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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Garden/Yard List 2022 (1 Viewer)

Wasn’t feeling it for getting out this morning, but by the time I did rouse myself I decided to have a look from the bathroom window.

Plenty of bird activity in the river, including a Snipe, no sign yesterday and I had assumed they’d all gone. Little Egret, Grey Wagtail, Mallard, Teal, Mute Swan and Moorhen all in the river. Also Marsh Tit and singing Goldcrest.

Best photo-op was probably this Kingfisher.

I just may be stuck for new additions until year's end. You never know, though. In the past week I've seen both Great Blue Heron and Crested Caracara (pretty good up here) just a mile or two from the yard.

This evening's highlight was finally sitting down to count the "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler evening roost flight that I've noticed in passing since November. In the hour or so before sunset, I clicked 877 Yellow-rumps heading to wherever their roost is. That's quite a number for around here!
A very lazy, for me, morning. Didn’t even get up till 10:30! 😱

A little wander out with coffee mug in hand and saw a tell tale ripple in the river, looking like something had just dived. It took a while as it kept surfacing below overhanging branches, but eventually the culprit was revealed - Little Grebe, the first for this winter.

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At the back of the garden is the almost impenetrable scrub, for the last week I’ve heard what sounded like a Chiffchaff, very briefly and very far back. I’ve not really felt confident to say it was one, but I’ve been listening hard. Same thing again today but finally a Chiffchaff popped up. I’ve only ever recorded Chiffchaff once before in December, never in Jan/Feb, though they winter not far away.

With these two new additions for the month it puts me on 61, this equalling my best December.

Often see a few Mallard in the garden, in fact they breed, but just lately 6-8 have taken to feeding in the river. Today they drew in a new bird, though I’m not really sure what it is. I’ve seen it locally in a couple of spots and it’s definitely got some Yellow-billed Pintail (already seen on the patch in a previous year) in it but I think it may be mixed with Mallard. There is a feint ring around its neck and some greyish tertial.


Later in the afternoon I had a scan out of the bathroom window at the now higher river and saw some telltale ripples below some branches and assumed it was another Little Grebe, so I was a bit surprised to see a/the Water Rail swimming out! Not seen for a good few days and I had assumed it had moved off after the thaw. A Treecreeper also heard.
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Christmas Eve sees the family Christmas dinner, and being in France, it lasts a long time, so like BH yesterday, it was an unusually late start for me today. I don't think I missed anything much as the weather's been settled and warm for a couple of days after the deluge of last week. Grey Heron, Kestrel and Long-tailed Tit were all new for the month yesterday, today was more about giving my stomach some recovery time and watching the Christmas Day avian visitors to the garden. In the spirit of showing goodwill to all mankind (especially Ken) I made a conscious effort to not photograph the Yellowhammers, Hawfinches or the solitary House Sparrow but attach a few of my other companions that brightened my 'home alone' day. Merry Christmas garden listers!


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I suspect, short of divine intervention Richard, like the Xmas Turkey you’ve stuffed me this year!
However a merry crimble to one and all (even Jos)😉🎄🍷……may the birds be with you all, and a few from my patch.👍


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2022 Review of the year.

The best year for total numbers of species – 107. Six months had new record highs of numbers of species (October finishing up with 72 species, the highest ever in 1 month.) and the total year average was 61.2 species per month, another new high. Many species were recorded in months that had not previously recorded them, the average species total for all months is now 75 species. (April is the best month with 83 species recorded over the years.)

Click to read

There were nine new additions to the Patch List, the same as last year which was more than expected. The Patch/Garden list now stands at 131 species:

  • Dunlin Most unexpected, as not on my predicted list. Heard clearly, called 9x
  • Coot h Calling, a nocturnal flyover
  • Osprey Watched from the living room window for a few minutes, slowly drifting West
  • Red-legged Partridge 2 birds in distant field, only visible when there are no leaves on the trees
  • Nightingale A bird seen preening in a hedge
  • Green Sandpiper 3 birds heard and seen flying low West. Neighbour has had 1 in the garden!
  • Whooper Swan ~6 birds calling, flew low West overhead
  • Firecrest A male calling loudly right next to me
  • Jack Snipe Present on 2 days in the river during the big freeze
As ever there are some birds on the up and others on the down. Those most obvious to me are listed here:


Blackcap seen in every month of the year for the first time. A minimum of 5 birds seen in December.

Greylag Goose seen in 9 months of the year. Has been increasingly seen in more months each year for the last 4. This year bred on the flood, outside of the patch boundary but viewable from the patch.

Little Grebe seen in 4 months, the best showing by far, seems to be increasing year on year.

Oystercatcher seen in 4 months, with the first late autumn record also, usually averages 2-3 months.

Bullfinch seen in 4 months, including birds seen on successive days feeding in the garden, the best showing in my 5 years here.

Reed Bunting seen in 4 months, including a reasonable passage during viz-mig and 1 feeding on the bird table.

Moorhen bred in the garden successfully for the first time, with broods of 2 and 1 fully fledged and still present as a group of 5.

Teal being seen for more months, arriving in September and staying through till April this year, seen in the garden fairly frequently.

Peregrine extending sightings to 8 months, helped by a young summering bird which spent 100 days perched on the church opposite. The second summer this has happened, involving 2 different 2CY males, hopefully breeding may take place in due course.


Cetti’s Warbler only heard in 2 months, though also seen for the first time, during the year. Possibly breed in the area and may have just chosen to breed out of earshot of the patch.

Siskin only seen in 5 months, though this is the average, after last years good showing, including singing birds in 7 months of the year. Presumably reflects the local Breckland population.

Lesser Redpoll only seen in 4 months of the year c.f. 6 last year. Mirrored by Siskin locally.

Great Black-backed Gull, only seen in 4 months, which is about the long-term average, but after a good year last year. May just reflect my lack of effort in checking Gulls later in the day. Not a common bird locally.

Whitethroat seen in just 1 month in autumn c.f. 3 months last year when held also territory.

Merlin not seen this year after sightings in 2 months of last year, which was exceptional.

Grey Wagtail whilst seen every month has actually bred every year prior to this, when the breeding attempt was abandoned due to unknown cause and sightings have been more sporadic. Still in the area and hopefully a nest box will be in place in time for next year.

Tawny Owl was a previous breeder but sightings of day-roosting birds have become scarce in the last 2 years and they are now almost never seen. Sometimes multiple birds still heard at night in suitable weather but the garden has been abandoned. I think this is due to lack of prey down to the Cats decimating the small mammal population. An Owl box is to be erected but until the Cats go I suspect it will be empty.

Kestrel has been seen far less frequently than before. Despite breeding across the road birds have been scarce since the autumn and are seldom seen hunting. I believe this is down to the presence of a number of Cats which have appeared this year and regularly hunt the scrub behind the garden. Previously I heard and occasionally saw Voles/Shrews/Mice but this has become much more infrequent. This year no Water Voles or Grass Snakes were seen which is unusual.

Jay sightings have become much thinner on the ground, though seen in nearly all months sometimes on just 1 occasion. Previously very regular I think this is down to an absence of Tawny Owls roosting, which the Jays used to search out assiduously.

Pheasant sightings continue to decline, seen in just 6 months and rarely in the garden anymore, once seen just escaping the clutches of a Cat. Prior to this displaying males were frequent. They clearly do not feel safe any longer.

Nuthatch is declining faster than ever, once seen in nearly every month, even nest prospecting, it has dropped to last year seeing 1 bird on two consecutive days to this year just 1 bird seen on one occasion and a different individual picked up seemingly uninjured, but dead by the front door. Not a window strike or Cat victim – mysterious.

Not much time, or suitable weather between now and years end so this is probably my last word for 2022. I'm away for half of January so will no doubt start Garden yearlisting in earnest after that.
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Scope out on a clear day, some movement along the estuary, all too distant to id, except a head-on Peregrine, so very pleased when a

60: Goosander

zapped past quite close just now.
Unless something miraculous happens this afternoon I don't think I will add anything to what has been a rather mundane year in, around and over the garden. Just one addition - a heard-only Ringed Plover - and nothing memorable in numbers etc.

345 garden lists entered onto eBird - up to three a day. That's out of my 608 total for the country so it shows how little I have been out and about this year. My 73 species puts me in 22nd place on the UK gardens list - excluding a couple of people who ignore the guidelines and have gardens where they can walk for miles. Top of the eBird list is my friend Tim Appleton with 135 garden species due to him being able to see a lot of Rutland Water from his back lawn. My 'big sit' in his garden in October yielded as many species in ten hours as my garden has produced in the whole year.

Reading how the regulars on here have been getting on has as always been entertaining and interesting. I am trying to work out exactly where 'halftwo' has moved to as being able to watch the Humber from home sounds great. Almost as good as living half way up a mountain Richard or in a raptor-infested forest Ken.

Best wishes to everyone for an enjoyable 2023.
I agree Steve, it’s always interesting to read how other garden listers are getting on, hopefully a few more will join in in 2023 from all over the globe.
87 is my third best year total I think ( not at home to check) and just the fly by Yellow Wagtail as a garden tick. I contributed more garden lists to eBird than any other observer in France though my species total is nowhere near the top, as in UK some folk have a very imaginative view of what constitutes their garden!
A Happy New Year to you all and good birding wherever you do it!
I agree Steve, it’s always interesting to read how other garden listers are getting on, hopefully a few more will join in in 2023 from all over the globe.
87 is my third best year total I think ( not at home to check) and just the fly by Yellow Wagtail as a garden tick. I contributed more garden lists to eBird than any other observer in France though my species total is nowhere near the top, as in UK some folk have a very imaginative view of what constitutes their garden!
A Happy New Year to you all and good birding wherever you do it!

I hope no one is “bending” the fences!…cos I’d be good for another dozen, if I pushed mine out another 1000m!😮
Eighty six is my poorest year of late, and would have been considerably poorer without the cold snap which yielded five below the radar species!😊

First year without House Sparrow, Hawfinch, Bullfinch and Tufted Duck…with Lapwing, Kingfisher, Common Snipe and Golden Plover going some way in mitigating their loss.
December being the fist time I’ve “month” counted…amounting to 54 species, will have to sample a few more Decembers to make a comparison.

For me, the main thrust of this exercise is to compare the tran-Saharan migrant passage species particularly mid July-October.
During this period the average daily watch time goes from 4 hours a day to twelve, principally because I get a “good return” through the “garden’s conduit”, this being my third year since COVID 2020.

If I take just one species Common Redstart, prior to 2019 just one Spring and two Autumn occurrences since ‘83.
With increased coverage twelve hours as opposed to four…2020 yielded 2,
2021 yielded 5, with 2022 yielding nowt!

Other tran-Saharans were equally beguiling,
If I take just one more species…Pied Flycatcher, as with Common Redstart just 4 records ‘83-‘19,
2020 produced 4 records, 2021 yielded nowt, with 2022 yielding one.

With other tran-Saharan species yo-yo-ing year on year, I’m finding the whole exercise very interesting, especially when I compare my daily returns with London Wiki Bird News, often finding that my recording incidence is being mirrored “almost” elsewhere within the Capital.

Anyway….’appy New Year to all Garden Listers.
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Just jumped on at the 11th hour with my last yard addition!

95. Canyon Towhee (new yard bird)

I'm curious to see what next year brings. Having moved out here to southeastern AZ in September, I was hoping for 100 but am still delighted with 95. That's without a desert springtime and the early fall migrants of July-August.

Happy New Year to all!
One more bit of good news on my 2022 list!

Today I showed my photos of a Hammond's/Dusky Flycatcher that I had in the yard on 12 October to an Arizona bird ID expert. He fairly quickly said Hammond's, which another experienced birder had suggested in the fall. I had identified the bird as Dusky at the time, then switched to Dusky/Hammond's. Having the experts pointing out specific features (primary projection, bill size) helped very much, and I'm comfortable calling this a

96. Hammond's Flycatcher (lifer and new yard bird!)
The bird on the left is surely a juvenile Mute Swan and the other two appear to be this species too? Whooper/Bewick would never show the black line connecting the bill to the eye, and doesn't the two-tone plumage in the wings rule out Whooper/Bewick which are uniformly grey whereas young Mutes show this plumage as they moult? The bill colour is colour artefect in my opinion.

I know you will disagree with this assessment Ken

Since this last showing I’ve been looking intently at Mute Swans from all angles and the conclusion I’ve reached, is that the images do not show Mute Swan, irrespective of the lead bird having too much staining on the wing (might be shadow?)

I’ll deal with the two adult birds first, there is absolutely no way (as bad as you would cite the colour “artefact” as proof) that the head pattern is indicative of Mute Swan.
In order to conform to the latter (even at that angle) it would have to show a black knob atop bill and black wedge adjacent to the bill base against a stark white, neither of which are remotely in evidence?

Both Whooper and Bewick are extremely rare in the London area and as such (I don’t need the kudos), would represent an extremely good record for the area and as such I will be submitting….you probably won’t like this Conwy.


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