Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years Day

Up before dawn and at Shustoke with the Captain just as the sun peeped over the horizon. The two Gt Northern Diver were still there and around a dozen Goosander. But it was the first day of the year and it was time to move on after ten minutes.

Next stop Lea Marston. Quick scan and the Long-tailed Duck was picked up distantly. Back in the car this time to the Wishaw area. We picked up Green Woodpecker on route and we were into a rich vein of form. We moved slowly down Blindpit Lane scanning for Grey Partridge when we put up a female MERLIN that was sitting in the field by the side of the road. It didn’t hang around and headed south in the general direction of the canal. We looped round and parked by the church and were we had Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Redwing and Fieldfare.

Next stop was the Hams Hall outflow which is always good for Chiffchaff. We had at least four birds, plus Bullfinch, Goldcrest and Long-tailed Tit. We had a quick coffee and headed towards Ladywalk. As we drove back over the river we stopped and picked up a Green Sandpiper.

At Ladywalk with time running short (Baggies on the TV) we missed Willow and Marsh Tit but picked up a number of year ticks ie: Shelduck, Wigeon, Shoveler, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch and Redpoll.

As we made our way back to the car park a text informed us that there was a Firecrest at the outflow. So it was a short diversion there and almost immediately the bird appeared give good if distant views.

Just time for a quick stop on Hollyland where we added Yellowhammer and Red-legged Partridge. We scanned through nearly 100 Chaffinchs but no sign of any Brambling or Tree Sparrow. All in all a good day out (68 species) – certainly better than the football!

Next time I will stay birding.

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