Sunday, 3 January 2016

Happy New Year

Finished the year off quietly I had to make a few trips to Scotland towards the end of the year and birding was difficult although I did manage to catch up with American Wigeon and Green-winged Teal for the year. I actually finished on my best ever total for the UK with 247 species seen I haven’t decided yet wether to make a determined effort to beat that this year I will have to wait and see.

Shustoke last year was very disappointing with (off the top of my head) No Black Tern, Little Gull – very few waders and I didn’t even catch up with Spotted Flycatcher. There were no real highlights the Red-crested Pochard, Scaup and Common Sandpiper from 2014 stayed well into the new year. Apart from a Med Gull, three Whinchat and a couple of Black-tailed Godwit there was nothing to get excited about, lets hope this year is better – it could hardly be worse. For the record I ended up with 111 as a year total.

Scaup, Draycote Water

Smew, Draycote Water

On the 1st Joy and I walked around Draycote Water seeing everything that was on offer whilst in the afternoon we paid a brief visit in the rain to Middleton RSPB where we connected with a couple of Bewick Swan.
Bewick Swan, Middleton RSPB
The 2nd saw us make an effort at long last to see the Wall Heath Hoopoe which showed well. I dropped into my old haunt of the Sandwell Valley just as the rain started but Joy and I connected with a couple of Ring-neck Parakeets, the first Joy had seen since Sri Lanka!

Hoopoe, Wall Heath
Today, I have been waiting for the rain to relent but had given up with Joy back at work tomorrow I should have a bit of time to venture forth.

Amazingly on Boxing Day I saw a Bumble Bee flying around.  Whilst on Saturday I got out of the car on the drive to be head butted by a Wasp! Maybe the Winter has got a sting in the tail!

Also, in early December on Castle Lane there was a Bat flying around in broad daylight, the weather really has been rather mild.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year with lots of bird filled days. Roll on the Spring.

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