I'm aiming for 600 species this year based on planned holidays to Ghana and Greece plus the usual suspects at home.
As in previous years, lifers will be in capitals.
Initial plans to go for Blyth's pipit at Pugney's were altered at the last minute with the arrival of the Little Bustard near Bridlington. I made a half hearted effort to see robin and wren singing near the house as I set off then nothing seen until a shadowy probable kestrel while stood around the field at Fraisthorpe with a few hundred other birders.
So the first bird actually seen and ID'd was:
1. LITTLE BUSTARD
Could only go down hill from this incredible start and with the blustery weather, I certainly missed a few things on the coast which I would normally have picked up.
2. Mute swan
3. Herring gull
4. Black headed gull
6. Feral pigeon
All seen as I returned from the bustard field to the village. Next I headed over to Bridlington to check out the area just south of the harbour for waders with a few common species picked up along the drive.
9. Carrion crow
17. Purple sandpiper
No sign of any dunlin and in my eagerness to head out to try for the Grindale rough legged buzzard, I didn't bother checking the harbour which cost me red throated diver for the day.
18. Buzzard - On the hedge next to the road, thought I had got lucky straight away but it wasn't to be.
21. Mistle thrush
22. Blue tit
23. Coal tit
24. Long tailed tit
Report of Lapland bunting at Buckton so I tried there next with no joy. A few more common species picked up.
29. Tree sparrow
30. Collared dove
Next stop Filey for a quick look at the dams then out on the brigg where the wind really prevented any decent birding, the bay seemed devoid of anything much.
32. Greylag goose
33. Canada goose
36. Grey heron
42. Great black backed gull
Too windy to persist, gave up trying to scope the bay and headed up to Scarborough next.
44. Mediterranean gull - As usual on the roof of the first house at holbeck carpark with black headed gulls.
Scarborough was heaving along the front so plans to stop and check out the harbour were abandoned and I headed out to the forge valley.
46. Marsh tit
48. Great spotted woodpecker
49. Stock dove
I gave it a little while to try and get treecreeper and also still had failed to see robin, wren, goldfinch, greenfinch and great tit but bizarrely these species usually in my first 20 of the year all eluded me for the day!
Next up to my last stop on the coast for Richard's pipit.
51. Richard's pipit
I arrived at the car park at the same time as a couple of other birders and we circled the usual field until we spotted it hopping around thrush-like giving great scope views.
With about 2 hours light left, I considered heading back to try again for RLB but instead thought to head back closer to home and pick up the Great northern diver on Mixenden reservoir. I arrived in the gloom with rain and wind blasting across the water and failed miserably to locate the bird despite doing a full circuit of what is not a very big reservoir and concluded that it had finally moved on in the face of such abysmal weather. I did pick up one more year tick here however.