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Monday, December 24, 2012

24th December

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Below are some of my birding highlights for 2012

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Coues’s Arctic Redpoll Titchwell January

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Dark-eyed Junco New Forest January

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Common Yellowthroat Newport March

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Unfortunately the eggs from this birds nest disappeared. The birds below were from Sutton, here 5 birds fledged.

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This showy Little Gull was seen on my annual weekend away with friends in May. Unfortunately this turned out to be the last weekend that Trevor Hill would be joining us. He had been hiding a severe illness and was to pass away a couple of weeks later. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.

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Pacific Golden Plover seen at Cley on the day of Trevor's funeral. I know that he would have expected me to pop in and see this strikingly good looking wader. My only other sighting of this species was also at here in August 1990.

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This cracking 1st summer Sabine’s Gull graced Startops Res for several days in July. It was so good I had to see it it twice, unluckily for one birder on my second visit I managed to spoil his photo.

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03.07.12 - Startop's End Reservoir 131

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In August Sally and I had a week away in Pembrokeshire. I was able to enjoy my favourite corvid the Chough almost daily, normally in the Old Deer Park at St Martins Haven.

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In early September the lure of the Short-billed Dowitcher saw Dave, Glen and I leave London at 5.30am. The journey to Weymouth was going better than I thought and we were going to be there before the sun had started to rise. We did encounter some really thick fog, which fortunately remained inland of the coast and didn’t hinder our search for this 2nd UK record. We had good views but a little distant with the early morning sun being a slight hindrance but at least it remained dry.

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I have always meant to call in at Davidstow Airport when on my way to Cornwall. This year I/we (Mark and I) finally managed it on our way to the Isles of Scilly. We had fantastic views of a Curlew and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Two species that we would later see on Scillies.

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This Ortolan Bunting seen within an hour of landing on St Mary’s had at least 5 ticks on it’s body and was thought to have been taken by a cat.

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Red breasted Flycatcher

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Bonelli’s Warbler on St Martins

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This Buff-breasted Sandpiper kept close company with a Dotterel on Penninis Head.

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In previous Yellow-browed Warbler numbers would normally increase just as we are about to return to the mainland. This year birds were widely scattered throughout the islands.

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This Sykes’ Warbler was a first for me and the Isles of Scilly.

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I have seen 3 American Golden Plovers on Scillies in recent years, two years ago I found one which was claimed by someone else.

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I have never seen that many Wrynecks on Scillies, we were trying to enjoy this bird but pathetic birders with no field craft kept on flushing it. We gave up, after cursing them.

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The year ended almost where it began, this time the redpoll was even an even scarcer visitor to mainland UK a Hornemann’s Arctic Redpoll.

So as you can see it wasn’t a bad year

2 comments:

Marc Heath said...

Awesome shots. Have a great Christmas too.

Tony Duckett said...

Like wise Marc, maybe I will bump into you early one spring morning down at Stodmarsh.