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lazza Friday 2nd March 2012 10:39

Lazza's list
OK, first time I have ever kept a year list, and decided to split it into countries, as I'm lucky enough to travel quite a bit for work (and occasionally remember to take my bins)

Running TOTAL is 204

lazza Friday 2nd March 2012 10:39

UK (Northumberland unless otherwise stated)
1 House Sparrow (Garden)
2 Starling (Garden)
3 Carrion Crow (Garden)
4 Rook (Garden)
5 Magpie (Garden)
6 Blue tit (Garden)
7 Great tit (Garden)
8 Goldfinch (Garden)
9 Chaffinch (Garden)
10 Robin (Garden)
11 Black-headed gull (Garden)
12 Yellowhammer (housing estate play-park)
13 Siskin (housing estate play-park)
14 Blackbird (Garden)
15 Fieldfare (housing estate play-park)
16 Wood pigeon (Garden)
17 Coal tit (Garden)
18 Jackdaw (Garden)
19 Long-tailed tit (Blyth pond)
20 Ferral pigeon (Blyth pond)
21 Canada goose (Bothal pond)
22 Lapwing (Bothal pond)
23 Coot (Bothal pond)
24 Mistle Thrush (Bothal)
25 Grey heron (Bothal)
26 Mute swan (Woodhorn)
27 Greylag goose (Woodhorn)
28 Curlew (Newbiggin)
29 Pied wagtail (Newbiggin)
30 Rock Pipit (Newbiggin)
31 Bar-tailed Godwit (Newbiggin)
32 Oystercatcher (Newbiggin)
33 Sanderling (Newbiggin)
34 Turnstone (Newbiggin)
35 Knot (Newbiggin)
36 Herring gull (Newbiggin)
37 Collared dove (Newbiggin)
38 Cormorant (Newbiggin)
39 Redshank (Newbiggin)
40 Sparrowhawk (Ashington)
41 Mallard (Ashington)
42 Kestrel (Bothal)
43 Wigeon (Bothal)
44 Teal (Bothal)
45 Moorhen (Bothal)
46 Tufted duck (Bothal)
47 Reed bunting (housing estate play-park)
48 Greenland White-fronted goose (Bothal pond)
49 European White-fronted goose (Bothal pond)
50 Buzzard (Prestwick Carr)
51 Pheasant (Prestwick Carr)
52 Bullfinch (Stannington)
53 Dunnock (Barnard Castle, Co Durham)
54 Little Owl (Stannigton Station)
55 Treecreeper (Plessey Woods)
56 Nuthatch (Plessey Woods)
57 Great spotted woodpecker (Plessey Woods)
58 Jay (Plessey Woods)
59 Whooper swan (Bothal pond)
60 Goldeneye (Bothal pond)
61 Song thrush (Haymarket, Newcastle, Tyne & Wear)
62 Redwing (Bothal)
63 Linnet (Bothal)
64 Shelduck (Bothal pond)
65 Skylark (Ashington)
66 Wren (Garden)
67 Gadwall (St Mary's Island, Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear)
68 Lesser blackback gull (St Mary's Island, Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear)
69 Pink-footed goose (from St Mary's Island, Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear)
70 Greenfinch (Bassington Ind Est, Cramlington)
71 Grey partridge (Cramlington)
72 Pochard (Arcot Lake)
73 Goosander (Arcot Lake)
74 Mandarin duck (Hampstead Heath, London)
75 Ring-necked parakeet (Hampstead Heath, London)
76 Green woodpecker (Hampstead Heath, London)
77 Common gull (Hampstead Heath, London)
78 Great-crested grebe (Hampstead Heath, London)
79 Dunlin (St Mary's Island, Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear)

lazza Friday 2nd March 2012 10:40


1 Tufted duck (Montreux, VD)
2 Carrion Crow (Montreux, VD)
3 Ferral Pigeon (Montreux, VD)
4 Mute swan (Montreux, VD)
5 Blue tit (Evionnaz, VS)
6 Blackbird (Evionnaz, VS)
7 Jay (Evionnaz, VS)
8 House Sparrow (Martigny, VS)

(0 unique species, not on other lists)

lazza Friday 2nd March 2012 10:43


1 Great-crested grebe (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
2 Goosander (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
3 Carrion Crow (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
4 Rook (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
5 Magpie (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
6 Ferral Pigeon (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
7 House Sparrow (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
8 Blackbird (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
9 Black-headed gull (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
10 Mute swan (Evian-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
11 Cormorant (Evian-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)
12 Tufted duck (Saint-Gingolph, Haute Savoie)
13 Grey heron (Douvaine, Haute Savoie)
14 Blue tit (Servoz [Chamonix], Haute Savoie)
15 Great tit (Servoz [Chamonix], Haute Savoie)
16 Willow tit (Servoz [Chamonix], Haute Savoie)
17 Hobby* (Servoz [Chamonix], Haute Savoie)
18 Lesser Blackback gull (Evian-les-Bains, Haute Savoie)

(1 unique species not on other lists *)

lazza Friday 2nd March 2012 10:44


1 Blue tit (Uppsala)
2 Great tit (Uppsala)
3 Treecreeper (Uppsala)
4 Great spotted woodpecker (Uppsala)
5 Blackbird (Uppsala)
6 Magpie (Uppsala)
7 Hooded crow* (Uppsala)
8 Jackdaw (Uppsala)
9 Goosander (Södertälje)
10 Mallard (Södertälje)
11 Herring gull (Södertälje)
12 Tufted duck (Södertälje)
13 Bullfinch (Huddinge)

(1 unique species not on other lists*)

lazza Monday 12th March 2012 09:40

UK update:

80 Willow Tit (Hepscott)
81 Tree Sparrow (Big Waters)

lazza Friday 16th March 2012 17:05

UK update:

82 Hawfinch (Sizergh estate, Cumbria) - lifer

lazza Monday 19th March 2012 08:39

Had a very pleasant ride out on my bike Sunday afternoon, adding a couple more species to my UK list. More-or-less followed the River Wansbeck out from Morpeth to the North Sea, along tracks and paths, with plenty of birdlife about. First up was

83 Short-eared owl (Bothal)

at one of the smaller ponds to the east of Bothal. Two owls were hunting across the fields, one quite distant but the other coming to within 20-25m for long periods. Also, 4 teal on the pond and 2 reed buntings destroying the bulrushes!

Then further along the river, at Castle Island, my first

84 Great black-backed gull (Castle Island)

of 2012 among a mixed gull flock resting on the exposed mud flats. There were also a good number of Redshank on the mudflats after the weir, probably around 30-40, with 2 Curlew.

Then, this morning, while waiting at Morpeth station, my first singing

85 Chiffchaff (Morpeth)

of the year showing that summer is on it's way :)

lazza Tuesday 20th March 2012 17:25

On an overnight trip to London, had time for a quick scoot around a couple of parks in Highgate/ add

86 Common Redpoll (Alexandra Park)

lazza Tuesday 27th March 2012 09:26

Out on my bike on Friday evening for a short cross-country route from Morpeth to Bedlington and back, added:

87 Meadow pipit (Nedderton)

And then out again early Saturday for a circular cycle to Blyth and back. The thick sea fret at the coast prevented any meaningful sightings, but did add:

88 Eider (Blyth)

which were a-oooo-ing out of the mist! Also think there was a snow bunting in among a flock of linnet but did not get a good enough view to be sure.

lazza Wednesday 28th March 2012 17:33

Out at Bothal ponds this afternoon, and as well as the usual suspects on the main pond (greylag, wigeon, canada goose), there was a lot more to see on and around the smaller ponds, including lapwing, moorhen, around 20 teal, and a few reed bunting, I flushed several:

89 Common Snipe

lazza Monday 2nd April 2012 08:07

Another jaunt out on the bike Sunday morning. Headed down into Morpeth first, over the footbridge, where there were two

90 Grey Wagtail

on the banks of the Wansbeck, joined briefly by a redpoll. I loitered for a while hoping to see a kingfisher but no luck - saw them a lot on that part of the river at one time, but not seen one for a while.

Onwards up through Longhirst out to Linton nature reserve, which I hadn't visited before (I failed to find it last time I tried!). Plenty of tufted ducks with several teal, one pair each of gadwall and mallard, coot, moorhen, and a grey heron. A good number of greylag and canada geese, and several mute swans, together with a large number of b/h gull and herring gull. And my first

91 Little Grebe

of the year. Three pairs near the hide on the larger pool competing to make the most noise.

lazza Tuesday 3rd April 2012 13:14

One target species in mind on an extended lunch break... so despite the atrocious weather, I went out to Ellington to try to find the common crane that's been seen in amongst a flock of swans.

After a failed attempt to get near the reported location along a bridleway past Highthorn farm - because the track was completely flooded - I tried again through the caravan park itself. Parking up at the northern end of the site, I could just make out several swans in a field in the distance, so walked northwards up the path through the woods. About 2-300m up the path, there was a clear view over the fields to the birds... and there it was, a new UK life-tick for me:

92 Common Crane

(my previous sightings had been in Sweden last summer, and several years ago in northern Poland)

While I was out, and seeing as I was already completely soaked through to the skin, I took a quick look over Cresswell pond. Not a lot to see, as the conditions were really awful, and I didn't hang around long as the snow was starting to fall (well, it was horizontal actually), but still enough time to add:

93 Red-breasted merganser
94 Common tern

lazza Monday 9th April 2012 20:21

OK, so have had a long weekend with the family in Spain, staying at the in-laws' house near Elche / Elx in the Alicante region.

Having been going there for several years, I only recently found out about a local reserve called El Hondo / El Fondo, which is a large wetland and marsh area 10 miles or so inland from the Mediterranean coast. Made my first visit there on Saturday morning, with pretty decent results:

First sightings were in the car park on arrival:

1 Northern Wheatear
2 Stonechat
3 Corn bunting*

At the first hide, there was not too much to see, but still picked up:

4 Pochard
5 Coot
6 Red-crested pochard
7 Little grebe
8 Great-crested grebe
9 Great reed warbler* - heard but not seen
10 Sardinian warbler*
11 Zitting cisticola*

On the way to the second pool

12 Marsh harrier
13 Swift

And at the second lagoon, there were many more pochard and little grebe, joined by

14 Black-necked grebe* - lifer
15 White-headed duck* - lifer ,
16 Moorhen
17 Little egret

Next, along a path parallel to a canal and a third lagoon:

18 Serin*
19 Mediterranean gull*
20 Little tern*
21 Whiskered tern* - a third lifer for the day!!
22 Avocet
23 Black-winged stilt*
24 Collared pratincole*
25 Grey heron

Back near the visitor centre around midday there were several

26 Spotless starling*
27 House sparrow

And finally back to La Marina via Dolores and San Fulgencio,
28 Kestrel
29 Greenfinch
30 White wagtail
31 Woodchat shrike*

So, 31 species, of which three were lifers for me! And of which 14* are unique species for 2012 not on other country lists for me.

lazza Monday 9th April 2012 20:28

Also made a couple of other trips out while in Spain, and picked up several species in and around the Urbanizacion:

32 House martin (Urbanizacion La Marina)
33 Collared dove (Guardamar)
34 Audoin's Gull* (Guardamar)
35 Mallard (Guardamar)
36 Barn swallow (Urb)
37 Red-rumped swallow* (Dolores)
38 Little Owl (La Marina farmland)
39 Hoopoe* (La Marina farmland)
40 Slender-billed gull* (El Pinet salt lakes)
41 Greater Flamingo* (El Pinet salt lakes)
42 Redshank (El Pinet salt lakes)
43 Shelduck (El Pinet salt lakes)

(of which 5* are unique species not on other country lists)

lazza Wednesday 11th April 2012 16:30

A brief trip out to Cresswell pond and Druridge pools yesterday added:

95 Shoveler (Druridge pool)
96 Stock dove (Druridge pool)
97 Barn swallow (Cresswell pond)
98 Red-throated diver (Druridge Bay)

lazza Friday 13th April 2012 23:40

I rarely venture much further north than Cresswell at Druridge Bay, as I don't often get the time, but ventured up to East Chevington and Druridge Bay CP today, with good results!

At East Chevington, there were three

99 Stonechat

along the paths, as well as several Meadow Pipit, and in the fields south of the lake were a reasonable number of Greylag goose and Mute swan.

From the headland just below Hauxley, out at sea, were a large number of gulls, mostly BH gull as far as I could see, but also some Herring, LBB and GBB gulls (and possibly others!). Closer in to the shore were

100 Common Scoter (4M + 6-8F)
101 Gannet (1 heading north)

And then heading back to Cresswell, a single Short-eared owl was flushed from the dunes, quickly followed by 4 Grey Partridge.

lazza Sunday 15th April 2012 17:30

A cycle ride from Morpeth up to Harwood forest today, heading back via Wallington and Bolam lake gave me a total of 40 species for the day, with several new birds for the 2012 list including one lifer for me.

Conditions were quite harsh to say the least, with weather starting and finishing with sunshine, but going through sleet, rain and hail in between, and always with a strong, icy wind coming from the north/north-west.

After a first stop at Dyke Neuk to shelter from the sleet, I picked up a willow tit in trees by the road, but the first list-bird of the day was

102 Red-legged partridge

just before Longwitton. Also had the first of 6 or 7 buzzards here, and a couple of churrrring mistle thrush. Then soon after the Rothley Crossroads, I was surprised to find a small group of geese in the fields right near the road - 2 greylag and 17

103 Bean goose

Reaching Harwood forest, I ventured off into the trees on one of the tracks, and was immediately rewarded with lage numbers of chaffinch, siskin and

104 Crossbill - a lifer for me

...and the sun had come out to add to the general feeling of wellbeing!

Heading back to Morpeth, I took a more southerly route, calling in at Wallington, where the highlights were GS woodepecker and nuthatch, and then on to Bolam lake, where there were a large number of hirundines over the lake, including barn swallow

105 House martin
106 Sand Martin - only one seen

Also, a very confiding treecreeper and around 30-40 mute swan

lazza Monday 16th April 2012 17:38

Another day, two more on the list! While waiting for my family to arrive back at Newcastle airport, I called in to Prestwick Carr, and walked along the path towards Ponteland golf club. There were lots of calling

107 Willow warbler

although only one observed.

Just before leaving, I heard a faint whistling, which eventually turned into a flock of birds coming in from the south, which grew and grew until there were about 200-300

108 Golden Plover

circling overhead calling. They eventually came in quite close over where I was standing, before heading north out of sight.

lazza Thursday 19th April 2012 21:23


A couple of days working in Norway with just enough time to spend an hour or so at Fetsund, which leads into the large inland Øyeren delta, plus some time wandering around a couple of towns during lunch!

As soon as I left Gardermoen airport, there were plenty of sightings over the motorway of:

1 Wood pigeon
2 Feral pigeon
3 Hooded crow
4 Magpie

and also heading south from Oslo, a flyover

5 Grey heron

Just before a meeting in Halden, right at the south east tip of Norway, just a few miles north of the border with Sweden, I spent half an hour by the river with my lunch, adding

6 Lesser blackback gull
7 Common gull
8 Mallard
9 House sparrow
10 Goldeneye
11 Jackdaw
12 Yellowhammer
13 Kestrel

Heading back north to Oslo, I took a slightly longer route, avoiding the main E6 motorway, and taking the less busy local route 22. This allowed a detour to the banks of the Øyeren lake, a large inland delta, but before reaching there, not far of Halden, there were a pair of

14 Common crane

in fields near the main road. Once at Øyeren, it took some time to find a suitable place to get down to the lakeside, but eventually found a nice walk along the Fetsund at the north end of the lake. There was a (closed) nature-park visitor centre, which provided a feeding station, and this - together with the various mudflats, pools and the lake, provided:

15 Fieldfare (lots!)
16 Great tit
17 Blue tit
18 Chaffinch
19 Brambling (lots!)
20 Greenfinch
21 Siskin
22 Bullfinch
23 White wagtail
24 Robin
25 Great spotted woodpecker
26 Black-headed gull
27 Eurasian Teal
28 Whooper swan
29 Goosander (m+f in courtship display)
30 Reed bunting

Finally, on the way home via Stavanger, as I boarded the plane at the airport, fluttering above the runway and fields were a couple of

31 Skylark

(no species not already on the year's global list)

lazza Tuesday 1st May 2012 17:01

A trip out from Morpeth to Newbiggin on my bike proved quite fruitful, with three new species for the UK list, of which two are new for 2012's global list.

First stop was at Bothal pond, where there were few waterfowl to speak of - just a handful of canada and greylag geese and some tufted duck - but there were 50-60 hirundines over the water - a good mix of swallows, house martin and sand martin. On the horse field on the other side of the road however, was my first UK

109 Northern Wheatear

of the year.

On to Woodhorn, and no sign of the reported GG shrike, although I was not exactly sure where it had been spotted, so onwards to Church point in Newbiggin, where 30 minutes sea-watching was fairly productive. As well as quite large flocks of linnet (25-30) and starling (15-20), the sea was reasonably busy. The bay and rocks held several paris of eider and a small number of oystercatcher, while just out to sea were about a dozen terns (not sure which, although they appeared small and dark billed). Heading north over the half hour I was there, were around 40-50 gannet, and several small groups of

110 Kittiwake, and
111 Guillemot

Also, two red-throated diver were seen for the first 10 minutes or so, and further out to sea I think there were several groups of puffins, also heading north, but I didn't get a good enough view to be sure.

lazza Wednesday 2nd May 2012 12:39

Another good day, with a brief stop off at very wet Prestwick Carr, giving me a life and a UK tick :) Parked up by the gate to the horse fields, and straight away there was a singing:

112 Whitethroat

also showing well for a minute or so before a passing van sent it up the gulley. Also a brief appearance from a willow/marsh tit (I'm presuming willow as I believe it's more commonly seen here, but not sure the gentle sisipuuu song fits)

In the horse field I got my second wheatear of the year (with another seen later by the house on the cross-roads) plus a godwit which was too distant to identify. And in the fields on the other side was a solitary

113 Whimbrel (a UK tick for me)

Along the track heading north, in the flooded fields were plenty of gulls (herring and BH) and two (immature?) mute swans and a group of around 12 more whimbrel. One species which confused me were two sparrow-sized brown, streaky birds, both sitting on top of fence posts in the marshy fields to the east of the bridleway. Their song was a very gentle, descending series of 8-9 notes, 2 at one tone then 2 down a semitone etc. They looked a little like larks, thickish beaks, and one took off pretty vertically, calling, before swooping down fast into long grass.

Anyway, yet another mystery!

Back at the car came my life tick of the day, as four waders flew over, with clear white rumps and wing bars:

114 Black-tailed Godwit

lazza Tuesday 8th May 2012 08:55

Nice weekend up in Berwick at the caravan park north of the town. Despite some strong winds, there was still plenty of birdlife about. Lots of herring gull and a few common gull around the caravan site, and the cliffs held good numbers of linnet and rock dove, together with several rock pipit and a pair of reed bunting.

Out to see, there was a continuous stream - north and south - of guillemot, and there were several pairs of eider active in the waves. And on the Saturday morning, around a dozen

115 Sandwich tern

were fishing off the headland.

On the way home, we stopped off in Seahouses hoping to go out on a boat, but unfortunately, by the time we got there, the trips had stopped due to rough seas. So we had to make do with fish-and-chips and Pinnacles instead, and then a walk along the beach and rocks north of the town centre, where there were dozens of eider, several oystercatcher. and a lifer for me:

116 Purple sandpiper

lazza Wednesday 9th May 2012 09:41

117 Common swift

15-20 over Bothal pond yesterday, together with lots of house martins and swallows, and a few sand martins.

lazza Thursday 17th May 2012 15:10

Finally got down to Cresswell this afternoon, to see the

118 Avocets

There were two pairs north of the footpath across the pond, one of which was quite mobile and flighty.

Also, as well as several gadwall, shelduck, b/h gulls and a couple of sandwhich tern, there were very vocal

119 Reed warbler (at least three), and
120 Sedge warbler (one by the small pond, one next to the ramp to the hide)

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