Tuesday, 18 December 2012

2012 Highlights

There have been plenty of internet sites (like Birding Frontiers) posting their highlights of 2012. So I thought I would summarise my highs and lows of the year about to pass

I ended up seeing just two new birds in the UK. One pending acceptance (Les Canada Goose) and the other a long awaited 'tart tick' (Blyths Reed Warbler). Both of these were in the home county.
This is the lowest number of UK ticks ever for me. I could have added a few more like Sh B Dowitcher, Orphean Warbler and Parrot Crossbill if my twitching instincts had got the better of me!

I did also add a further 9 new 'world' birds on my one venture out of the country to St Lucia.

My personal highlights were the big October fall in North Norfolk. Although I only caught the tail end, the sight and sound of thousands of Thrushes dropping out of the sky, whilst being surrounded by Bramblings, Robins and other birds (including a lovely Red flanked Bluetail) will stay with me forever.

Quiet also on the finds front. However 22nd September on the Point with Ortolan Bunting at my feet and finding a Barred Warbler in the sueda was memorable.

Also seen in Norfolk were:
Coues Arctic Redpoll, GG Shrike, Bee-eater, Baird's and Pec Sand and a few Waxwing finds.

Bewick's Swan, Black Redstart and Reed Warbler were good additions to the garden list.
I also recorded record number of Micro moth species in the garden (185 plus) - Those highlights require their own page!

Now looking forward to 2013. With a new addition to our family in March to look forward to, birding will take a back seat (for a while). Although I'm sure I will be able to squeeze a few new birds in :)

Good luck to all and have a happy Christmas

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

More Goose thoughts

Ever since I posted the photos of the Richardson's / Cackling / Small Canada , whatever you would like to call it, on my blog, I have been wondering about its true origin.
I was surprised that nobody had initially reported this bird to any of the pagers, especially considering  the number of other 'Small Canada' Geese in the country.
I do have a vested interest in this bird being accepted as wild (I will not deny it) as I have dipped a few others in Norfolk in the past. I was hoping that by mentioning this bird, on my blog and on twitter, the news and debate on the origin may spread. ... and it has.

Mark Golley summed it up beautifully in the Rare Birds Alert weekly roundup this week. He shares some of the thoughts I was starting to have regarding its origin, especially considering the number of other birds that have been around recently. 

Why would it not choose to hang out with some of his bigger relatives! It probably has no idea how small he (or she) looks next to the 'bog standard' Canada Geese,
There were Brent Geese in the same flock and lots of Pink Feet nearby. After flying all that way with the Pink feet I too would be sick of their high pitched squabbles. Nice chilled out Canadas are the ones to hang out with any day

On the theme of wildfowl at least there was no doubt about the origin of the Bewick's Swan that flew over my garden this morning. I picked up the distant (unfamiliar) call and then saw the Swan heading high over and to the South. Presumably it was staying ahead of the snow and cold weather that appeared in the afternoon. A very welcome addition to my landlocked garden list!

Now what else will appear with the ice and snow??