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KB57's 2019 list

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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 12:42   #26
kb57
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18th March: Puerto Pinzon - Puerto Boyaca

229. Snowy Egret

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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 13:21   #27
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19th March: Bogota
Some urban birding before leaving Colombia.

Monserrate
230. Glossy Flowerpiercer
231. Shining Sunbeam
232. Brown-bellied Swallow
233. Andean Siskin

Botanical gardens
234. Common Gallinule
235. Lesser Goldfinch
236. Eastern Kingbird
237. Scarlet Tanager
Empidonax sp. Flycatcher (Alder most likely)
238. Yellow-backed Oriole
239. Purple Gallinule

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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 13:27   #28
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24th March, River Coquet, Warkworth

I've seen quite a few red-breasted mergansers this year, and a quick visit to Druridge Pools yielded a few more. Balance on the merganser front was partially restored with a couple of goosanders at Warkworth.

240. Common Merganser

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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 13:33   #29
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28th March, Co. Durham

Lunchtime walks near my office, wondering how I managed at all in dense rainforest when a chiffchaff managed to elude me for three days in a bare birchwood.

241. Common Chiffchaff

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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 13:40   #30
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1st April, Newcastle / Northumberland

near Newcastle
Heard a mistle thrush singing, then saw it flying over, still giving little bursts of song.

242. Mistle Thrush

Warkworth
Mistle Thrush #2 of the year was rattling away (not singing) from the top of a tree...thought it was supposed to be the other way round, sing from top of tree and call when flying...

Hauxley

243. Lesser Black-backed Gull
244. Common Snipe

Druridge Bay
Distant herd of whooper swans and mute swans in fields north of Druridge Pools, heard there was a Bewick's amongst them but couldn't pick it out with binoculars and didn't have the scope today. My first sand martins of the year hawking insects over the pools.

245. Whooper Swan
246. Sand Martin

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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 13:46   #31
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6th April, Wallington Hall

Two quality additions from the woodland hide...I didn't see a treecreeper at all last year!

247. Eurasian Treecreeper
248. Brambling
Marsh Tit (heard-only)

My partner had seen all three species earlier in the week, so when she suggested we visit I agreed straightaway. She saw the marsh tit again today, but its visit was brief and I missed it; although I did register it calling nearby just after she saw it, it didn't return while we were there.

Decided not to count the 'bean goose sp.' towards my year list, in order to accord with the way I've treated Myiarchus and Empidonax spp. flycatchers, so I've had to go back and renumber everything.

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Old Monday 15th April 2019, 12:17   #32
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14th April: Northumberland coast

Alnmouth
A fairly short walk along the beach in a brisk onshore wind produced the first terns of the year.

249. Sandwich Tern

Cresswell Pond
Called in for one target species, another summer migrant as far as NE England is concerned.

250. Pied Avocet
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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 11:32   #33
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20th April, Co. Durham

A rare Easter break with no urgent work to do, but some equally necessary gardening to catch up with at home.
Distracted by some warblers singing in nearby woodland though..

Eurasian Blackcap (heard-only)
251. Willow Warbler

Called into the Baltic in Newcastle for a coffee on my way north

252. Black-legged Kittiwake

Last edited by kb57 : Friday 12th July 2019 at 12:26. Reason: Add kittiwake!
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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 11:37   #34
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21st April: near Holystone, Northumberland

Trying to avoid the Easter crowds, my partner and I headed for a favourite woodland walk in the Cheviot foothills. Usually see redstart here, but none today...it's been a few years since we saw tree pipits here too. Conversely, habitat always looked great for pied flycatchers, but we've never been able to pin one down before, possibly visiting a bit late in the year in the past - this time was different...we even found a nest, high up in an oak tree.

253. Eurasian Blackcap
254. European Pied Flycatcher

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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 11:51   #35
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22nd April: Holywell Pond, Northumberland

Finding myself with a couple of hours to spare in North Tyneside / Newcastle area, I decided to revisit a site I last went birding at around 45 years ago!
This used to be part of a favourite circuit, either in a group or with a friend - bus to Whitley Bay, walk up the coast past St. Mary's to either Old Hartley or Seaton Sluice, then walk up Holywell Dene to the pond, finishing off catching a bus back to the Town from the main road near Delaval Hall. I've never visited by car, and had to look up where the best place to access the site was!
One thing I remember was always building up a decent day list from this circuit, and today reminded me why - even with a severely attenuated trip missing out the coastal habitats, a couple of hours visiting the public hide and local footpath network (in the afternoon heat on a bank holiday) resulted in 40 species, comparable with a day's guided birding in the Colombian cloud forest! No corn buntings this time though

Common Whitethroat (heard-only)
255. Great Crested Grebe

Scythebill says 255, so I'm going to have to have a careful check through when I have time...

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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 19:23   #36
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Few days off on the Eurostar with my partner, on a (mostly) non-birding trip to Paris...

2nd May, Ile Saint-Louis

256. Grey Wagtail

3rd May, Bassin de la Villette

257. Common Tern

The last species an unexpected addition to the list, seen on a boat trip down Canal Saint-Martin - it's up there with Leazes Park in Newcastle and our own office in West Durham as unexpected places I've seen a common tern

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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 19:29   #37
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4th May: Bois de Vincennes

Although we were on a city break, I was determined to contribute to the eBird Global Big Day. Weather wasn't great in the morning, so our 2.5 hour visit to Lac Daumesnil and Bois de Vincennes didn't get off the ground till mid-afternoon, not exactly prime birding time in a public park and woodland.
Didn't nail my hoped-for target species (short-toed treecreeper, which would've been a lifer), but added a few to the year list.

258. House Martin
259. Barn Swallow
260. Common Swift
261. Ring-necked Parakeet
White Wagtail (ssp. alba)
European Green Woodpecker (heard-only)

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Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 12:12   #38
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12th May, Low Newton, Northumberland

First time we've made it up to Low Newton by the Sea this year, so a few species to catch up on. Blissfully unaware of local twitching news, so putting the 'scope on a yellow wagtail at Newton Flash and finding it had a grey head was an unexpected treat. 'Alba' white wagtails around the flash, then a putative 'leucorhoa' wheatear on the rocky foreshore provided more subspecific excitement. You get a lot of meadow pipits on the rocky shore here too, which directly abuts prime meadow pipit and skylark habitat on the grassland, and I often wondered about competition with rock pipits. Today we watched a meadow pipit chased off the foreshore by a rock pipit - the latter was carrying food, and clearly saw the meadow pipit as encroaching on its territory.
A seawatch with a sandwich on Newton Point produced quite a few Sandwich terns, and some 'tern sp.' too far out even for 'scope views - then two little terns started fishing quite close inshore, returning on a couple of occasions. Excellent views, more satisfying IMHO to watch them foraging than visiting the nearby Long Nanny colony and having their locations pointed out by wardens. I will still try and visit the Long Nanny colony this year, which is also a great place to see Arctic terns.

262. Dunlin
263. Western Yellow Wagtail (ssp. thunbergi & flavissima)
White Wagtail (ssp. alba - 1st 2019 Britain)
264. Sedge Warbler
265. Common Whitethroat
266. Northern Wheatear
267. Eurasian Rock Pipit
268. Northern Gannet
269. Northern Fulmar
270. Little Tern

Last edited by kb57 : Friday 12th July 2019 at 12:28. Reason: flavissima not flava - doh!
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Old Thursday 16th May 2019, 12:39   #39
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16th May: somewhere in Co. Durham

If I hadn't seen one in Lithuania last year, this would be a cause of even greater celebration - my first wood warblers in Britain for decades, plus I watched one of the pair take food into a nest on the ground not five metres from the path... Didn't linger in order to avoid disturbance - given understandable sensitivities regarding this locally very rare and declining species, I'd better not say any more!

271. Wood Warbler

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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 12:31   #40
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23rd May: Warkworth beach / Coquet Estuary

For once managed to finish work early enough to head up the coast for a relaxing evening walk on the beach. Came upon a large flock of ringed plovers with some dunlins and a few sanderlings...finally catching up with what is normally a New Years Day species for us just before they head off to the Arctic. Despite the roseate tern colony almost being visible in the distance, the only terns fishing inshore were Sandwich, no Arctics or roseate.
Walking back by the Coquet estuary, the beautiful call of a whimbrel added another species to the year list, not the greatest flight view but we'll hopefully see quite a few more back in the Algarve this autumn. Nice to catch up with one on its spring NE coast passage though.

272. Sanderling
273. Whimbrel

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Old Tuesday 4th June 2019, 13:55   #41
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4th June, Teesdale

Haven't managed to get out birding for a while, but a work visit to the North Pennines added one rather obvious species to the list.

274. Willow Ptarmigan (ssp. scotica)

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Old Monday 17th June 2019, 12:24   #42
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11th June: Allington, Kent

Work visit down south, where green woodpeckers are common enough to be seen in the grounds of an industrial site (with plentiful ants in the surrounding grassy bunds, it has to be said)

275. European Green Woodpecker

12th June: Co. Durham

Back from a long drive home in frequently atrocious weather conditions (thank you satnav for helping me avoid the M20...), added a very plastic and somewhat reluctant tick to my year list, driving past a farm near my home which I know runs a pheasant shoot

276. Red-legged Partridge

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Old Monday 17th June 2019, 12:36   #43
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15th June, North Yorkshire

Had a day free and decided I was long overdue some birding. Started off badly, dipping corn bunting at a site I'd seen them a few years ago, near Nosterfield...called into Nosterfield gravel pits, dipping little ringed plover (but seeing some avocet chicks), before dipping turtle dove at Sutton Bank.
Wykeham Forest paid off quickly with a great view of a tree pipit displaying and carrying food, but it took the best part of two hours and the help of some much more experienced raptor watchers to be rewarded with distant views of two of the star species.
Thanks to a tipoff from another birder at Wykeham, I finally scored with turtle dove at Harwood Dale, sitting in the pub garden with a coffee watching a male purring on a TV aerial, before launching off into a display flight near the pub - missing quite a few tail feathers, suggesting it's had a near miss recently! It's been decades since I've seen a turtle dove - I'm not a huge fan of the dove family, but I totally get now why people think turtle doves are special!
Visits to Fylingdales Moor and Scaling Dam added more species to the day list, without adding to my year list.
So, only four additions, but quality ones...

Wykeham Forest

277. Tree Pipit
278. Northern Goshawk
279. European Honey Buzzard

Harwood Dale

280. European Turtle Dove

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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 13:01   #44
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26th June: Etangs de Boitsfort, Belgium

After a few days in Brussels city centre, managed to get out for a couple of hours into some quite good looking habitat - forest and wetlands.
As seems to happen quite often, after my first turtle dove in a very long time a couple of weeks ago, I added a second today!
Only one somewhat reluctant addition to my year list, and indeed my life list (as I've never felt able to bring myself to count the ones in London parks). If I can count red-legged partridge, I can't turn my nose up at this...

281. Egyptian Goose

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Old Monday 1st July 2019, 12:25   #45
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30th June: Coquet Island, Northumberland

Didn't get round to doing this last year, so was keen to get back out on a boat trip I've always been a positive advocate for. Slightly disappointing today, trip only lasted just over 30 minutes, ostensibly due to westerly wind meaning we couldn't circumnavigate the island and stayed on the east side (admittedly the side to see the roseates) - but fitting two return visits on one tide might have something to do with it as well...
Saw the usual suspects; Scythebill said kittiwake was new for the year list when I've obviously forgotten to log a visit to the Baltic in Newcastle. Aside from getting a blurry flypast image of a roseate (a small step up from my usual long-distance nestbox pics), we've certainly had better Coquet birding experiences.

Numbering subject to change when I can work out when I saw a kittiwake!

282. Atlantic Puffin
283. Arctic Tern
284. Common Murre
285. Roseate Tern

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Old Sunday 7th July 2019, 11:53   #46
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6th July, Cow Green Reservoir, Co. Durham

Did a walk with a group of friends from Cow Green to High Cup Nick, along part of the Pennine Way. Not a birding trip, but carried my binoculars, and saw plenty of breeding waders - oystercatcher, lapwing, curlew, snipe, redshank - and a great view of two flypast golden plover. Thanks to my lack of winter coastal birding, this was a year tick; if I was keeping a British year list, the grey wagtails at Cauldron Snout would've also been a new addition.

286. European Golden Plover

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Old Tuesday 23rd July 2019, 11:57   #47
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22nd July: Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB, Wirral

A long weekend of family stuff in the NW, with enough time for a few hours at Burton Mere on a very hot (28C) afternoon. Nice to see black-tailed godwits at this time of year, when quite a few retain summer plumage.

287. Black-tailed Godwit
288. Green Sandpiper
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Old Tuesday 30th July 2019, 12:42   #48
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28th July: Newbiggin, Northumberland

Given an easterly airflow, persuaded my partner that a bit of gentle seawatching from the rocks at Church Point might be a good way to spend an hour or so this afternoon.
Lots of tern and gannet action, the former including a single little as well as Arctic, common and Sandwich - but we didn't get onto any shearwaters or skuas. A Mediterranean gull overhead was a highlight, until we went to the promenade for a drink and saw 8 more loafing on the beach amongst the families! Never seen so many in NE England before, it was more like an eastern Algarve beach, where they are the default loitering gull.
Despite this, painted lady butterflies were the day's highlight species, with a big influx apparent on the coast - good to see plenty wildflowers around the church for them to feed on, along with quite a few Silver Y moths.

289. European Shag
290. Mediterranean Gull

Cresswell Pond

Got a great daytime view of one of the resident barn owls, before an unexpected whinchat near the farm. Whimbrels and avocets the highlights around the pond.

291. Western Barn Owl
292. Whinchat
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Old Tuesday 20th August 2019, 12:07   #49
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18th August: RSPB Blacktoft Sands

After not getting out birding for a while, we decided to book a Sunday night overnight stay in Lincoln, and combine a visit to this historic city with a couple of RSPB reserves.

First up on the way down was a welcome return to Blacktoft Sands, which didn't disappoint in its role of boosting my frankly still somewhat feeble wader list.

293. Ruff
294. Spotted Redshank
295. Eurasian Spoonbill
296. Common Greenshank
297. Peregrine
298. Western Marsh Harrier

Green sandpiper, sparrowhawk and lots of black-tailed godwits made for a very productive couple of hours birding
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Old Tuesday 20th August 2019, 12:23   #50
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19th August, RSPB Frampton Marsh

After a morning coffee and wander round the mediaeval centre of Lincoln, our first ever visit to this reserve. Wondered why the car park was so full on a Monday lunchtime, then realised there was a buff-breasted sandpiper twitch in full swing. We contrived to miss said sandpiper, stopping to scan from the road while everyone was watching it from the sea wall - a marsh harrier then caused mass panic and everything redistributed - it was lost from view by the time we got to the sea wall.
Decided to visit the rest of the reserve, as I'd promised my partner she'd get some good pics from the '360 degree' hide. More like 330 degrees, but I'm not complaining, some great views of godwits and ruff. We were almost godwitted out by the end of the day though!
Didn't manage to pick up the long-staying dowitcher either, although it had been seen the previous day, and only had a little grebe on the lake with breeding black-neckeds. So a strangely unfulfilling visit after promising much more than we expected on arrival, although if we'd been that desperate for a buff-breasted sandpiper we could've gone back to the sea wall - I noticed towards the end of the day all the scopes pointing in the same direction, presuming it had been spotted again...
Not totally unfulfilled though - my partner scored her first ever curlew sandpiper, albeit from a somewhat elusive bird at long range, while I also picked up another wader on the 'visitor centre' lake which really should've been on my year list by now.

299. Curlew Sandpiper
300. Common Sandpiper

I'm not celebrating my first ever 300 species world list quite yet though, as Scythebill says I'm still on 299, and I need to check the anomaly...
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