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lazza Friday 5th January 2018 16:50

Lazza's 2018 year list
SO, once again...I'll be keeping a separate list for each country I visit, so each country's list will be numbered separately. This top post will be used to keep a running count of each country's total, as well as an overall total of species seen across all countries visited and possibly list of anything else of note!

As there will be species that are common across several lists, the list on which that species first appears will be the one on which it is counted as "unique" unless the species is seen in the UK - my primary list - in which case, it will count towards the UK total (which probably makes no sense to anyone but me!)

UK: 149
Netherlands: 51 (6*)
Switzerland: 54 (16*)
Belgium: 20
Spain: 110 (53*)
UAE: 24 (15*)
Saudi Arabia: 26 (4*)
Former Yugoslavia (BiH & HR): 32 (1*)

2018 Total: 238

And, for the record:
- mammal total: 11

* unique species to that country's list

lazza Friday 5th January 2018 16:53

Off we go...!

1st January didn't involve any great outings, but a walk over to Morpeth Common was a start.

Morning garden ticks, Stobhill Manor:
1. Woodpigeon
2. Magpie
3. Blackbird
4. Blue tit
5. Dunnock
6. Robin
7. Black-headed gull
8. Carrion crow
9. House sparrow
10. Starling

Then, at Loansdean, Morpeth:
11. Jackdaw
12. Chaffinch
13. Goldfinch

And on Morpeth Common:
14. Herring gull
15. Kestrel
16. Redwing
17. Goldcrest
18. Bullfinch

Before returning home for a final dusk species:
19. Coal tit

lazza Friday 5th January 2018 16:58

2nd of January, I only added:

20. Feral pigeon

in Newcastle City Centre.

Then, on the 3rd, I was out on my bike, and headed along the cycle track that follows the Blyth estuary from Bedlington, before heading along the dunes to Seaton Sluice and St Mary's Island. Reasonably productive outing without any big effort (or big surprises):

Ha'penny woods, Bedlington:
21. Pied/white wagtail

River Blyth estuary
22. Moorhen
23. Mallard
24. Mute swan
25. Shelduck
26. Redshank
27. Gadwall
28. Teal
29. Great black-backed gull
30. Curlew
31. Oystercatcher
32. Turnstone
33. Eider

...and also my first mammal of the year in the mouth of the river: Grey Seal [1]

Dunes between Blyth and Seaton Sluice:
34. Golden plover
35. Stonechat
36. Pink-footed goose

And St Mary's Island and wetland:
37. Sparrowhawk
38. Lapwing
39. Snipe
40. Sanderling
41. Rock pipit

lazza Friday 5th January 2018 17:00

4th Jan, garden addition:

42. Great tit

And then today, a short run out to Bothal Pond after getting a couple of new tyres fitted on my car:

At Shadfen farm:
43. Linnet - well over 400 birds in a noisy flock

At Bothal Pond:
44. Rook
45. Coot
46. Fieldfare
47. Mistle thrush
48. Cormorant
49. Tufted duck

And back through Shadfen:
50. Collared dove

lazza Friday 12th January 2018 17:09

Quick update after a cycle ride around North Tyneside last weekend, then a quick, lunch-time outing today to a nearly-empty Bothal Pond:

Backworth (on the way to Whitley Bay)
51. Common Buzzard

Whitley Bay
52. Lesser Black-backed gull

53. Dunlin
54. Ringed plover
55. Common gull

Royal Quays, North Shields
56. Red-breasted merganser

Percy Main (heading down the Wagonways)
57. Great Spotted Woodpecker

Also, cycling through Silverlink along the Wagonways, I added two mammals: brown rat [2] and rabbit [3].

Then today:

At Shadfen farm:
58. Pheasant

In Bothal village:
59. Wren

At Bothal Pond:
60. Song Thrush

lazza Monday 26th March 2018 14:08

I've been very slack on keeping the list on here up-to-date... so here's a rather "high level" view of the last 2 months!

In January, all UK:

61. Peregrine - near Twizell Farm, Morpeth

62. Canada Goose - Blaydon

63. Red Kite - Byremoor, Gateshead

64. Little Grebe - Morpeth
65. Skylark - Stobhill, Morpeth

66. Grey heron - Hayton, Cumbria (from M6!)

At Prestwick Carr:
67. Reed bunting
68. Willow tit

On a trip to Bamburgh at the end of the month, firstly, at Stag Rock:
69. Purple sandpiper
70. Kittiwake!
71. Common Scoter
72. Fulmar
Then, at Budle Bay:
73. Shoveler
74. Wigeon

And a trip down to London with work, at Kensington Gardens:
75. Ring-necked parakeet
76. Egyptian goose
77. Greylag
...followed by a trip to Staines reservoir in search of a rarity:
78. Common Pochard
79. American Horned Lark (Lifer)
80. Meadow pipit
81. Great crested grebe
82. Goldeneye

lazza Monday 26th March 2018 14:11

A few more added in February...

On a trip home to my parents, in Hazel Grove, Gtr Manchester:
83. Long-tailed tit

At Longhirst flash:
84. Little egret

At Earsdon, Northumberland:
85. Yellowhammer

Chevington burn mouth:
86. Red-throated diver
87. Twite

Druridge Pools:
88. Whooper swan

Near the end of the month, we had a weekend away near Alston. No real time for birding, but a couple of river walks got me:
89. Grey wagtail
90. Treecreeper
91. Nuthatch
92. Dipper

lazza Monday 26th March 2018 14:25

Into March, and my first list of the year from outside the UK, with a work trip to Switzerland. Not much time to get out-and-about, and no hire car, so couldn't really get into the wilds, but it was a start, at least:

Zurich HB:
1. House sparrow

Zurich Stadt am Fluss:
2. Black-headed gull
3. Feral pigeon
4. Coot
5. Mallard
6. Chaffinch
7. Nuthatch
8. Blue tit
9. Blackbird
10. Jackdaw
11. Carrion crow
12. Grey wagtail
13. Grey heron
14. Yellow-legged gull*

In Zofingen, where I stayed a couple of days:
15. Magpie
16. Collared dove
17. Great tit
18. White wagtail
19. Marsh tit*

Finally, from the train as we passed through Dietikon:
20. Tufted duck

* two species not on the UK list

lazza Monday 26th March 2018 14:27

A couple of bike rides during the month, added to my UK list...

At Hauxley NR:
93. Tree sparrow
94. Guillemot (a floundering victim of the bad winter?)

Coming into Longhirst from Ulgham:
95. Barn Owl

And at Gateshead Quays(!), finally:
96. Greenfinch

lazza Monday 26th March 2018 14:30

Had one other trip so far in March, to Brussels, which meant I could get a new country list going, as I have no formal list for Belgium (only a note of watching Common Tern diving for fish behind a ferry as I arrived into Zeebrugge 15 years ago or so!!). So, all these species are "new for Belgium"!

At Brussels Airport:
1. Feral pigeon
2. Carrion crow
3. Woodpigeon

In Brussels:
4. Wren
5. House sparrow
6. Magpie
7. Mallard
8. Egyptian goose
9. Moorhen
10. Coot
11. Canada goose
12. Black-headed gull

In the Anderlecht suburb:
13. Goldcrest

Back at BRU airport:
14. Kestrel
15. Collared dove
16. Starling
17. Greenfinch
18. Blackbird
19. Blue tit
20. Grey heron

lazza Wednesday 18th April 2018 18:22

A visit to a customer at the end of March, allowed me to take a slightly longer route home via Upper Teesdale, where I stopped for a while at the hills above Langdon Beck. In the valleys, several male

97. Black Grouse

were visible, while on the top of the hills there were a lot of calling

98. Red Grouse (100th species for 2018)

On Easter weekend, before jetting off on holiday, I had a cycle out to the coast, where I added:

99. Chiffchaff (30 March)

at Lynemouth, and

100. Grey partridge
101. Avocet
102. Bar-tailed godwit

at Cresswell Pond (22-24 Avocet being a record for me at the site).

lazza Thursday 19th April 2018 10:01

Annual Easter visit to the in-law's house in Spain, just south of Alicante. As usual, nice to get some Spring sunshine, and to get out-and-about on my bike to some nice birding hot-spots. IN reality, I didn't get too much opportunity to get out into the wilds, but visits to El Hondo and the coastal salinas, plus some incidental birding on other trips out, gave a me a decent Spring list of 86 species.

Alicante airport:
1. Feral Pigeon

On the drive to La Marina, from the N332 at El Altet:
2. Woodpigeon
3. Spotless starling*

Also from the N332, through Santa Pola salinas:
4. Flamingo*
5. Coot
6. Yellow-legged gull
7. Black-winged stilt*

And, on arrival in Urb La Marina:
8. House sparrow
9. Serin
10. Blackbird
11. Greenfinch
12. Sardinian warbler*

On the first evening, I had a ride out along some of the canals around the Urb, which skirt some of the agricultural and scrubland nearby. As usual, it didn't disappoint:
13. Moorhen
14. Goldfinch
15. Collared dove
16. Common swift
17. White wagtail
18. Tree sparrow
19. Zitting cisticola*
20. Corn bunting*
21. Crested lark*
22. Kestrel
23. Cuckoo*
24. Little Egret

A short stop at the mouth of the Segura river added:
25. Iberian Green Woodpecker*

And then back in the Urbanizacion:
26. Southern Grey shrike*

A couple of trips to get the car serviced in San Fulgencio added:
27. Cattle Egret*
28. Barn swallow
29. Grey heron
30. Cormorant

After a couple of cool-ish days, we had warm sunshine by midweek, and I took the girls out on a short cycle along the track towards El Hondo, adding:
31. Yellow wagtail (in a field of goats)

Another ride out on my own the next day, to Rojales then along the river to Guardamar:
32. Red-rumped swallow*
33. Great tit
both in Rojales, then along the river track:
34. Turtle dove*
35. Red-legged Partridge
36. Blackcap
37. Great Reed Warbler*
38. Red-crested pochard (right at the river mouth, which I've not seen before)

* 14 species not on a previous list

lazza Thursday 19th April 2018 10:13

Had an early start the next day to head down to El Pinet salinas, and took a route through the pine scrub from the Urb down to the top end of La Marina. The scrub was full of singing warblers and also a nice surprise to find a:
39. Great Spotted Cuckoo*
40. Magpie
41. Little Owl

El Pinet salinas held good numbers of some species, SB gulls, especially, but also most of the "usual" species:
42. Avocet
43. Shelduck
44. Common tern
45. Slender-billed gull*
46. Kentish plover*
47. Little stint*
48. Whiskered tern*
49. Mediterranean gull*
50. Black-headed gull

Also, as I headed back home, a loud song came from the scrub near El Pinet Urbanizacion:
51. Nightingale*

And a ride along the Urb canals revealed a pair of
52. Glossy Ibis*

Later in the day, we headed to La Marina beach, where I added:
53. Audouin's gull*

The next day, we had a day trip into the mountains NW of Benidorm (by bus), heading up to the waterfalls at Partida Algar and then on to Guadalest. The waterfalls were very picturesque, although quite busy, but still a lot of "SPanish upland" scenery and nature. A few species added to the list:
54. Wren
55. Cetti's warbler*
56. Mallard

Guadalest was also impressive, and following a leisurely al fresco lunch, we had a wander around the ancient ramparts. Of course, the list also edged forward:
57. Robin
58. Coal tit (a species I've seen very few times in Spain)
59. Black redstart

Oh, and from the bus, at Santa Pola salinas:
60. Common Pochard

* 9 species not on an earlier list

lazza Thursday 19th April 2018 10:28

Most of the rest of the list comes from two rides out to El Hondo.

The first was a ride along Vistabella road, calling in at all four hides, then a loop around the full reserve (but not enough time to call in at San Felipe), and I added a surprising lifer at one of the hides. At the VB hides:

61. Chiffchaff
62. Willow warbler
63. Shoveler
64. Garganey*
65. Little grebe
66. Purple swamphen*
67. Black-necked grebe*
68. Reed warbler
69. Purple heron*
70. Black-tailed godwit*
71. Moustached warbler*
72. Wryneck* - lifer, seen briefly and then identified by CBBC members from a recording of the call
73. Spoonbill*
74. White-headed duck*

Circling the reserve along "Camino El Hondo", I also added:
75. Marsh harrier*
76. Booted eagle*
77. Stonechat
78. Woodchat shrike*

And on the road along the north side of the reserve (near the Roller site):
79. Pallid swift*

A few days later, I made a second visit, this time heading directly to the reserve along "Sandpiper Alley" and heading along the public tracks into the reserve to the San Felipe visitor centre hides.

80. Green sandpiper*

seen along "Sandpiper Alley", and then along the track into El Hondo:

81. Stone curlew*
82. Montagu's harrier*

A good number of species seen at the two "inner" hides, new species being:

83. Marbled duck*
84. Collared pratincole*
85. Curlew sandpiper*
86. Redshank

The final addition to the list came on my last day, when we were driving to Guardamar along the N332, and two parakeets flew over:
87. Monk parakeet*

* 20 species not seen on a higher list

lazza Monday 14th May 2018 18:39

Some more updates from the last 2 months.

Firstly, the UK list ticked along rather slowly through April, with most Spring arrivals seeming quite late. Nevertheless, progress to 110 species by the end of April:

Dunces Houses Lane, Morpeth
103. Jay

Bothal Pond
104. Blackcap - first singing male on 12 April

A ride out to Beacon Hill north of Morpeth on the 21st April, firstly at Benridge Moor:
105. Willow warbler
106. Red-legged partridge
107. Redstart

And at Coldlaw Wood:
108. Siskin

Over the garden, Stobhill, Morpeth on 22/4:
109. House Martin

And over Morpeth town centre on 29/4:
110. Barn swallow

lazza Monday 14th May 2018 18:49

Meanwhile, a couple of trips to Switzerland added few more to the year list, and a couple of species to my lifetime Swiss list:

In Zofingen:
21. Alpine swift*

And near Zofingen, in a small village called Widemoos:
22. Chiffchaff
23. Common buzzard
24. Red kite

A trip into Basel one evening gave me a quite a surprise with about 10 circling giants over the city:
25. Common crane* - new for Swiss list

Then, back in Zofingen:
26. Blackcap

A couple of weeks later, I was back, this time around Geneva and in Valais canton. In Geneva:
27. Mute swan

Geneva plage:
28. Great crested grebe
29. Common pochard

And Parc de la Grange on the outskirts of the city:
30. Woodpigeon
31. Goldfinch
32. Greenfinch

Near the French border, at Corsier:
33. Serin*
34. Black kite*

And at Port Valais:
35. Goosander*
36. Great spotted woodpecker

One of the evenings I was there, I had a drive up into the mountains, to Les Marecottes, and took a walk through the woods, adding:
37. Jay
38. Black redstart*
39. Raven*
40. Wren
41. Robin
42. Song thrush
43. Coal tit
44. Green woodpecker*
45. Black woodpecker* (h/o)

And a final surprise, sitting on a bench having some lunch in Saint Maurice:
46. Ring ouzel* - new for Swiss list

* 9 species not on a previous list

lazza Monday 14th May 2018 18:52

One addition to the Netherlands list as I passed through Schiphol:

9. Common buzzard

lazza Monday 14th May 2018 18:56

So, in early May, I visited a new country, so the start of a new list - for United Arab Emirates! I was there for work, and only in the country for 30 hours (and 12 hours of daylight!) with no chance at all to go out further than 5 minutes' walk from my downtown hotel. Nevertheless, a new list is a new list, so for what it's worth:

Business Bay, Dubai
1. Collared dove
2. House sparrow
3. Common myna*
4. White-cheeked bulbul*
5. Laughing dove*
6. Hoopoe

And at Dubai airport
7. Feral pigeon
8. House crow*

So despite a paltry list of only 8 species (all new for UAE, of course!), 4* new ones for the year list!

lazza Monday 14th May 2018 18:58

Straight back from Dubai, I stopped off at Prestwick Carr travelling back from the airport, adding a few Spring warblers:

111. Common whitethroat
112. Grasshopper warbler
113. Lesser whitethroat
114. Sedge warbler

Then a trip back to the North West included a family day at Martinmere, adding only one to the list:
115. Common tern

lazza Monday 14th May 2018 19:08

Next, an early May visit to the Netherlands with work. One of my customers cancelled a meeting last minute, so I had an hour spare to stroll around Noordhollands dunes, also picking up several species in-and-around my meetings:

10. Tufted duck
11. Marsh harrier*
12. Lapwing

13. Barn swallow
14. Common gull - new for NL list
15. Mute swan
16. Blackbird
17. Oystercatcher
18. Common swift
19. Chiffchaff - new for NL list

20. Lesser black-backed gull - new for NL
21. Goldfinch - seemingly new for NL

The hour in Noorddorp dunes was fantastic, with the woods and dunes buziing with insects and alive with birdsong. Most species seen were new for my (admittedly rather short) Dutch list:
22. Song thrush
23. Common whitethroat - new for NL
24. Blackcap - new for NL
25. Chaffinch
26. Great spotted woodpecker - new for NL
27. Cuckoo* - new for NL
28. Nightingale* - new for NL
29. Willow warbler - new for NL
30. Robin - new for NL
31. Meadow pipit - new for NL
32. Kestrel
33. Linnet - new for NL
34. Stonechat - new for NL
35. Greenfinch - new for NL
36. Crested lark* - new for NL
37. Cormorant - new for NL
38. Sand martin - new for NL
39. Stock dove* - new for NL
40. Woodlark* - new for NL

At Heemskerk, nearby:
41. Ring-necked parakeet - new for NL

At Hoofddorp:
42. Moorhen
43. Great crested grebe

At Schiphol
44. Egyptian goose - new for NL
45. Greylag

* 6 species not on a higher list

lazza Monday 14th May 2018 19:11

A trip to Castle Island last night was quite interesting, with very low water levels giving a wide expanse of mud to the south of the islands. It was great to hear my first Grasshopped warbler in this location, and also add to my UK year-list:

116. Little ringed plover
117. Sand martin
118. Common swift

lazza Wednesday 30th May 2018 11:00

Had a nice walk from Craster to Low Newton along the coast over the Bank Holiday weekend, managing to add a lifer along the way!

At Dunstanburgh, on the cliffs:
119. Razorbill
- quite a high proportion of the auks on the cliffs seemed to be Razorbill to me.

At Low Newton:
120. Little Tern - new for my UK list :)
121. Blyth's Reed Warbler - lifer! Showing really well in bushes near to the hides.

Then a cycle home along the coast added:
122. Reed warbler - at East Chevington
123. Greenshank - at Druridge flash (coal road?) - seemed to be the only remaining "target species" (no Garganey, no Little Stint, no Ibis, no Ruff!)

lazza Thursday 12th July 2018 11:02

So... a new country list was started in June. Not quite sure how to list this, as I actually visited quite briefly two countries on a work trip. For now, I think I will list as Former Yugoslavia (probably incorrectly) as I saw different species in Bosnia & Herzogovina than in Croatia.

Sarajevo Airport
1. House sparrow
2. Starling
3. Feral pigeon

4. Hooded crow*
5. House martin
6. Jackdaw
7. Tree sparrow

near Zenica (BiH)
8. Yellow-legged gull
9. Grey heron
10. Barn swallow
11. Cormorant

near Doboj (BiH)
12. Turtle dove

13. Magpie
14. Blackbird

15. Serin
16. Common swift
17. Pallid swift

18. Chaffinch
19. Goldfinch

Zagreb (River Sava)
20. Woodpigeon
21. Blackcap
22. Dunnock
23. Great tit
24. Common whitethroat
25. Nightingale
26. Pheasant
27. Song thrush
28. Bee-eater*
29. Crested lark
30. Sand martin
31. Collared dove
32. Mallard

* 2 new species not on an earlier 2018 list

lazza Thursday 12th July 2018 11:07

Back in Switzerland in late June, with a couple of stop-offs at mountain passes during travel, which resulted in me adding a lifer :) and two new species to mySwiss list

Versenaz, GE
47. Common swift

Pas de Morgins
48. Dunnock
49. Marsh Warbler* - lifer

50. Red-crested pochard*

Col de Forclaz
51. Crossbill* - new for my Switzerland list
52. Tree pipit* - new for Switzerland
53. Willow tit
54. Crested tit*

* 5 species not on an higher list

lazza Thursday 12th July 2018 11:09

A few trips out to the coast in June were not very productive, but I did add:

127. Gannet - from North Blyth

128. Sandwich Tern - at Amble Braid, while kayaking!

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