Saturday 26 January 2013

New Year, New Look, New List, New Challenge

It's nearly the end of January, but for me, a new year started on the patch today. I've been to Thailand on birding holiday since December 28th. I will put some photo's on the other blog soon but here is something to whet the appetite.

male blue whistling thrush (eugeni) at Doi Inthanon, Thailand

With the new year, I thought the blog needed a new look. I've gone for a warm feel to dispel thoughts of winter as I write it.

It certainly wasn't warm for my first patch visit of 2013, it was bloody freezing!. I had less than an hour before having to go to work so I concentrated on the hamlet and the north end. I managed to add 23 species  to the list in 45 minutes. The highlight was undoubtedly the number of fieldfare, with small flocks in most of the paddocks, there must have been over 200 on the patch, obviously part of cold-weather movement. There were also small parties of skylark moving through and meadow pipits were also noted.

A couple of hundred pink-feet moved south and there were over 1000 north of the haul road, I didn't have time to grill them though, maybe tomorrow. Dave Elliott had long-tailed ducks and seven pintail on the pool  - another target for tomorrow.

Tomorrows first target is somewhat further away however. I'm off twitching. A cattle egret has apparently been on Holy Island for the last couple of days, only the second county record and  the first twitchable one. A nice edition to both my county and British lists if I catch up with it.

My new challenge is the patchwork competition. I've got some catching up to do though, my 'local rivals' have already topped a hundred species for the year.

1. goldfinch
2. fieldfare
3. skylark
4. magpie
5. carrion crow
6. rook
7. jackdaw
8. feral pigeon
9. wren
10. robin
11. dunnock
12. grey heron
13. lapwing
14. pink-footed goose
15. meadow pipit
16. curlew
17. common gull
18. black-headed gull
19. kestrel
20. woodpigeon
21. starling
22. blackbird
23. mistle thrush

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