Wednesday, 25 January 2012

What a week of birds!

Golden Pheasant - Wolferton, Norfolk, Saturday 14th January 2012

Last week, from Saturday 14th to Sunday 22nd January, I spent nine days birding every moment of daylight, and for even some time after dark too. I was on a trip with Lee Evans, Chris Baines, and Mike Warner (thanks for all the driving Mike). It was great fun: I saw 10 birds new to me, and saw plenty of others better than I’d ever seen before; I learnt loads, and had a good laugh.

Our plan was to see every bird species on mainland Britain during the week, wherever they were. There were so many great birds in the south west we didn’t get to Wales, Yorkshire, or Scotland as planned; but that didn’t stop us seeing loads and loads of great birds. We started in Norfolk, and travelled through Suffolk, Essex (a beautiful place away from the towns), Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and ended in Buckinghamshire.

I saw a total 185 species (using the BOU taxonomy), or 189 if you split some geese and warbler species. Lee managed 193, using the taxonomy of his UK400 Club, and counting heard-only birds. I don’t count heard-only birds.

We saw too much for me to attempt to describe it all here, but the highlights were: the striking Dark-eyed Junco showing so well in the dramatic setting of a New Forest clearing, our exciting cross-country dash to see a Little Auk in Buckinghamshire before it got too dark, and me finding probably the first Swallow in the UK in 2012.

Lowlights: the painfully brief views of the Spanish Sparrow at Calshot in Hampshire, and the sad demise of the aforementioned Little Auk the morning after we saw it.

Here are some photos I took during the trip, followed by the full list of birds seen (including splits). The ten marked * at the top of the list were all British lifers for me.

Rough-legged Buzzard - Holkham, Norfolk, Sunday 15th January 2012
 
Egyptian Goose - Broads Information Centre, Ranworth Broad, Norfolk, Monday 16th January 2012

Mediterranean Gull - Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Monday 16th January 2012
 
Abberton at dawn, Essex, Tuesday 17th January 2012
 
Glossy Ibis - Chapel Amble, Cornwall, Thursday 19th January 2012

Red-breated Goose with Dark-bellied Brent Geese
Exminster Marshes RSPB, Friday 20th January 2012

Long-eared Owl - Exminster Marshes RSPB, Devon, Saturday 21st January 2012

Hooded Merganser - Radipole RSPB, Dorset, Sunday 22nd January 2012

Little Auk - College Lake, Tring, Buckinghamshire, Sunday 22nd January 2012

Red-breasted Goose*
Bufflehead*
Balearic Shearwater*
Western Sandpiper*
Spotted Sandpiper*
Little Auk*
Richard’s Pipit*
Spanish Sparrow*
Arctic Redpoll*
Dark-eyed Junco*
Mute Swan
Bewick’s Swan
Whooper Swan
Taiga Bean Goose
Tundra Bean Goose
Pink-footed Goose
White-fronted Goose
Lesser White-fronted Goose
Greylag Goose
Canada Goose
Dark-bellied Brent Goose
Pale-bellied Brent Goose
Black Brant
Egyptian Goose
Shelduck
Mandarin Duck
Wigeon
American Wigeon
Gadwall
Teal
Mallard
Pintail
Shoveler
Red-crested Pochard
Pochard
Ring-necked Duck
Ferruginous Duck
Tufted Duck
Lesser Scaup
Eider
Long-tailed Duck
Common Scoter
Surf Scoter
Goldeneye
Smew
Red-breasted Merganser
Goosander
Ruddy Duck
Red-legged Partridge
Grey Partridge
Pheasant
Golden Pheasant
Red-throated Diver
Black-throated Diver
Great Northern Diver
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Slavonian Grebe
Black-necked Grebe
Fulmar
Gannet
Cormorant
Shag
Bittern
Cattle Egret
Little Egret
Grey Heron
Glossy Ibis
Spoonbill
Red Kite
Marsh Harrier
Hen Harrier
Sparrowhawk
Buzzard
Rough-legged Buzzard
Kestrel
Merlin
Peregrine
Water Rail
Moorhen
Coot
Crane
Oystercatcher
Avocet
Ringed Plover
Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Lapwing
Knot
Sanderling
Purple Sandpiper
Dunlin
Ruff
Snipe
Woodcock
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit
Curlew
Common Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
Spotted Redshank
Greenshank
Redshank
Turnstone
Kittiwake
Black-headed Gull
Little Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Common Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Caspian Gull
Iceland Gull
Guillemot
Razorbill
Black Guillemot
Puffin
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon
Stock Dove
Woodpigeon
Collared Dove
Ring-necked Parakeet
Barn Owl
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Kingfisher
Green Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Skylark
Shore Lark
Swallow
Meadow Pipit
Rock Pipit
Water Pipit
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Waxwing
Dipper
Wren
Dunnock
Robin
Black Redstart
Stonechat
Blackbird
Fieldfare
Song Thrush
Redwing
Mistle Thrush
Blackcap
Yellow-browed Warbler
Common Chiffchaff
Siberian Chiffchaff
Goldcrest
Firecrest
Long-tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Coal Tit
Marsh Tit
Nuthatch
Treecreeper
Great Grey Shrike
Jay
Magpie
Jackdaw
Rook
Carrion Crow
Raven
Starling
House Sparrow
Chaffinch
Brambling
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Siskin
Linnet
Twite
Lesser Redpoll
Common Crossbill
Bullfinch
Hawfinch
Lapland Bunting
Snow Bunting
Yellowhammer
Cirl Bunting
Reed Bunting
Corn Bunting

No comments:

Post a Comment