I tried to start my year-list yesterday but a heavy sleet shower had me heading for home and hot soup, I am still not re-acclimatized from Costa Rica.
I headed back out today and visited the far flung corners of the patch, hoping to turn up some winter goodies. I managed 24 species yesterday, the highlight was a fly-by turnstone - a tricky bird at Druridge. I was keen to add to my total.
I headed north into the dunes, finding grey partridge and reed buntings and then a mixed flock of 300 or more goldfinches and greenfinches, with a single linnet amongst them. Three whooper swans flew south over my head as set off off along the haul road. More reed buntings were found along the track, but their cousin the yellowhammer was nowhere to be seen.
|Male reed bunting in the dunes|
|female-type reed bunting along the track|
|Chibburn Preceptory - always worth checking|
A fly-over great-spotted woodpecker was a bonus over the cottages on my way to the Budge screen. When I got there the Yankee teal was asleep in the grass.
|green-winged teal in the centre of the shot|
No sign of New Years Eve's pintails sadly.
I had a look on the sea but it was quiet, with only red-throated divers of note.
So I started the year with a respectable 51 species and my first scarcity in green-winged teal.