Monday 3 January 2011

A New Year, same old patch...

Back on the patch today for the first time this year.

Birding on new years days is never really an option for me and with the Toon away to Wigan yesterday today was my first chance to get out.

I did promise a short report of 2010, I ran out of time on NYE, too busy preparing tapas and making  my 'Captain Chaos' outfit. It might still happen.... Amazingly last years bird species total was exactly the same as 2009  - 157! One short of 158 in 2008 and well short of my best ever total of 168. Two new species were added to the patch list, great-white egret back in April and red-legged partridge on Christmas Day.

Hopefully 2011 will bring a few more patch ticks, there are still some commoner species I still need such as bluethroat, pallas's warbler, icterine warbler, wood warbler and tree pipit.

Today, the 2011 list got of to a fair start given the very cold weather we have been experiencing. It was still cold at Druridge with a biting NW wind, the ponds and fields still frozen. I walked up to the Preceptory and down to High Chibburn and back via the hamlet.

A quick look on he sea produced five nice drake red-breasted mergansers in full summer garb and a single red-throated diver. Passerines were thin on the ground, with the winter thrushes present last week apparently retreated back inland, robin, dunnock and wren also notable by their absence.

My first raptor of the year was a buzzard, out from the back of the big pool, I caught up with Bob Biggs and he picked up a distant peregrine on the patch boundary - nice one Bob!

Other good patch birds to get the list rolling were stock dove, woodcock (still plenty about), long-tailed tit, yellowhammer (still good numbers on the roof of the farm) and collared dove, once a rare bird at Druridge, have now taken up residence at the farm.

Rabbit and hare were the only mammals of the day.

here's the list:

1 shag
2 red-breasted mersander
3 cormorant
4 guilliemot
5 sanderling
6 carrion crow
7 herring gull
8 great black-backed gull
9 common gull
10 black-headed gull
11 teal
12 wigeon
13 red-throated diver
14 curlew
15 redshank
16 starling
17 skemmie pigeon
18 mallard
19 grey partridge
20 greylag goose
21 stock dove 
22 long-tailed tit
23 common buzzard
24 lapwing
25 rook
26 pheasant
27 blackbird
28 magpie
29 chaffinch
30 yellowhammer
31 coal tit
32 collared dove
33 blue tit
34 house sparrow
35 moorhen
36 mistle thrush
37 pied wagtail
38 oystercathcer
39 woodpigeon
40 tree sparrow
41 great tit
42 dunlin
43 woodcock
44 peregrine
45 pink-footed goose


Anonymous said...

I drive through your patch regular in between jobs at work so Im very interested to read about what im missing whilst driving. Lovely blog mate I will enjoy following.

ps hope shola opens his eyes tonight if he gets on the end of a header, prediction 2-0

Warren Baker said...

That was a bit of a pun, that commoner species list !!! wasn't it ??