Monday 31 December 2012

2012 ....... REVIEW

Well its that time of year again when i look back on my last years birding with fond memories , 2012 did not produce lots of lifers for me , i only had 4 Lifers and a year list of 226 . However i did see some amazing birds and had some great trips , here is a review of 2012 and i have added a picture of my bird of the month ( where possible ) .

JANUARY       Year list : 105

Many highlights this month including :  Western Sandpiper , Coues Arctic Redpoll , Ring Necked Duck , Ferruginus Duck and Dark Eyed Junco . However the bird of the month for me came in my first lifer of the year , a quite stunning male Spanish Sparrow .

Male Spanish Sparrow in Hampshire.

FEBRUARY   Year List : 118 .

I added 13 year ticks this month , the main event happened in Wales with quite simply fantastic views of a 1st winter male Common Yellowthroat , this was not a lifer for me but was most definitely bird of the month  , i also saw a male Lesser Scaup nearby .

Male Lesser Scaup.

And bird of the month.
1st Winter Common Yellowthroat

MARCH  Year List : 134

16 year ticks added this month , highlights included Common Crane , Garganey , Dartford Warbler , Richards Pipit and brief views of a Humes Yellow Browed Warbler, However although not the rarest bird i saw this month i have chosen the two Glossy Ibis  that i saw at Radipole Lake in Dorset as my bird of the month .

Two Glossy Ibis .

APRIL   Year List : 167 

I added 33 year ticks this month and i had an amazing trip to Scotland to thank for that, many highlights this month  including all the Scottish speciality's plus King Eider , Hoopoe , Iceland Gull and Greater Yellowlegs ,i had a lot to choose from for my bird of the month and i finally chose this amazing Capercallie .

Male Capercallie .

 MAY       Year List : 191

24 year ticks added this month , May never disappoints and this year was no different , waders were well represented with good views of  Kentish Plover , Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint , i also had superb views of a Nightjar  in broad daylight at Pagham , plus great views of 2 adult summer plumage White Winged Black Terns at Stodmarsh .

White Winged Black Tern at Stodmarsh 

However my bird of the month was an adult summer plumage Squacco Heron at Chew Valley Lake in Somerset.

Squacco Heron in Somerset .

JUNE    Year List : 199

Another 8 year ticks added this month with good views of , Night Heron , Woodlark and Goshawk , however i have chosen two species as my birds of the month , they are both predominately black and white in colouration and both species have long legs and bills , and they are Black Winged Stilt and my second lifer of the year 3 Whites Storks in Sussex .

 Black Winged Stilt .

3 White Storks .

JULY   Year List : 200

Only 1 year tick this month and that was at Oare Marshes in Kent and that was two smart Wood Sandpipers .

Two Wood Sandpiper.

AUGUST    Year List : 203.

Only 3 year ticks this month all at Dungeness in Kent which were Arctic Tern , Arctic Skua and my bird of the month Little Gull . 

Little Gull .

SEPTEMBER   Year List : 218

This was an amazing month with top quality birds seen through out , starting with my third lifer of the year in the form of a Short Billed Dowitcher in Dorset where i also saw a Monarch .

Monarch .

I also had great views of a male Red Footed Falcon in Chichester plus a smart looking Baillons Crake at Rainham Marshes in Essex.

Baillons Crake .

 However the highlight of the month was on my trip to Shetland when i finally connected with a quite stunning Lanceolated Warbler which was my fourth and final lifer of the year , other highlights this month included : Little Bunting , Common Rosefinch and Red Backed Shrike .

Lanceolated Warbler .

OCTOBER  Year List : 225

7 year ticks added this month all of top quality , starting off with an adult Red Breasted Goose at South Swale , then Reculver produced Dusky Warbler , Lapland Bunting and Shorelark , however a trip to Norfolk on the 25 th was amazing with thousands of thrushes everywhere , i also added Arctic Warbler and Ring Ouzel to my year list on this trip but the bird of the month was an amazing view of a very special bird indeed and that was a Red Flanked Bluetail .

Red Flanked Bluetail .

NOVEMBER   Year List : 225

No birding this month with work and other commitments getting in the way so year list still stands at 225 .

DECEMBER  Year List : 226

Only one year tick this month and that was Waxwing with 35 birds seen near Yorketts on the 2nd and a further 20+ birds seen near my local Tescos on the 24 th increasing to 50 + birds on the 29th  , other than that a trip to Oare Marshes produce excellent views of a Kingfisher , however bird of the month goes to Waxwing.

Waxwing .

Saturday 29 December 2012

Feeding Frenzy.......At Tescos Whitstable

Buy one get one free .

I popped into my local Tescos again today and the recently arrived Waxwings had increased to over 50 birds , they were in a different part of the car park today and were quite flighty , they came down to feed on the berries only for a few seconds before they took off and flew around only to return to more or less the same area .

Hopefully they will stick around to New Years Day and beyond .

Monday 24 December 2012

Tesco Waxwings Return.........

News of some Waxwings on show at my local Tescos called for a short trip to see them , i never tire of seeing these beauties , i did a rough count of 20 birds although there were probably more .

Sunday 16 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Just like to thank everyone who has visited my blog this past year and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and great birding for 2013 .

Sunday 2 December 2012

Waxwing Invasion.....

I finally caught up with some Waxwings this morning  near Yorkletts in Kent , there had been up to 40 birds present this morning , when i arrived behind Youngs lorry park there were no birds to be seen plus no birders about to get any info , i did a bit of a drive around and then located the flock by they bridge that goes over the Thanet Way and had at least 35 birds all to myself , just sat in my car enjoying great views and listening to their " trill " call , i put the news out on the pager , here are some photos i took .

They were disturbed by a van that drove by and flew back towards Youngs lorry park before i left .


Saturday 1 December 2012

New Site Tick at Oare Marsh

New patch tick Kingfisher.

I spent a very enjoyable couple hours at Oare Marshes this morning , i parked up by the slip way and walked along the sea wall towards Faversham Creek , the tide was out and there was a scattering of waders on the exposed mud flats , Redshank , Grey Plover and Dunlin were in good numbers , i reached the sea watching hide and scanned the Swale adding plenty of distant Dark Bellied Brent Geese and a single Great Crested Grebe , there were at least 60 + Avocets roosting on the edge of the tide plus a scattering of Curlew were near by .

Common Seals on Sand Bank.

Out on the exposed sand bank in the middle of the Swale were several Common Seals basking , i carried on my walk along Faversham creek towards the sluice , there were plenty of Wrens and Reed Buntings along here plus 2 Stonechats .

Male and Female Reed Buntings.

I could hear a couple of Cetti's Warblers sounding off in the distance , i was hoping to see Bearded Tits and try and get some photos but alas my luck was not in with these today , on reaching the sluice i came across a new bird for me at this reserve in the form of a quite stunning Kingfisher .

Sorry about this off focus image but just loved the blue flash on its back .

 I have tried catching up with this species here for quite a while so was very pleased to finally see one here , it spent most of its time perched on a post on the creek side of the sluice , every now and again it swooped down fishing and was successful on a couple of occasions , from here i walked past the East Flood hide disturbing several Redwing and Blackbirds from the bushes , out on the East flood there were plenty Lapwing and Common Snipe plus at least 4 Pintail were in and amongst the more regular wildfowl , and i finally returned back to my car very happy .