC-4 documentary "Twitchers-A very British Obsession". It was broadcast TEN times and I loved the whole experience.

I do keep THREE Bird lists. The list I am most passionate about is my COMBINED BRITISH & IRISH LIST. My combined WEST & EAST SUSSEX LIST brings gives me a similar pleasure and can be found on the BUBO website. European family holidays have led me to keeping my third list, which is my WESTERN PALEARCTIC LIST. This list is kept on the NETFUGL website.

My website also contains a Blog, Twitching write ups, British & Irish Rare Birds Stats,Tweets on  my TITBITS page and Jokes

Also if you need to contact me my phone number is 07789 765163 or alternatively email me on [email protected] 

NOTE:- You will only see comments from me on Facebook, Twitter, Birdforum and.here (www.britishislestwitching.com Any rude remarks  or negative comments on other websites WILL NOT BE ME.  


Garry Bagnell Twitter



Summary of my Birding Life

1977 - Age 10 - Started watching birds in my parents garden, then went to local parks/ woodland. Become a YOC member. Went to the Crawley & Horsham RSPB group indoor meetings. They organised monthly outings, went on a few car & coach trips in the local area.

1981 - During my many bird watching trips I went to Arundel W.W.T. for a day’s bird watching with Mushaq Ahmed. He pointed out Peter Scott to me. I went over to chat to him and he kindly singed my bird book I had on me. On the 26th July I went to Gatwick Airport with a school friend called Martin Arter. I bought a Civil Aircraft Marking Book (CAM) and I spent the rest of the day ticking off planes in my CAM. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to give up Bird watching as Plane Spotting was going to occupy a lot of my spare time.

1989 - I remember watching the news and seeing lots of birdwatchers descending on Maidstone, Kent for a Golden-winged Warbler. I was thinking about going for it, but sadly never did. So I suppose this is now, my most sought after bird for my British Isles List. Will we ever get another chance?!

1990 - Bought a house with a girlfriend.

1992 - Discovered Birdline, and had another attempt at Birdwatching/Twitching. Restricted my Birding watching/Twitching to the Southeast of Britain. I also joined the local Crawley & Horsham R.S.P.B. group as treasurer. (Shame nobody mentioned the long staying '93 Blackpoll Warbler at Bewl to me, but the R.S.P.B. members I use to chat with weren't major twitchers).

1997 - Got married for the first time.

1998 - I resigned from the post of Crawley & Horsham R.S.P.B Group Treasurer after a 6 year period. I decided to Join two chess clubs:- Crawley & Coulsdon.

1999 - Whilst working at National Grid on a year’s contract, I met Neil Howes and he showed me his Nationwide Birding Notebook. I was amazed at how many birds Neil had seen and how far he travels to see them. It made me think if I should get back into Birding/Twitching and give up the Plane Spotting. For the time being I decided to juggle both hobbies. I went to Scillies for the first time (absolutely loved it) and during my 3 day stay I found a Richard's Pipit, Ortolan Bunting (very brief view) .My Dad died of cancer during the year, so my wife and I decided to move in with mum and and help her out financially.

2000 - Big changes were made to to my life this year. Gave up Plane Spotting (a hobby I had for 19 years), smoking (17 year addiction),left my first wife and gave her the house.

2002 - I met Kim in June and decided to give up playing competitive Chess as it was not fair to Birdwatch and spend weekends playing in Chess Tournaments. During my 4 year Chess career, I achieved a chess grade of 87 (BCF) and it was still rising. I also played Chess for Sussex in the U125(BCF) division. I also got 2nd and 3rd position in some Chess tournaments.

2003 - Got married for the 2nd time to Kim. Started to twitch Ireland...please don't mention the 2000 Blue-winged Warbler that now really hurts.

2004 - My daughter "Georgie" was born. New British Birds were becoming less and less frequent, so I turned my attention to local birdwatching, which started by listing the bird species I see at Weir Wood Reservoir.

2005 - This year on 3rd March a very good friend of mine died, his name was James Havers. He died at the age of 39, whilst eating a meal at Gatwick Airport with Birding friend Andrew Bashford. James was an exceptional good birdwatcher who spent much of his short life doing bird survey work in the Crawley and Horsham area. He took me to see many scarce breeding birds he had found in the region, and he also showed me a wintering Little Bunting found in Ifield Church, Crawley '94.

2008 - Started playing darts at the Fountain Pub in Roffey.

2009 - I formed a Darts Team at the White Knight in Crawley and I decided to stop playing at the Fountain. On the 2nd August my Mother sadly died from Cancer at St. Catherines Hospice. The 6th September my family & I left Rusper and moved into my Mum's house. Since then we have spent £40k on house improvements. During the year I was selected to be filmed for a BBC4 documentary called Twitchers- A very British tradition. (Should be televised on 3rd November 2010).

2010 - Twitchers: A very British Obsession was broadcast on the 1st November on BBC-4. The programme was about twitching birds in Britain and featured Brett Richards, Craig Family, Lee Evans and myself.

2011 - Seeing Sabine's Gull at Brighton Marina on the 15th September is my 300th BOU species for the combined West & East Sussx County List.

2013 - Seeing Wilson's Warbler on 21st September on Dursey Island, County Cork might turn out to be my 500th British & Irish Lifer (BOU/ IRBC basis).  This is dependant on Elegant Tern, Slaty-back-Gull, Alder Fly & Long-toed Stint getting accepted. I met up with a Washington Post journalist & photographer who met me and John Lees in Norfolk. He took photograhs of John and I enjoying my 300th British year tick (BOU), which happened to be a Shore Lark. The article was published in Denver Post, Washington Post and Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday 15th December. The article was portrayed how competitve birdwatchers are in the UK compared to the US.


Latest Updates

Jokes - Five Minute Management Course added 13th January 2012



Long-toed Stint photo added 23rd January 2012 with a few words



Newest Members

Website that reciprocate my website link

Sussex Ornithological society Best website in Sussex

Penny Clarke Penny's hot birding and life

Paul Herrieven Brough Birder

Ross Newham Bald Birder

Steve Nuttal Belvide Birding

MQ Spurn blog

Barry Hunt Barry Birder

Rob Stokes Kent birding adventures

Widerscope Nick, Seth, Danny & Sam

Michael Booker  Sussex Birders

Other good places to check out

Weir Wood  Friends of Weir Wood Official Site

Mark Reeder of birds & pies

John Hague Drunkenbirder

Pete Antrobus Pods World

Gunnar Engblom Birding Blogs

Mr Black Reservoircatz

Serious stuff

British Birds Official magazine of the BBRC

BBRC Official website

BUBO Popular listing website

Netfugl Western Palearctic listing

Surfbirds Great photos and forum

Birdforum Main discussion forum

Rare Bird Alert Best pager in Britain


free counters

Since 11th Feb 2012


'11 Long-toed Stint Twitch

 Long-toed Stint (Photo by Mick Davis)

I'm pretty sure most of you will realise this is the rarest bird that Weir Wood has ever featured, but sadly not many connected due to a few human failings.

The Long-toed Stint was found by Peter Johson on 15th September 2011, at just after 5pm. Peter rang me, as he wasn't sure what this wader was. I had taken half days leave, predominantly to get the Sabines Gull at Brighton Marina but the lure of a long staying Long-tailed Skua at Dungeness become irresistible once I had my fill of this extremely rare Sussex tick.

Peter rang me just after 5pm whilst I was at Dungeness. We decided over the phone it was probably a Temmincks Stint and put the news out as a "Probable Temmincks Stint". I then phoned Nigel Drvier and Jake Everitt to see if they get down their to help nail the i.d. Jake went down, but Nigel couldn't make it on the first night.

I later got another phone call from Jake and he said the consensus of opinion is that its a Temmincks Stint. I needed Temmincks Stint for my Weir Wood list, so was praying it was going too stick the night.

Fortunately it did, Nigel saw it first thing and put the news out. I went to Weir Woood during my lunch break on Friday 16th. I saw the bird on arrival, it was the same distance as the Red-necked Little Stint I found earlier in the month. I was letting people look through my scope as they couldn't see it through their bins. I stayed at Weir Wood for half an hour and tweeted about the birds presence whilst I was there.

I saw no reason to doubt the identification. The bird was surrounded in heat haze, but I thought I could see some pro Temminck's Stint features.

The Bird was present for the next 3 days. During this time I was birding in Cornwall / Scillly. News was put out every day by someone. On Tuesday 20th September 2011, LGRE had just seen the Pallid Harrier at Burpham and rang me whilst I was at work to find out the exact location this Stint was at Weir Wood. I described I saw it between the two rafts and the next minute he connected. A few minutes later he rang again and told me to get down there as this bird was either a Least Sand or a Long-toed Stint.

I left work at 5pm and I was down there in 15 minutes. Also in attendance was Ian Barnard, Paul Marten, Jake Everett, Nigel Driver and a few others. LGRE concerns were quickly agreed by all in attendance. I didn't want to back down initially but LGRE made some good observations and it was clear that this was no Temminck's Stint.

Later on Tuesday evening, the news was put out as a possible Least Sandpiper. During Wednesday many Sussex listers made the effort to come down, plus some out of County birders. A grade 1 birder got better views in an out of bounds area, and he confirmed it as 100% certain as a Long-toed Stint. At 4:31pm this was mega'd by RBA. An estimate was made of 70 people connecting after this news was broadcast. I was contemplating going back down for another look, but I guessed there was going to be hassle as many would not be happy with the distant view from the viewing platform and some twitchers might also be tempted to trespass. So I decided to stay clear.

The next morning I popped into Weir Wood to get some crowd shots, 110 nationwide twitcher’s made the effort and it was really nice to see so many familiar faces at my local patch. I just wish the Stint behaved and stayed one more night. But sadly it didn't.

I hope an i.d. error is never again at Weir Wood....its embarrassing for everybody concerned.

If anyone is not sure about i.d., always use the words:- "Possible" or "Probably". No need to rush an i.d. If better views are needed, then don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry I'm not sure, I need better views to be sure".

Chris, Mya & Helena Craig

Neil Howes, Brett Richards & Tony Shepherd

My Scilly hero Dave Mac. He found the Northern Waterthrush at Lower Moors at 3:45pm. I saw the Northern Waterthrush perch on the same tree 45minutes later.







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