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lazza Wednesday 4th January 2017 09:58

Lazza's 2017 lists
Same set-up as usual:

I'll be keeping a separate list for each country I visit, so each country's list will be numbered separately. This initial 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: 161*
Switzerland: 57 (7*)
France: 55 (4*)
Spain: 87 (39*)
Sweden: 52 (4*)
USA: 43 (35*)

2017 Total: 250

And, for the record:
- mammal total: 14

* unique species to that country's list

lazza Wednesday 4th January 2017 10:55

Rather a slow start this year, as I didn't get a chance for any birding outings in the first few days of January. Nevertheless, a few garden birds to tick, plus those seen when out-and-about for other things, brings me to 31 for my first post:

In the garden, at Stobhill in Morpeth (1st of January):
1. Starling (heard in their loft roost around 4am!)
2. Dunnock
3. Carrion crow
4. Blackbird
5. Black-headed gull
6. Woodpigeon
7. Robin
8. Magpie

Also on the 1st, in Morpeth town centre:
9. Goldfinch
10. Mallard
11. Feral pigeon
12. Jackdaw
13. Herring gull
14. Little grebe

On the 2nd, just one species added, driving through Stannington Station:
15. House sparrow (not sure where the garden sparrows have been hiding!)

And on the 3rd, another garden species added:
16. Blue tit

Finally, today: a very brief call by Shadfen and Bothal Pond (where an icy wind and inadequate clothing prevented me from lingering):
17. Fieldfare (Shadfen)
18. Rook
19. Moorhen
20. Teal
21. Canada Goose
22. Wigeon
23. Tufted duck
24. Coot
25. Greylag goose
26. Pochard
27. Goldeneye

And at the flash on the road down to Sheepwash bridge:
28. Pinkfooted goose
29. Pheasant

And on Stobhill Manor estate:
30. Collared dove
31. Coal tit

lazza Thursday 5th January 2017 17:14

Today, while picking my kids up from school:

32. Greenfinch - eezzzzing from the top of a tree in the school grounds

And back at home, in the garden, two "usual suspects" finally decided to put in appearances:
33. Wren
34. Great tit

lazza Friday 6th January 2017 10:55

Another quick stop at Bothal Pond this morning, in rather warmer conditions than the last one, and so rather more productive with 31 species noted in all, in just 20 minutes. New additions for the list:

35. Redshank
36. Snipe
37. Cormorant
38. Mistle thrush - one in with a small flock of Fieldfare on the horse field
39. Gadwall
40. Chaffinch
41. Mute swan
42. Redwing - 9 flew over

lazza Monday 9th January 2017 13:26

Called in on friends living nearby, in Hepscott, on Saturday evening, and as I got out of the car, I heard a

43. Tawny Owl

ker-wicking from their neighbour's garden.

Then yesterday, as I was trying to tidy the garden a little, I was serenaded by an excitable sounding

44. Goldcrest

Finally, a couple of drives by Bothal pond (without stopping) still added:

45. Lapwing
46. Song thrush
47. Kestrel

lazza Monday 16th January 2017 12:33

Still not had much time to get out, but I added:

48. Pied wagtail

at Birch services on the M62 last week!

lazza Tuesday 17th January 2017 14:42

Only two more species to add, but one's a beauty - a long awaited garden tick!

49. Waxwing - six of them in a neighbour's tree and flying over this morning as I left the house to take the kids to school! oh, yes!

50. Bullfinch - 3-4 seen around the estate when I went back out looking (unsuccessfully) for the waxwings!

lazza Monday 23rd January 2017 12:15

Still ticking along, but as 4 of the 5 below came from driving along motorways, you can see I've still not really got going yet this year!!

First, end of last week, near home:

51. Common gull

- one among a few dozen BHGs on the field next to our housing estate.

Then, on a drive down to my in-laws in Preston, and my own parents in Stockport, I added 4 more species from the driver's seat...

52. Long-tailed tit - flying over the A1 at the A69 turnoff , West Denton, Newcastle

53. Buzzard - perched on a fence post, Shap summit, M6

54. Grey heron - flew over M60 near the Ashton turn-off

55. Lesser Black-backed Gull - on a lamppost by the M65, near Bamber Bridge, Preston

Also, for the record, my first two mammal sightings of the year: firstly, a stoat [1] ran across the road at Stannington Station, Northumberland; and then, at my parents' house in Hazel Grove, the usual grey squirrels [2] made an appearance.

lazza Friday 3rd February 2017 12:58

A few updates from the last week.

Mid-last week, another addition to the year's garden list:

56. Sparrowhawk

Then, on a ride out to the coast on Sunday, I added several more species, including my target bird (and a lifer!):

57. Golden plover - about 400 in a field at West Chevington

Also, three roe deer [3] close to the road, which stopped to watch me cycle by!

58. Red-breasted merganser - Druridge Bay CP

At East Chevington reserve:
59. Pacific diver - lifer!
60. Curlew

At the mouth of Chevington burn:
61. Sanderling
62. Twite
63. Turnstone

At Druridge Pools:
64. Black-tailed godwit
65. Shoveler
66. Shelduck

At Cresswell on the "village green":
67. Oystercatcher

And finally, as I rode up out of Bothal Village:
68. Great spotted woodpecker - one calling from the woods, and another flew across as I struggled up the hill towards Shadfen farm

lazza Friday 3rd February 2017 12:59

My last addition to the UK list in January was on 30 Jan, as I drove to the airport for an early flight.

69. Barn Owl

- seen as I passed through Stannington Station.

Also, a couple of rabbits [4] by the roadside.

(so a fairly pathetic UK total for January for this year!)

lazza Friday 3rd February 2017 13:21

Then, on to my first trip away of the year - a visit to Switzerland for work.

On 30 January...

Basel Airport:
1. Rook - loads of them on the grass verges by the runways

At the motorway services near Pratteln:
2. House sparrow
3. Feral pigeon
4. Carrion crow
5. Black-headed gull

From the motorway, as I headed south (near Arisdorf):
6. Blackbird
7. Common buzzard

And in Zofingen, 31 January:
8. Blue tit
9. Jackdaw

Then, heading back to Basel on 1st Feb:
10. Red kite* - over the motorway near Tenniken

And at the same motorway services near Prattlen:
11. Great tit
12. Kestrel
13. Chaffinch

Finally, I had about an hour around Birsfeld, near Basel, before heading home:
14. Nuthatch
15. Great spotted woodpecker
16. Woodpigeon
17. Greenfinch
18. Goldfinch
19. Coal tit
20. Jay

* 1 species not on any previous/higher country list

lazza Friday 3rd February 2017 13:23

A quick stop at Prestwick Carr on the way back from the airport:

70. Reed bunting
71. Little egret

(but no shrike!)

lazza Wednesday 15th February 2017 17:30

Slow progress, still, but have managed an hour at the coast, at Newbiggin, adding:

72. Linnet
73. Great black-backed gull
74. Eider
75. Ringed Plover

lazza Friday 17th February 2017 09:39

One to add, heard singing over the neighbouring fields - probably for the last time, as the fields will be a housing estate by next spring :(

76. Skylark

lazza Tuesday 21st February 2017 09:44

Had a ride out to the coast on Saturday morning, and took a new route along the River Blyth out to the estuary (wasn't even aware of this rather nice tarmac path) and then down the coast to Whitley Bay.

At Blyth Estuary:
77. Bar-tailed godwit
78. Grey plover
79. Dunlin

Then at St Mary's Island, a short sea-watch from the hide while I ate my lunch:
80. Shag
81. Red-throated diver

lazza Tuesday 21st February 2017 09:54

First trip to France for 2017, so a whole new country list to start.

Firstly, at Lyon airport:
1. Skylark - actually new for France, it seems
2. House sparrow
3. Jackdaw
4. Woodpigeon
5. magpie
6. White wagtail

Also, a brown hare [5] running alongside the runway as we landed!

Then, a stop in a small town called Charvieu-Chavagneux to eat my lunch, with a short walk around a lake:
7. Mute swan
8. Mallard
9. Moorhen
10. Grey wagtail
11. Great tit
12. Blue tit
13. Goldfinch
14. Pheasant - new for France life list
15. Carrion Crow
16. Robin
17. Starling
18. Blackbird
19. Chaffinch
20. Long-tailed tit

Then, as I passed through Loyettes:
21. Feral pigeon
22. Rook
23. Buzzard

And at the "chalets" I was staying at in Chazey-sur-Ain:
24. Greenfinch
25. Reed bunting - new for France
26. Green woodpecker*
27. Blackcap

* 1 species not on an earlier list or UK so far

lazza Thursday 23rd February 2017 12:51

Had an hour to spare before heading home from my trip to France, and had a drive around the lakes of the "Les Dombes" region in the early evening. It's a great place to visit with a little time to spare as there are dozens of dozens of lakes, which you can just park up by and watch the amazing spectacle of wildfowl and herons.

So, starting with Étang Fontaine:
28. Grey heron
29. Great egret
30. Coot
31. Great crested grebe
32. Tufted duck

also, a few introduced Coypu [6] in the shallows.

Then on to Étang Planche:
33. Pochard - I can honestly say I have never seen such a sight: maybe 2000 pochard almost carpeting one end of the lake!
34. Shoveler - new for my France life list

And then Étang Murit:
35. Song thrush
36. Green sandpiper* - new for France for me
37. Red-crested pochard

Étang Chapelier:
38. Gadwall - new for France
39. Wigeon - new for France
40. Cormorant

And finally, Étang Turlet:
41. Black-headed gull
42. Little grebe - also new for France, it appears!
43. Marsh tit

* 1 species not on an earlier list

lazza Friday 24th February 2017 09:53

Nice garden visitor, on the feeders:

82. Siskin

lazza Friday 3rd March 2017 12:28

A few additions locally last weekend.

Firstly, on a short cycle round the area, as I rode along the river east of Morpeth:

83. Kingfisher
84. Grey wagtail

Then on a visit to Wallington Hall:

85. Nuthatch
86. Brambling

lazza Friday 3rd March 2017 12:31

During the week, I have been up to Aberdeen in Scotland with work, with a couple of stop-offs on the way (one for work, one for lunch!)

As I drove up through Northumberland, I spotted my first UK:

87. Jay

of the year as I drove through Hartburn.

Then, I took the scenic coastal route up to Aberdeen through Arbroath, adding:

88. Rock pipit

After a couple of days working, and before I headed home, I went to the golf course/headland south of the Don estuary, where I unexpectedly added a lifer!

89. Iceland gull - lifer!! A lovely pale 1st winter gull in among common and black-headed gull
90. Purple sandpiper
91. Guillemot

lazza Monday 13th March 2017 16:28

A decent weekend weatherwise got me out on my bike, with a trip up the coast on Saturday and a haul up into the hills on Sunday!

A decent return of new species for the list, but not quite as good as hoped. Nevertheless, the addition at Harwood forest was my first of this species in 3 or 4 years, so very welcome :)

Firstly, the trip to the coast, I picked up a couple of species on the way, firstly at Shadfen fields:
92. Yellowhammer

And then, flying over as I cycled through Guidepost, a flock of twenty-six:
93. Whooper Swan (I was to see more than fifty through the day)

Once I reached the coast, at Lynemouth:
94. Stonechat

And finally, at Cresswell Pond:
95. Tree sparrow
96. Avocet - 3 new arrivals, strangely juxtapositioned with 3 whoopers
97. Meadow Pipit

Then, on the Sunday, I headed up to Harwood Forest, via several woodlands, hoping for a chiffchaff or two, but no luck. But then one of my optimistic targets turned up rather nicely as I headed up the hill towards Winter's Gibbet:
98. Crossbill
- a delightfully bright yellow-green female preening atop a tree next to the road :)

lazza Monday 20th March 2017 09:03

100-up for the UK over the weekend.

A short cycle around Morpeth on Saturday added:

99. Goosander - on the river in the town centre


100. Chiffchaff - calling from woodland near Hebron

lazza Monday 3rd April 2017 13:38

A couple of rides out the last weekend of March, adding some very nice species:

Firstly, an early ride out to Newbiggin on the Saturday added:

101. Mediterranean gull

And on the way back, at Bothal Pond:

102. Great-creasted grebe

Then, on the Sunday, I rode back from a family trip to the beach at Cresswell, adding a couple of crackers at Druridge Pools:

103. Great white egret
104. Pintail
105. Water pipit (3 of them!) - new for my UK list :)

And a quick stop at East Chevington was long enough to spot a couple of smart-looking:

106. Scaup

lazza Monday 3rd April 2017 13:43

Away with work in Switzerland again last week, travelling by train so not much chance to find any good birding spots. Nevertheless, the list ticked on, including a new species for Switzerland!

In Zofingen, Aargau canton:
21. Short-toed treecreeper*
22. White wagtail
23. Mistle thrush - new for Switzerland, somehow
24. Common swift
25. Alpine swift* - a couple of dozen cackling over the factory!
26. Goldcrest
27. Chiffchaff
28. Magpie

Travelling back to the airport on the train, I had to change at Olten, adding:

29. Mallard

Then changing again, and stopping for a beer in a riverside bar, I also added:

30. Moorhen
31. Coot
32. Goosander

* 2 species not on a previous/earlier list

lazza Monday 10th April 2017 13:26

Two weeks in Spain, partly on holiday with the family. We usually visit Spain twice each year, at Easter and in the summer, but we have other plans for the summer, so this will be my only visit to Spain in 2017, I some serious effort needed to get anywhere near last year's Spain list!

Day 1, we arrived quite late in the afternoon, so I only had time to spot a few species on the drive from Alicante airport to the in-laws' house in La Marina (just south of Santa Pola) plus a short cycle ride around the Urbanizacion and surrounding farmland.

El Altet:
1. Hoopoe* - a nice first species, as one flew across the highway as we exited the airport!

Gran Alacant:
2. Spotless starling*
3. Woodpigeon

Santa Pola:
4. Yellow-legged gull*
5. Pochard - quite a large group in a pool right by the N332
6. Black-winged stilt*

...then heading south through the Sta Pola Salinas:
7. Avocet
8. Barn swallow
9. Black-headed gull
10. Greater flamingo*

Heading past La Marina town:
11. Magpie

...and into Urb La Marina:
12. Crested lark*
13. House sparrow
14. Sardinian warbler*
15. Serin*

On a late afternoon cycle, I added a few more species. At Urb Oasis:
16. Zitting cisticola*

Then, at the monastery ruins north west of the Urb:
17. Southern grey shrike*
18. Common swift

And along the tracks nearby (heading to the two reservoirs):
19. Little egret
20. Goldfinch
21. Blackbird
22. Feral pigeon

At the reservoirs:
23. Grey heron

And at the bottom end of the Palm Farm track:
24. Bee-eater*
25. Glossy ibis*
26. Lapwing - quite a surprise to hear lapwing calling in a couple of places

(* 12 species not on a previous list)

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