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Old Friday 29th December 2006, 21:39   #13
Nick Sismey
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Derby
Posts: 883
29 December 2006

The final outing for 2006 took me first to to Welney in Cambridgeshire, where I was hoping for the two near certainties Welney is famous for, it’s two species of swans, made famous by Peter Scott. It again came up trumps with a large flock, holding both species, feeding in a grass field behind the fantastic new visitor centre. This increased both my overall and UK count for 2006 to 409 and 203 respectively.

408. Whooper Swan--------------------Welney--------------------England
409. Bewick Swan----------------------Welney---------------------England

From here it was onto Titchwell where, despite the weather, there was very little parking space. On the way to the sea I had one of the best views I have ever had of a Water Rail as it walked and swam along one of the small dykes. At the top of the beach I was rewarded with another first for the year, thanks to another kind birder who pointed out the bird to me amongst the Common Scoter. I would never have found it otherwise

410. Red Throated Diver-------------Titchwell------------------England

From there it was literally a two minute stop at Blakeney Quay where one of the current rarest birds in the UK at present, a Black Eared Kite, was showing well with some Marsh Harriers. If all birds were that easy to see I doubt birding would have quite the attraction! While it was a first for me in the UK I had already seen them many times in Hong Kong.

The final stop of the day was Stubb Mill to see the Common Cranes. After parking at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust I managed to walk down two wrong roads before realising where I should have been, losing nearly 30 minutes. Note for future reference, “read the instructions more carefully”. As luck would have it a local farmer gave me a lift down to the raised platform, which to my surprise I had to myself! Another birder did turn up a little later in his car, risking the wrath of others but there were no others so we had the place to ourselves. Unfortunately this included the cranes, as they did not show, so we had to be content with the 27 Marsh Harriers displaying in front of us, the most I had ever seen in one go! I did also get a lift back to the car park!

Overall it was a good day though with 66 species (see below) seen (not heard!), starting and finishing with an owl, a Tawny in the morning and a Barn in the evening. The Tawny was actually in the same tree in the evening as it was in the morning! Must remember that for the first week of 2007!

1.Barn Owl, 2.Bewick Swan, 3.Blackbird, 4.Black Eared Kite, 5.Black Headed Gull, 6.Black Tailed Godwit, 7.Blue Tit, 8.Brent Goose, 9.Canada Goose, 10.Carrion Crow, 11.Chaffinch, 12.Collard Dove, 13.Common Gull, 14.Common Scoter, 15.Coot, 16.Cormorant, 17.Curlew, 18.Feral Pigeon, 19.Fieldfare, 20.Great Crested Tit, 21.Great Tit, 22.Grey Heron, 23.Goldcrest, 24.Goldeneye, 25.Golden Plover, 26.Goldfinch, 27.Great Spotted Woodpecker, 28.Greenfinch, 29.Guillemot, 30.Herring Gull, 31.House Sparrow, 32.Jackdaw, 33.Kestrel, 34.Lapwing, 35.Lesser Black Backed Gull, 36.Little Egret, 37.Long Tailed Tit, 38.Magpie, 39.Mallard, 40.Meadow Pipit, 41.Marsh Harrier, 42.Mistle Thrush, 43.Moorehen, 44.Mute Swan, 45.Oystercatcher, 46.Pheasant, 47.Pied Wagtail, 48.Pink Footed Goose, 49.Redshank, 50.Red Throated Diver, 51.Ringed Plover, 52.Robin, 53.Rook, 54.Shelduck, 55.Shoveler, 56.Sparrowhawk, 57.Starling, 58.Stock Dove, 59.Tawny Owl, 60.Tree Sparrow, 61.Tufted Duck, 62.Turnstone, 63.Water Rail, 64.Whooper Swan, 65.Wigeon, 66.Woodpigeon.

I wish all Bird Forum Members a very Happy New Year. Thanks to those of you who have helped me identify so many new birds in 2006, I am sure I will be calling on your expertise again in 2007.

For me 2007 starts similar to 2006 with a trip to Attenborough, followed by other Trent Valley pits before moving onto Carsington Water and finally Ogston Reservoir’s gull roost, on 1 January, but this time with my mate Daz. That first day saw 67 birds kick off my 2006 list, I hope to beat that in 2007. Following this Daz and I intend to repeat my trip today, next Friday. Then the following weekend I am off to China for three weeks with work with one weekend booked at the famous Dongting lake, followed by the second in Sanya, on the southern tip of Hainan Island. What would we do without birds!

Last edited by ChinaBirds : Friday 29th December 2006 at 21:45.
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