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

Garden / Yard List 2024 (1 Viewer)

January 1st started of a tad earlier than I would have wished for because my son was hungry. When opening the blinds at 6:30 I heard a (1) Tawny Owl calling, and actually being answered by a second Tawny Owl. I had to wait almost two hours until sunrise, when the first (2) Robins and Tits appeared. In quick succession, I saw (3) Great Tit, (4) Blue Tit and (5) Marsh Tit in the bushes around the feeders.

In one of the pear trees in the garden, two (6) Chaffinches seemed to have a hard time waking up – I definitely could sympathize with them, and got myself another cup of coffee while putting some wood on the fire. Still from inside I noticed some (7) Carrion Crows and well as a (8) Blackbird pecking in the grass about 50 or 60 meters from the house.

Though it was a bit windy, I gathered the courage to head outside and walk around the upper part of our property. Eight rather loud (9) Starlings were sitting in an oak, near a tiny pond, and very quickly I heard a (10) Buzzard calling, and noticed the resident (11) Kestrel in a nearby field. A (12) Shorttoed Treecreeper visited one of the plum trees, which is in dire need of pruning, while a loud flock of (13) Long-tailed Tits fluttered by. To the south of the our property there’s a patch of trees where summer there were some nesting (14) Green Woodpeckers, and indeed I picked one up almost immediately. Three (15) Jays announced their presence near the oak tree, which lead the Starling to leave with some protest.

While making my way over to the wooded area on the east side of our place, I noticed a (16) Gray Wagtail, and a bird that took me a bit to identify since it is not seen very often, a (17) Reed Bunting (sitting in a hedgerow). Arriving in the wooded area I noticed the expected (18) Great Spotted Woodpecker, and while I didn’t see it, I also heard the (19) Middle Spotted Woodpecker. Same thing for the Thrushes, I actually did see a (20) Mistle Thrush (indeed, eating some berries from Mistle Toe!), and only heard the (21) Song Thrush. While hurrying inside, since I had promised my wife to have fresh coffee ready by 9:30, I saw the first (22) Nuthatch eating some of the black sunflower seed I provide, they generally seem to get up a bit later than other birds which visited the feeder area.

I managed to get out of the house again around 10:00, to visit the more distant part of our property where two larges ponds are. I was definitely hoping to see some waterbirds. First additional bird I picked up though was a very beautiful (23) Wren. A very pleasant surprise was a (24) Black Woodpecker, they are occasionally around, but it is more often miss than hit! Seeing the (25) Kingfisher brought an additional smile on my face – I really enjoy seeing these birds. In a neighboring field with some sheep I spotted a couple of (26) Meadow Pipits, and a small flock of (27) House Sparrows.

Next up were two surprise appearances. Firstly, a (28) Chiffchaff, which in retrospect I also seem to remember having seen on Christmas day. Then I thought to see another Buzzard, but when the raptor come closer I noticed the forked tail – I quickly checked with the bins, indeed a (29) Red Kite! I actually see and hear them all the time at home in Zurich, but at our place in France I have only seen some during fall migration. I hope this one will hang around all year. While heading home, I noticed two (30) Magpies, flying over.

The rest of New Years Day was spend doing family stuff, cooking, eating etc. Additionally, I had postponed some honey-do-list times to ‘next year’, which apparently needed to be done right at the start of that year. I did have to opportunity though to point out the hovering nearby Kestrel to my sons in the afternoon, and it decided to perch quite close, so we all could have a nice look (evidently, the camera was back at home).

A quick turn around the pond area to close and lock the entrance gate yesterday morning added a fly-over (31) Great Cormorant, as last addition to the list for now. We drove back to Zurich yesterday, but plan to be back mid-February, if the weather is reasonable.

Some of the very obvious garden/property birds are missing. I feel especially let down by the finches. Normally, I see or hear Hawfinches very single day of the year, Goldfinches are more hit and miss, but I had hoped to be able to add them to the list with a bit of searching. A couple of Greenfinches had been around the last week of December, but no luck with them either. With regards to Bullfinches, I had little hope haven’t seen one this December, although my notes show some that I observed last October. Also, the resident, but shy Gray Herron, Mallards or less commonly seen waterbirds were absent.

I guess it leaves plenty of reasons and opportunity to add to the list over the next twelve months!!!


We arrived at our Zurich place yesterday, and there the bird-life was a bit less exciting – though quite noisy with, if I counted correctly, 22 (I)Magpies in a tree in the garden at the other side of the road. Two fly-over (II) Carrion Crows, as well as two cold looking
(III) Great Tits, and a female (IV) Chaffinch make up the full extend of the Zurich garden list so far.
Looking at the same two days last year Frank Jan 1-2 the totals were the same 22 and 30 respectively.
I added 5 more species for the year on the 3rd which finished me on 35 for the day, this am I’ve added Kestrel now 31….leaving 4 more to achieve last year’s parity….no pressure then! 😮
I never keep this up. But as it stands whilst it is wet & windy and I have spent some time at home:-

European Robin
Common Woodpigeon
Eurasian Blackbird
Feral Pigeon
Black-headed Gull
Herring Gull
Little Egret
Great White Egret
Common Magpie
Eurasian Jackdaw
Coal Tit
Eurasian Blue Tit
Great Tit
Eurasian Blackcap
Common Starling
House Sparrow
Carrion Crow
Long-tailed Tit
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Common Gull
Great Cormorant

All the best

My first proper morning session, two hours either side of breakfast...........
January 4th
22. Mallard
- 2 over
23. Sparrowhawk - perched on a nearby roof
24. Little Egret - one over
25. Pied Wagtail - one over
26. Coal Tit - singing well
27. House Sparrow - one messing around
28. Buzzard - one over
29. Skylark - an unexpected one over
30. Peregrine - one over low
Five of these were proper year-ticks, so a good session.
4 more today thus far- CORMORANT high and East, followed by (a generally difficult one for me, although they breed just a few hundred metres away) COLLARED DOVE.
Then not one, but two SONG THRUSH in the hedge, followed by a hovering FIRECREST barely 2metres away, as I tucked into my lunch!
= 36

Poor Man’s Snowy Owl and a case of not seeing the Wood….for the trees.😊


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#34-38 today:

Lesser Black-backed Gull - should have seen that already.
Mute Swan - likewise.
Stock Dove - they breed across the road, but are less obvious in winter, but a few courting birds seen in the garden this morning.
Cormorant - usually some sat in the trees across the road, surprised it took 4 days to get one.
Greylag Goose - a high, and vocal, skein of 8 was unusual, always a bit patchy in winter and I’ve not seen any for 5 months, so it was nice to connect.

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