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Lazza's 2015 list

 
 
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Old Friday 31st July 2015, 15:35   #51
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Now out in Spain for the second holiday of the year, to our usual haunt at the in-laws at La Marina, near Elche. Have been working the last week, so not had much chance to get out birding, but before I start on the summer list, I was cross-checking my spring list, and realise I missed some of the species from the records here, so should add:

84. Woodpigeon (seen in March), Urb La Marina
85. Chiffchaff (seen in March), El Pinet
86. Whiskered Tern (seen in April), El Hondo

And now to this summer's sightings, starting with a few additions seen on a ride out to the coast:

At the mouth of the Rio Segura:

87. Spotted flycatcher*

Then on the canals near the Urb La Marina:

88. Squacco Heron*

Finally, a surprising find for me (seeing as it was not singing), but hopping around in scrub and orchards near the south-western edge of the Urb:

89. Nightingale

* two species not seen on previous lists
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Saturday 1st August 2015, 21:47   #52
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Had an early morning cycle out to the Vistabella road hides, which was rather productive. The ride started well with large groups of egret and ibis on flooded fields on the way, then 4 stone curlew flying over. And then it got better!

The first new addition to the list was one of the day's target species

90. Purple heron*

Along with

91. Little tern*

both seen from the first hide on Vistabella Road.

From the other hides, a wonderful mixture of herons, egrets, ibis, grebes and Ducks was seen, but the best was yet to come. As I headed home along the track between the two ponds and Urb Oasis, I picked up a lifer! As I trundled up the track, a black head and orange throat poking out of the crops in one of the fields caught my attention:

92. Great spotted cuckoo! *

An amazing bird, which performed nicely, hawking for insects just 20-30m away. It also turned out to be species 200 for the year!

I also connected with my target species further along the track:

93. Roller*

More to come, I'm sure, over the next two weeks, and a first ever three-figure year list for Spain looks well within my reach!

*4 species not on an earlier list.
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)

Last edited by lazza : Monday 3rd August 2015 at 21:46.
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Old Monday 3rd August 2015, 21:52   #53
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Down to El Pinet salinas yesterday in the hope of some wader action, but remarkably quiet, with a pair of

94. Black-tailed Godwit

being the only slightly unusual bird on the water, although it was nice to watch the acrobatics of several Little Tern, too.

The next addition to the list was in fact new for Spain for me:

95. Linnet

A single male spotted feeding on wild fennel as I cycled up the edge of El Pinet Urbanizacion.

A puncture curtailed my ride, but I still managed to add

96. Bee-eater*

as I headed home along the top road to Urb Oasis with my bike in the back of the car.

* one species not on a previous list
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)

Last edited by lazza : Friday 7th August 2015 at 09:24.
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Old Friday 7th August 2015, 09:24   #54
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Slowish progress over the last week, but still edging closer to my Spain-100 for the year, which would be a first!

A trip out to El Hondo earlier this week was slightly disappointing, one of the main pools being almost devoid of water, but of the two identifiable waders on the mud, at least one was new for the year list!

97. Little Ringed Plover*

while I also added Iberian Green Frog{3} to the amphibian list!

And on the Camino El Hondo near Catral, I finally picked up the year's first

98. Little Owl*

I think I may have flushed a Short-toed Eagle from trees along one of the canal paths, but I didn't get a clear enough view, and my new binoculars are proving to be a load of rubbish and very difficult to focus, by which time the bird had gone (only a very pale sandy back and wings were seen).

Finally, this morning, on a short ride out with a neighbour (i.e. not much opportunity to stop and look for birds) we passed alpng the Vistabella Road, where a field held four:

99. Whimbrel*

Quite a surprise!

* 3 species not any earlier list
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)

Last edited by lazza : Sunday 9th August 2015 at 21:55.
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Old Sunday 9th August 2015, 21:43   #55
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Anothe mid-morning ride out along the N332 through Santa Pola salinas brought up my 100 for Spain this year, a milestone I've never reached before. And it was:

100. Collared Pratincole*

which got me there.

Also seen were:

101. Little Stint*
102. Curlew Sandpiper*
103. Turnstone

And then a rather nice, low fly-over from a

104. Short-toed Eagle*

As I headed back to the Urb past Iceland!

Also, in the evening, as we sat out on the terrace, there were a good dozen mid-size bats (unknown sp.) [14] over the garden.

* 4 species not on any earlier list.
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)

Last edited by lazza : Friday 28th August 2015 at 13:06.
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Old Thursday 13th August 2015, 12:17   #56
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A tough cycle ride up into the Sierra Crevillente was enjoyable for both the challenge of the ride and the birding, although with better binoculars and better knowledge, I would probably have added more than two species to year list, but as one was a lifer, I can hardly complain!

As I heaved my way uphill through the first canyon if the day, a bird flitting between bushes caught my eye, and although I didn't identify it at the time, I saw enough to know it was something new, and noted enough features ("russet chest, dark patches on head") to be able to confirm a lifer from my bird guide when I got back:

105. Black-eared wheatear*

Then as I reached the highest point of my ride, I found myself among a couple of dozen

106. Alpine swift*

which hawked for insects along the cliffs above me, and in the valley below, with a wonderful swooshing sound as they passed close by! Possibly some distant Crag Martins too, but couldn't say for sure.

With a bit better knowledge, I might have added Rock Sparrow, Calandra Lark and Tawny Pipit (all potential lifers!) as there were three other unidentified species seen, but I didn't get good enough views or make good enough notes to be able to say for sure what I saw. Gives me a target for next year, though!

* two species not on any other list
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Friday 28th August 2015, 13:10   #57
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Back home, and not much going on for a couple of weeks, then this last weekend, I was out at the coast and picked up another three species for my UK list, adding one to the year list:

First, at Creswell pond, among a large number of lapwing, a single

140. Greenshank

flew in and out several times.

Then, on to Druridge Pools, where I was pleasantly surprised to find a

141. Whinchat

on the posts by the new path at the north of the ponds.

Finally, from the only open hide at Hauxley NR:

142. Common sandpiper

strangely missing from my UK list so far this year (but then a second seen a few days later at Bothal Pond)
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2015, 14:01   #58
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I'm desperately in need of a trip to the coast for some migrants, but beggars can't be choosers, and I made do with a short stop at Bothal Pond today, which turned up a:

143. Green sandpiper
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Wednesday 7th October 2015, 10:19   #59
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Not really any chance to go birding in the UK this last few weeks, but I did manage to add a new species during a trip to Switzerland last week.

While packing my suitcase at my hotel in Martigny, in the Valais region of Switzerland, I noticed some hirundines swooping around the parkland outside, and quickly got my binoculars on them:

37. Crag Martin*

Clearly on Migration, as they soon headed off along the valley heading North.

In addition, I added

38. Jay
39. Goldfinch

to the list while in Martigny, and then stopped off in the Pas de Morgins on the way back to the Airport, adding

40. Little grebe

* of which one species is not on a previous list in 2015
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Wednesday 7th October 2015, 10:22   #60
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And although there are no new bird species for the UK, on the way back from the Airport after my trip to Switzerland, there were loads of hedgehogs [16] about, in Dinnigton, Stannington Station and Hepscott.

A possible other addition to the mammals list came in Switzerland, where some large bats were hawking for insects over the hotel's grounds one of the evenings I was there, but they remained unidentified.
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Friday 16th October 2015, 15:03   #61
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Out at the weekend on my bike, up to Druridge Bay, where there were dozens of goldcrest, present in pretty much every coastal copse. And in among them at Cresswell Pond, was a new species for my UK life list (taking it to 208):

143. Firecrest

I also added toad {4} to the year's amphibian list.
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Friday 16th October 2015, 15:08   #62
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Then, this week, I was in Madrid for a conference, and added a few final species to the year list for Spain, including one lifer and a further species new for the country.

In Parque Juan Carlos I, near the Feria de Madrid:

107. Monk parakeet*
108. Pied flycatcher - new for Spain
109. Western Orphean Warbler* - lifer (although I had previously possibly seen one near Elche while on holiday in Spain a few years ago)

Then, in trees outside Barajas airport:

110. Coal tit

* of which two species not on an earlier list.
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Wednesday 21st October 2015, 08:36   #63
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Good to add another lifer at the weekend, with a stop by Blyth South Harbour to look for the reported autumn visitor/migrant. And after an hour of futile hanging around, I wandered back to the car thinking it was another rarity that hadn't hung around until the weekend, when another birder's shout alerted me to a small bird pecking away on a narrow grass verge:

144. Shore Lark - LIFER NUMBER 12 FOR THE YEAR!
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Sunday 25th October 2015, 22:12   #64
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Up to Berwick-upon-Tweed for a long weekend, and I managed to tick off a couple of winter waders, one of which I see most years when we come up here.

145. Grey plover (always seem to be one or two around here in October)
146. Purple Sandpiper
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Monday 21st December 2015, 08:23   #65
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A bit of a poor effort in the last couple of months, so my list has hardly progressed at all, and I can definitely say I will have my worst UK list and global list for several years unless I put in some serious effort over the last couple of weeks of the year!!

Nevertheless, one more to add to the UK list, from mid-November, when I was rather pleased fto have a garden fly-over from 5

147. Whooper Swan

while I was putting the bins out one morning!! A garden lifer, and a glaring omission from the year list!
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Monday 21st December 2015, 08:25   #66
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And, then a trip to Switzerland added a few more to the Swiss year list, but nothing to the overall year list. Only a short visit to the path along the Rhone upstream from Saint Maurice added:

41. Marsh tit
42. Great spotted woodpecker - apparently new for me for my Swiss list...?!
43. Robin
44. Grey wagtail - new for Switzerland
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Monday 21st December 2015, 08:29   #67
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Finally, a visit to customers in Sweden last week allowed me a couple of short stops at some woodland areas.

In Sodertalje, I added:

49. Siskin
50. Goldcrest

Then, at my favourite stop at some feeders in woodland near SLU in Uppsala, I added a few species to my Swedish life-list and a rather nice species to the year list:

51. Robin
52. Greenfinch
53. Green woodpecker
54. Treecreeper
55. Marsh tit - new for Sweden
56. Willow tit - new for Sweden
57. Crested tit* - new for Sweden

And finally, from the motorway near to Arlanda airport, a flyover

58. Jay

* one species not on any previous list
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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Old Monday 4th January 2016, 17:56   #68
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So, how did the year go?

Well, on one hand, a very disappointing UK total, just 147 species versus 161 in the last 2 years. But the overall "global" total was my second best since I started keeping a list, at 221 species, just three below last year's 224.

The big success stories were Spain (110 species, 14 more than any other year, including 5 lifers, and contributing 54 unique species to the global list) and my work trip to Sweden and Finland in June bagging 69 species, including 34 species added to the country lists combined, and four lifers, while contributing another 11 unique species to the year list.

All-in-all, 12 lifers in the year:

Spain (5): Moustached warbler, Marbled duck (at last), Great spotted cuckoo, Black-eared Wheatear, Western Orphean Warbler
Finland (3): Black guillemot , Citrine wagtail, Corncrake
UK (3): Black-winged pratincole, Long-eared owl, Shore Lark
Sweden (1): White-tailed eagle

And a final word for the garden list, which reached an almighty 50 species for the year, 6 more than any previous year, and included 7 new species for the full garden list (Little egret, Redwing, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Golden plover, Red kite, Whooper swan)
__________________
World life list: 536 (Terek Sandpiper, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2019)
UK life list: 228 (Red-backed Shrike, Newbiggin, UK; December 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 70 (Willow Tit, October 2019)
2019 year list: 235 (Snow Bunting, Bamburgh; October)
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