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Garden/Yard List 2020

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Old Tuesday 5th May 2020, 21:14   #726
RyanI
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The past two weeks have been a bit of a struggle for passerine migrants, fortunately there has been a decent number of waders moving, the undoubted highlight were the 6 Black-tailed Godwits, only my 5th record in 9 years here. The parakeet was a rather unwanted new bird for the garden, joining the Alexandrine on my patch now and tonights adult Pom Skua was an unusual spring record for here.

Lockdown has obviously helped my garden yearlist so far as I'd normally be away for most of the spring so I thought I'd check my numbers for previous years up to the 5th May: 2019 - 91 species, 2018 - 82 species, 2017 - 93 species.

126 Bar-tailed Godwit 23-Apr-20
127 Avocet 23-Apr-20
128 Common Sandpiper 23-Apr-20
129 Common Cuckoo 27-Apr-20
130 Ring-necked Pheasant 02-May-20
131 Willow Warbler 02-May-20
132 Rose-ringed Parakeet 02-May-20
133 Black-tailed Godwit 04-May-20
134 Pomarine Skua 05-May-20
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Old Tuesday 5th May 2020, 22:07   #727
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warixenjalka View Post
Oh, you have your own birding tower there.
I only wish! This is from one of the bedroom windows, only an emergency observatory. If sun glare is bad or there are light showers, I head into the little playset "hut". Otherwise, I stand on the left side of the yard in the grass, or in a patio chair for afternoon raptor watches.

Last edited by birdmeister : Wednesday 6th May 2020 at 12:44.
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Old Wednesday 6th May 2020, 07:44   #728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanI View Post
The past two weeks have been a bit of a struggle for passerine migrants, fortunately there has been a decent number of waders moving, the undoubted highlight were the 6 Black-tailed Godwits, only my 5th record in 9 years here. The parakeet was a rather unwanted new bird for the garden, joining the Alexandrine on my patch now and tonights adult Pom Skua was an unusual spring record for here.

Lockdown has obviously helped my garden yearlist so far as I'd normally be away for most of the spring so I thought I'd check my numbers for previous years up to the 5th May: 2019 - 91 species, 2018 - 82 species, 2017 - 93 species.

126 Bar-tailed Godwit 23-Apr-20
127 Avocet 23-Apr-20
128 Common Sandpiper 23-Apr-20
129 Common Cuckoo 27-Apr-20
130 Ring-necked Pheasant 02-May-20
131 Willow Warbler 02-May-20
132 Rose-ringed Parakeet 02-May-20
133 Black-tailed Godwit 04-May-20
134 Pomarine Skua 05-May-20
Wow Ryan, youíre way up on your usual even allowing for lockdown ( Iím five up on my end of April tally for last year, but as Iím retired Iím not spending huge amounts of extra time garden birding compared to a typical spring), Black- tailed Godwit is a good one, in my 16 years at Selsey Bill I only recorded the species once!
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Old Wednesday 6th May 2020, 16:06   #729
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I may be mis-understanding, but the photo of ducks flying that you have posted shows Eurasian Wigeon, not Northern Pintail
I wonder long time between those two species and even asked for one friend. He's thought was that they are Pintails. But maybe I have to ask few opinions still.

Edit: Now I got opinion also from real Guru and Pintails they are.

PS. Wigeon would been G-lifer too.
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Old Wednesday 6th May 2020, 16:12   #730
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Well done on the ďGrdn.LifersĒ Wari! How many lifers have you had this year...surely not as many as birdmeister.
I think I've only 5 or 6...
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Old Wednesday 6th May 2020, 16:14   #731
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Originally Posted by birdmeister View Post
I only wish! This is from one of the bedroom windows, only an emergency observatory. If sun glare is bad or there are light showers, I head into the little playset "hut". Otherwise, I stand on the left side of the yard in the grass, or in a patio chair for afternoon raptor watches.
I just meant that playset hut is "birding tower" of yours.
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Old Wednesday 6th May 2020, 17:21   #732
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warixenjalka View Post
I wonder long time between those two species and even asked for one friend. He's thought was that they are Pintails. But maybe I have to ask few opinions still.

Edit: Now I got opinion also from real Guru and Pintails they are.

PS. Wigeon would been G-lifer too.
Surely they are Wigeon? Anybody else able to confirm?
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Old Wednesday 6th May 2020, 17:48   #733
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Surely they are Wigeon? Anybody else able to confirm?
Look like Pintail to me, eg pale trailing edge to secondaries. I reckon shape also looks better for Pintail.
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Old Wednesday 6th May 2020, 19:19   #734
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Look like Pintail to me, eg pale trailing edge to secondaries. I reckon shape also looks better for Pintail.
I agree on the shape, everything is attenuated from bill tip to tail tip. A Wigeon bill is short, deep and chunky.

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Old Wednesday 6th May 2020, 20:10   #735
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I was expecting to see at least some white on the upperwing if it was Wigeon. Undertail seems v clear cut too?
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Old Thursday 7th May 2020, 07:32   #736
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#67. Common Redstart
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Old Thursday 7th May 2020, 09:48   #737
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Willow Warbler - one in song this morning.
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Old Thursday 7th May 2020, 10:57   #738
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I think I've only 5 or 6...
Likewise
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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 06:41   #739
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Likewise
5 - 6 is quite good I think. Or how long you have lived the present place? We bought this house at September 2009 and I have counting Garden ticks since that, even we didn't moved here until January 2011.
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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 06:41   #740
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I wasn't expecting that...(though it isn't a garden tick, just a lot less than annual)

62. Ring-necked Parakeet One in bushes across the brook, chased off by Magpie.

Every little helps I suppose!

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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 08:49   #741
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warixenjalka View Post
5 - 6 is quite good I think. Or how long you have lived the present place? We bought this house at September 2009 and I have counting Garden ticks since that, even we didn't moved here until January 2011.
Itís very good I would say, normally once Iíve lived somewhere for 2 years new Garden ticks become very difficult, we are here since 2016 and recorded just 2 new ones last year, three already this year is a surprise! Old codgers like Ken and I probably spend more time garden birding in an average year than many of you who are experiencing lockdown birding so not surprised that more garden lifers are being achieved in these unhappy times.
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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 09:49   #742
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Just in the garden with my birding buddy and we heard #51.

51. Common Whitethroat
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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 09:57   #743
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Itís very good I would say, normally once Iíve lived somewhere for 2 years new Garden ticks become very difficult, we are here since 2016 and recorded just 2 new ones last year, three already this year is a surprise! Old codgers like Ken and I probably spend more time garden birding in an average year than many of you who are experiencing lockdown birding so not surprised that more garden lifers are being achieved in these unhappy times.
I kinda disagree - in my experiences (and I've tended to do a fair bit of garden birding but patchy) I wouldn't expect things to tail off after 2 years - once everything common/regular in an area has been encountered it's true things become harder but irregular and random flyovers are still out there. Maybe it's just chance connecting but if on any kind of flyway/commute route or reasonable time put in I'd expect a regular low increase in new ticks??
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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 11:29   #744
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Originally Posted by Warixenjalka View Post
5 - 6 is quite good I think. Or how long you have lived the present place? We bought this house at September 2009 and I have counting Garden ticks since that, even we didn't moved here until January 2011.
37 years at my current address Wari. so 5 lifers over an 18 day period-24th March-11th April was embarrassingly exceptional, considering the residency period.

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I kinda disagree - in my experiences (and I've tended to do a fair bit of garden birding but patchy) I wouldn't expect things to tail off after 2 years - once everything common/regular in an area has been encountered it's true things become harder but irregular and random flyovers are still out there. Maybe it's just chance connecting but if on any kind of flyway/commute route or reasonable time put in I'd expect a regular low increase in new ticks??
I tend to agree with Danís assessment particularly if one puts in an excessive amount of time, laced with a modicum of obsessiveness you should connect more often, although weeks of zilch (unfavourable weather patterns etc.) can test the patience and dedication somewhat. If the truth were known weíre probably all guilty to a greater or lesser degree of spending more time at the window than we should, instead of doing something more useful...Lockdown has certainly helped.
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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 11:33   #745
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70. Whimbrel - heard overhead at 00.12 whilst checking my moth trap

#66 for my Garden Lockdown List.

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Old Friday 8th May 2020, 18:19   #746
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52. Swift
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Old Saturday 9th May 2020, 15:29   #747
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71. Crossbill - one heard-only calling as it flew SW high overhead

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Old Saturday 9th May 2020, 15:34   #748
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A fantastic number of other migrants through this Spring, hopefully a few more before Spring is done!

65. Western Bonelli's Warbler
66. European Turtle Dove
67. Whinchat
68. Common Cuckoo
69. Western Marsh Harrier
70. Moltoni's Warbler
71. Thekla Lark
72. Long-tailed Tit
73. Garden Warbler
74. Western Yellow Wagtail
75. Eleonora's Falcon
76. Cetti's Warbler
77. Zitting Cisticola
78. Purple Heron

I also thought I might have seen a Balearic Warbler, definitely one I'll be keeping an eye out for!
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Old Saturday 9th May 2020, 20:29   #749
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Busy week of final exams, but I got out for a bit (later than I wanted) yesterday morning and had a good trio of birds.

95. Nashville Warbler (new yard bird, heard only)
96. Yellow-throated Vireo (new yard bird, pretty much heard only)

97. White-crowned Sparrow

Others in the general area had fantastic warbler fallouts. One friend of mine who has some woods had about 20 species of warblers in the last two days! I narrowly missed adding Cape May Warbler to my list, having seen a probable flyover. The White-crowned Sparrow could probably have been in bold. A smart adult, this was the time I see them most in the yard, though not quite annual. I've attached a picture of it.

Can I reach 100 in the next week or two? Monday morning could be great, with SW winds forecast then and Thursday/Friday, too.

Unfortunately, we're in a near-record cold snap today. I was informed that our Eastern Bluebird nestlings (4) didn't survive the night. I guess thousands of chicks died with the freeze. Part of nature, for sure.
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Old Saturday 9th May 2020, 23:14   #750
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Rook was a good start to the day at 7am (4th) this year with Common Tern South at 7.30 (2nd), followed by 5 Starlings over, then 4 Swifts and 2 Grey Lags by 9.10 am. As it was going to be a mid 20's (C) day we took our 10k steps earlier than usual and were back home by 11.45 am.

Not much en-route with Common Whitethroats appearing to have stopped singing on the plain although Blackcap and Garden Warblers were still vocal. A couple of Common Buzzards and a Kestrel being the only other highlights, once home the tea and toast went down well and set me up for a ''sustained'' sky-watch thereafter.

With eyes already smarting from the 7am start I was not relishing ''the rest of day'', even though a colleague living in West Sussex had texted me the day before with his high elevation hat-trick of Northbound flyover adult male..pale morph Honey Buzzards. With reddened eyes I stared out into the South facing heat haze not expecting much at all, after ten minutes or so a couple of onward flying Herring Gulls appeared low over the canopy breaking the boredom.

After another ten minutes or so ''another gull'' (sharp elbowed and pale underneath) circa 200' up was on the same trajectory, raised the bins, that's no Larus, it's a Buteo I murmured, as it disappeared behind the Ash tree!
Camera grabbed! I shutter-burst as it emerged from the other side, images were never going to be particularly good as the sensor was struggling to ''lock on'' into the South facing glare.

Perhaps a dozen images in all and all less than sharp (resulting in a degree of contrast adjustment and tone lightening) to attempt to bring out what little detail there was. However structure was very evident-with small head, long tail with under-tail terminal bands and fairly typical flight posture. Honey Buzzard no.78. This was followed by my 4th Willow Warbler and 3rd Common Tern carrying small fry....not forgetting an evening toast to the bird of the day!
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