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Garden/Yard List 2020

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Old Saturday 27th June 2020, 15:29   #851
Richard Prior
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Clearly...both “well spotted” then Richard.
Indeed, well worth letting the porridge go lukewarm
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Old Saturday 27th June 2020, 16:41   #852
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Indeed, well worth letting the porridge go lukewarm
I suppose the excitement of a double whammy!...was just a prelude to you enjoying your oats later.
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Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 10:37   #853
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I suppose the excitement of a double whammy!...was just a prelude to you enjoying your oats later.
Quite so Ken, mind you at my age the expression has a more nutritive sense than when I was a young whippersnapper! No sign of yesterday’s surprise visitors today but an unseasonal pair of Siskin over.
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2020, 12:06   #854
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75: Common Crossbill

NINE over!!

June has been good!
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Old Wednesday 1st July 2020, 22:38   #855
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What an end to June! An unexpected busy period with waders returning in decent numbers, including my second ever patch spotted redshank in nice summer plumage too. Crossbills and siskins have been going south in small numbers but the undoubted highlight has been the swift passage, unusual for here in June. Over a 12 day period between the 18th and 29th over 28k flew south past my house with a peak day count of 11956 and included an Alpine Swift the previous day (house tick #210) that lingered in the area in to the next day.

151 Common Greenshank
152 Spotted Redshank
153 Alpine Swift
154 Northern Lapwing
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Old Thursday 2nd July 2020, 06:10   #856
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Congratulations on the Alpine Swift Ryan, your garden life list is double mine!!

I’m always one of the last to this particular party:

80 Hobby

I have yet to see one here before mid-June and typically I also saw the first fledged Swallows nearby yesterday, Hobby are not daft
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Old Thursday 2nd July 2020, 16:55   #857
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75: Common Crossbill

NINE over!!

June has been good!
Envious H!....especially as a colleague logged a baker's dozen a week ago barely a few hundred metres behind my drum.
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Old Thursday 2nd July 2020, 23:31   #858
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Stock Dove was back in the garden yesterday morning.
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2020, 15:50   #859
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Another life tick for the Garden List this morning, though not as exciting as the others this year. Our neighbour claimed to have seen this bird about three weeks ago but in my arrogance I thought she must be mistaken. But a loud whirring of wings as we were working in the veg patch and there it was sailing across the road!

81 Common Pheasant

Presumably a survivor from a hunters’ release group last autumn at lower altitude rather than a vagrant arrived from Georgia or Azerbaijan on the recent easterlies
With a best ever annual total of 86 species here I stand a very good chance of breaking the record this year, especially as some guaranteed (famous last words) ones are yet to be added - Common Redstart, Tree Pipit and Pied Flycatcher to name but three.
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Old Thursday 9th July 2020, 01:57   #860
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I think I said quite a while ago that I'd give my official yard spring hawkwatch results when the season was over. Well, it's been over for over a month and it's been crickets on my end! Here's a summary of sorts.

My spring hawkwatch was conducted from the backyard on 56 days from February 23 through May 30. I counted a total of 1,295 raptors in just under 136 hours. The average number of raptors per hour was about 9.5, not bad! This is especially good considering that I included dawn watches that were good for passerines and waterbirds, but often had very few raptors. I'll include species totals and one-day high counts below.


Black Vulture - 2 (2 on 3/20)
Turkey Vulture - 203 (137 on 3/20)
Osprey - 72 (16 on 4/25)
Bald Eagle - 30 (19! on 5/10)
Northern Harrier - 24 (8 on 4/12)
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 120 (24 on 4/12)
Cooper's Hawk - 23 (4 on 4/19)
Red-shouldered Hawk - 21 (5 on 4/12)
Broad-winged Hawk - 641 (308! on 4/19)
Red-tailed Hawk - 21 (4 on 3/20)
American Kestrel - 62 (10 on 4/25)
Merlin - 12 (3 on 4/19 and 4/25)
Peregrine Falcon - 1 on 3/10, actually headed ESE but clearly on the move and none were seen for the rest of the season
Unidentified Accipiter - 21 (5 on 4/12 and 4/19)
Unidentified Buteo - 14 (3 on 3/20)
Unidentified Falcon - 5 (1 on five dates)
Unidentified Raptor - 23 (8 on 4/19)

These numbers were fairly comparable to other spring watches in PA, and I had much fewer hours for the most part.

Hopefully I'll get to posting some photos soon. If people are interested, I can send a summary of my non-raptor migrants too. I've already listed species in earlier posts but often didn't get into numbers details. It was a fascinating experience, though!
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Old Thursday 9th July 2020, 15:38   #861
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Totally out of the “grey and drizzle!”...certainly not expected, found myself no more than 3’ away looking down on a small brown passerine with wing bars that I couldn’t compute, whizzing up to the small maple trunk that supports one of my feeders, then just before landing the penny dropped! Tree Creeper no.81
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Old Thursday 9th July 2020, 19:34   #862
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Hopefully I'll get to posting some photos soon. If people are interested, I can send a summary of my non-raptor migrants too. I've already listed species in earlier posts but often didn't get into numbers details. It was a fascinating experience, though!
That would be great BM, envy your 16 Ospreys over in one day
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Old Monday 13th July 2020, 13:09   #863
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OK, here's my spring migration list.

Although the numbers aren't completely matching up with my spreadsheet (off by 50 birds or so), here are close numbers for monthly migrant totals.

January - ~1,200
February - 530
March - 7,342
April - 1,961
May - 2,103
June - 4,281

Total - 17,366

Species totals are below, with species in all capitals if they are rare/unexpected/very high numbers.

Snow Goose - 613 (late adult on 4/28)
Canada Goose - 4,623 (2,730 on 3/9)
Wood Duck - 4
Mallard - 5
Common Merganser - 14
COMMON NIGHTHAWK - 168 (61 on 5/25)
Chimney Swift - 70
Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 5
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER - 35 (all on 5/27, rare migrant)
Killdeer - 1
WILSON'S SNIPE - 2 (both on 3/9)
Solitary Sandpiper - 14 (6 on 5/3)
Greater Yellowlegs - 1 (5/3)
SHOREBIRD SP. - ~4,250 (4,200+ on 6/4 alone!)
Ring-billed Gull - 549
Herring Gull - 67 (late immature on 5/5)
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1
gull sp. - 131
COMMON LOON - 191 (86 on 4/21!)
loon sp. - 13
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT - 588 (159 on 4/21)
AMERICAN BITTERN - 1 on 4/28 (uncommon migrant)
Great Blue Heron - 24
Great Egret - 2
Green Heron - 2
HERON SP. - 11 (includes several high birds that were definitely different)
Belted Kingfisher - 1
Northern Flicker - 38 (17 on 4/6)
Great Crested Flycatcher - 1
EASTERN KINGBIRD - 49 (16 on 5/15)
Willow/Alder Flycatcher - 1
flycatcher sp. - 5
BLUE JAY - 147 (54 on 5/15)
Horned Lark - 2+ (constantly confused by a possible breeder!)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow - 1
Purple Martin - 19
Tree Swallow - 80
Bank Swallow - 14
Barn Swallow - 145
CLIFF SWALLOW - 6 (uncommon migrant, 4 on 5/5)
swallow sp. - 212
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - 14 (4 high afternoon migrants on 4/25)
European Starling - 9
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD - 1 (active migrant on 4/7!)
Eastern Bluebird - 4
American Robin - ~550
thrush sp. - 1
CEDAR WAXWING - 512 (146 on 5/15)
American Pipit - 7 (6 on 4/28 and 1 on 4/29, seems late)
American Goldfinch - 22
sparrow sp. - 7
Bobolink - 10
Orchard Oriole - 6 (4 on 5/3)
Baltimore Oriole - 24 (10 on 5/3)
Red-winged Blackbird - 2,276 (~1,200 on 1/29)
Brown-headed Cowbird - 56
RUSTY BLACKBIRD - 18 (+2 non-migrants - high of 5 on 4/5)
Common Grackle - 730 (299 on 3/10)
blackbird sp. - 192
Northern Waterthrush - 1
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Cape May Warbler - 1
Yellow Warbler - 3
Blackpoll Warbler - 3 (late male on 6/2)
Palm Warbler - 2
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER - 226 (81 on 4/29)
WARBLER SP. - 281 (70 on 5/16)
Scarlet Tanager - 12
INDIGO BUNTING - 47 (16 on 5/15, new county high count)
passerine sp. - 253
bird sp. - 38


Migrants that filtered through the neighborhood or stayed for longer included Eastern Phoebe (4), Great Crested Flycatcher (1), Yellow-throated (1), Blue-headed (1), and Red-eyed (1) Vireos, Horned Lark (1-3 chasing, 1 singing into May!), Golden-crowned (1) and Ruby-crowned (5) Kinglets, White-crowned Sparrow (1), Savannah Sparrow (2), Eastern Towhee (1), Nashville Warbler (2), Common Yellowthroat (2), American Redstart (1), Northern Parula (1), Cape May Warbler (3), Bay-breasted Warbler (1), Pine Warbler (1), and Prairie Warbler (1).
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Old Tuesday 14th July 2020, 06:42   #864
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My Great Spotted Woodpecker's young jouvinelle chick has become a regular coming to the feeder by itself without coming with its Mum.
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Old Wednesday 15th July 2020, 08:47   #865
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Return passage is underway, nos.82 and 83 twelve minutes apart respectively...just as the sun made an extremely brief appearance. :)
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Old Wednesday 15th July 2020, 11:41   #866
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Quality over quantity:

76: WHIMBREL

One just went past as I was in the front - calling all the way - otherwise would have missed it!
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Old Wednesday 15th July 2020, 12:30   #867
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Quality over quantity:

76: WHIMBREL

One just went past as I was in the front - calling all the way - otherwise would have missed it!
Surely H, the quantitive weight of Whimbrel by far exceeds my two waifs.
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Old Wednesday 15th July 2020, 14:35   #868
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Old Sunday 19th July 2020, 07:41   #869
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Whilst having a BBQ yesterday afternoon I noticed not one but two Stock Doves wondering about at the bottom of the garden.
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Old Sunday 19th July 2020, 08:26   #870
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Whilst having a BBQ yesterday afternoon I noticed not one but two Stock Doves wondering about at the bottom of the garden.
Having lived at my present abode for 37 years, with up to 3 pairs of Stock Doves present opposite outback. See them most days particularly during Spring and Summer, where their display flights are not uncommon...and yet I’ve only had a single occurrence in the garden in all that time Euan!

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Old Tuesday 28th July 2020, 19:18   #871
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To be honest, considering that I live within 600 metres of the Bristol channel, my garden list is shocking. I used to have the excuse that I never spent any time at home but I am now into my fifth month of working from home & today at lunchtime, an Oystercatcher finally flew over calling to become 66 on my garden year list.

All the best
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Old Saturday 1st August 2020, 19:11   #872
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Wasn't expecting any year ticks on the last day of July however, my heart skipped a beat!....when whilst watering the front door flower pots (with camera around neck), a small bird suddenly popped up on my neighbour's fence (first image) upon realisation I resumed duties and went upstairs into the ''Crows Nest'' and found myself looking at an odd looking juv.Goldfinch on the feeder. When realising that it's yellow edged tail wasn't quite right, the penny dropped! This constituted my first Greenfinch on the feeders, for easily 20+years....the Great Bird Gods in the sky move in strange and mysterious ways.
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Old Monday 3rd August 2020, 20:26   #873
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After a long gap, I've just realised the Willow Warbler singing at the end of July was a garden year tick. Return passage I imagine.

64 Willow Warbler 1 male singing

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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 05:21   #874
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July was a surprisingly productive time in east Norfolk, there didn't seem to be the 'lull' this year with many waders passing throughout, a build up of terns offshore and the odd shearwater and skua to add to the mix. A group of 5 cranes passing the house was only my second record from the house despite living close to Hickling. A Balearic shearwater was next as it lingered off my house for a couple days. The first week of July ended with my second garden coal tit. Highlight/scare of the week was perhaps the cockatiel I picked up way out to sea, slowly hawking over the sea in an erratic fashion causing me to panic until the ID was finally resolved!

No new birds for the year for the next three weeks until a golden plover flew south on the 28th and finally the star of the month on the 29th, a great shearwater flew north early morning later tracked off Sea Palling, Cley (probably) and Flamborough. House tick #212

155 Common Crane
156 Balearic Shearwater
157 Coal Tit
158 European Golden-Plover
159 Great Shearwater
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 05:54   #875
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Wow, any shearwater species would be ‘great’ for the rest of us Ryan, good stuff.
Just wondered, does your attention ever wander to actual gardening?
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