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KB57's 2018 list (1 Viewer)


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My New Year's resolution is not to get sucked into trying to better my 2017 British year list...instead, I'm going to try and make 2018 a bit more about birding experiences.
If my plans come to fruition this will hopefully involve building my life list a little more. So this is going to be a 'world' list, using IOC taxonomy. For those who don't like lower case, I'm going to treat species as proper names, but in doing so, I'm afraid I'm also going to offend the loon-haters by sticking as faithfully I can to IOC taxonomy (within the limitations of my current version of Scythebill).
For those who viewed my 2017 year list (thank you BTW!) I'm ditching the asterisk for 'not seen previous year', and putting any lifers I'm lucky enought to see in bold, not capitals.

So, a slow start, only getting out of the house and reaching the coast with an hour of daylight left.
1st Jan, Northumberland
1. Common Chaffinch
2. Dunnock
3. European Robin
4. Common Blackbird
5. Great Tit
6. Eurasian Blue Tit
7. House Sparrow
8. European Greenfinch
9. Common Wood Pigeon
10. European Goldfinch
11. Lesser Redpoll
12. Eurasian Siskin
13. Coal Tit
14. Carrion Crow
15. Eurasian Bullfinch
16. Common Buzzard
17. Common Kestrel
18. Common Starling

Low Newton-by-the-Sea
19. Great Black-backed Gull
20. Black-headed Gull
21. European Herring Gull
22. Common Redshank
23. Eurasian Oystercatcher
24. Eurasian Rock Pipit
25. Purple Sandpiper
26. Ruddy Turnstone
27. European Stonechat
28. White Wagtail (yarrellii - pied wagtail)
29. Great Cormorant
30. Common Eider
31. Eurasian Collared Dove
32. Northern Lapwing
33. Eurasian Curlew
34. Eurasian Teal
35. Common Moorhen
36. Eurasian Wigeon
37. Dunlin
38. Mallard
39. Rook
40. European Golden Plover
41. Common Pheasant

2nd Jan
Longhorsley, Northumberland
42. Western Jackdaw
Co. Durham
43. Eurasian Magpie
44. Eurasian Coot
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Slow start to the year...working not birding!

4th Jan, Co. Durham
45. Great Spotted Woodpecker


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My usual lunchtime walk (when I'm stuck in the office all day) past the local park

5th Jan, Co. Durham
46. Long-tailed Tit


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Driving to Newcastle to watch the FA Cup game...
6th Jan, Bolam Lake, Northumberland
47. Mute Swan
Newcastle Quayside
48. Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)

7th Jan
Afternoon stroll along the River Coquet, and a brief couple of stops on the estuary between Warkworth and Amble
49. Eurasian Wren
50. Common Goldeneye
51. Grey Heron


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21st January, Wallington Hall, Northumberland
First chance for a while to get out into the countryside and see some birds. Ponds all frozen, so woodland species in snow was the order of the day here.

52. Goldcrest
53. Marsh Tit
54. Brambling
55. Eurasian Nuthatch


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A couple more additions made in the course of travel. Nice view of my first owl of the year flying just in front of my car one night, and common / mew gulls in a favoured field where I often see a flock - first time I've seen them this year although I drive past quite often, milder weather and muck spreading likely attracting them back.

22nd Jan, Cornsay Colliery, Co. Durham
56. Tawny Owl

26th Jan, High Hedleyhope, Co. Durham
57. Mew Gull


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27th Jan, driving across Simonside Hills, Northumberland

58. Willow Ptarmigan (ssp. scoticus - red grouse)

28th Jan, Old Swarland, Northumberland

59. Northern Raven

My first 'lowland' raven in Northumberland, not uncommon in winter in parts of e.g. lowland Staffordshire, but I think this will raise a few eyebrows when I submit the record.

Hauxley, Northumberland
My first visit to this nature reserve since the new visitor centre was built - I have to say impressions were positive, especially the helpful volunteer from NWT who showed us round the centre. Added a few to the year list too in the hour or so we spent there.

60. Pink-footed Goose (in fields off the access road)
61. Canada Goose (feral pop.)
62. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
63. Tufted Duck
64. Common Shelduck
65. Gadwall


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Driving to Newcastle, my first red kite of the year in Burnopfield soon followed by two more in Rowland's Gill
1st Feb, Burnopfield, Co. Durham

66. Red Kite

2nd Feb, working in Heysham, Lancashire

67. Common Snipe
68. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
69. Lesser Black-backed Gull
(while I was there, thought it rude not to renew my acquaintance with:)
70. Red-billed Chough

Helpful tipoff from a birder at the chough site led to:
Blea Tarn Reservoir, Lancaster

71. Black-throated Loon
72. Great Crested Grebe

3rd Feb, visit to the gym in Durham, rewarded this time by

73. Common Merganser
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4th Feb, afternoon out at Lindisfarne

Stopped to watch and listened to a a flying flock of pink-footed geese before we'd reached the coast, a foretaste of good birding to come.

First Beal, landward end of causeway - stopped briefly to see if last year's twite flock was around, as well as brent geese in the fields. Very distant and uncountable views of the twite, no geese, but:

74. Little Egret
75. Grey Partridge

Holy Island was quieter than usual, which was nice. Great view of a peregrine on the coast; whilst watching shag, goldeneyes and eiders offshore heard a panic-stricken oystercatcher as the peregrine flew behind us, landed briefly on the low cliffs nearby, before heading off over the foreshore.

76. Common Linnet
77. European Shag
78. Northern Fulmar
79. Sanderling
80. Peregrine Falcon
81. Meadow Pipit
82. Brant Goose (pale-bellied brent goose, ssp. hrota)
83. Black-tailed Godwit

Back on the mainland, brent geese were back in the field at Beal, and we enjoyed close views of ca. 25 twite feeding on the saltmarsh and settling in an ash tree right by us.

84. Twite

There was enough light at this stage to have called off at Fenham Flats to add to the wader list (knot and grey plover most likely), but a coffee in the nearby cafe at Beal beckoned.
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A few more incidental records that move my year list on, albeit slowly.

16th Feb, Heysham, Lancs.

85. Greylag Goose
86. Eurasian Skylark

18th Feb, Rothbury, Northumberland

87. Mistle Thrush

The next couple of weeks should hopefully be a bit more interesting...
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Bit of catching up to do with my year list.
Headed back to Hong Kong, 30 years after my first (and last) visit. Plan for first afternoon was to go up the Peak Tram, but 2 hour queue put us off, so...

21st February, Hong Kong Park
88. Black Kite (ssp. lineatus)
89. Red-whiskered Bulbul
90. Chinese Blackbird
91. Masked Laughingthrush
92. Yellow-crested Cockatoo (introduced, but I understand self-sustaining population)
93. Light-vented Bulbul

Victoria Harbour
94. Black-crowned Night Heron
White Wagtail (ssp. leucopsis)

22nd Feb, Lantau Island
Bad weather and poor visibility curtailed birding opportunities, including our planned walk, so additions were limited
95. Large-billed Crow
96. Japanese Tit (ssp. commixtus)
97. Red-billed Blue Magpie
98. Olive-backed Pipit
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23rd February, Mai Po Marshes

99. Little Grebe
100. Barn Swallow
101. Collared Crow
102. White-breasted Waterhen
103. Common Tailorbird
104. Daurian Redstart
105. Eastern Yellow Wagtail (ssp. taivana)
106. Black-capped Kingfisher
107. Great Egret
108. Chinese Pond Heron
109. Black-faced Spoonbill
110. Japanese White-eye
111. Common Greenshank
112. Greater Coucal
Zitting Cisticola (heard-only)
113. Northern Shoveler
114. Northern Pintail
115. Spotted Dove
116. Western Osprey
117. Black-collared Starling
118. Pied Avocet
119. Pacific Golden Plover
120. Grey Plover
121. Saunders's Gull
122. Far Eastern Curlew
123. Intermediate Egret
124. Eurasian Spoonbill
125. Oriental Magpie-Robin
126. Azure-winged Magpie (introduced - established pop.)
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24th February - travel day from HK to Kushiro, starting early and finishing late so not expecting any new additions, let alone a 'lifer'...

127. Dusky Thrush

2 at Tokyo airport, perched on the sky bridge as we waited for our connecting flight
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25th February - driving from Kushiro to Tsurui

128. Eastern Buzzard

Tsurui, Hokkaido

Ito-Tancho - lots of red-crowned cranes performing for the cameras, plus an inadvertent twitch of what I understand to be quite a rarity in Hokkaido.

129. Red-crowned Crane
130. Common Crane
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26th February

An early start at Otawa Bridge brought more cranes, but no additions to the year list

The feeders outside our lodging provided more new species and subspecies, I'll remember this morning as the time I was still excited to see a brown-eared bulbul...

131. Eurasian Jay (ssp. brandtii)
132. Brown-eared Bulbul
Marsh Tit (ssp. hensoni)

Lake Kussharo

133. Whooper Swan
134. Eastern Spot-billed Duck
Eurasian Nuthatch (ssp. asiatica)

Yoroushi Onsen

135. Brown Dipper
Great Spotted Woodpecker (ssp. japonicus)
136. Ural Owl
137. Blakiston's Fish Owl
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27th February - Yoroushi Onsen

Bit of a rest day, with the promise (fulfilled) of more Blakiston's fish-owl action in the evening.

138. Willow Tit (ssp. restrictus)
139. Hawfinch
140. Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker (ssp. seebohmi)
141. Solitary Snipe
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28th February Notsuke Peninsula and Odaitominatocho Harbour

First visit to the Hokkaido coast, only saw one species of alcid- well offshore but pretty certain they were just common guillemot - but other species didn't disappoint!

142. Slaty-backed Gull
143. Common Murre
144. White-winged Scoter (ssp. stejnegeri)
145. Black Scoter
146. Red-breasted Merganser
147. White-tailed Eagle
148. Glaucous Gull B :)B :)B :) (at last!!!)
149. Steller's Sea Eagle
150. Pelagic Cormorant (thought this was a lifer too, but seen in Pacific NW)
151. Greater Scaup
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1st March: Ochiishi harbour, Nemuro, Lake Furen

Weather closed in with strong winds precluding a hoped-for pelagic, so no more alcids. Predicted snowfall curtailed the day's birding, while Nemuro harbour was largely frozen. Scored with the rosy finches in Ochiishi though!

152. Asian Rosy Finch
153. Glaucous-winged Gull
154. Harlequin Duck
155. Grey-capped Greenfinch
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4th March: Eastern Palace Gardens, Tokyo

White Wagtail (ssp. lugens)

5th March: Miyakejima, Izu Islands

The well-trodden birder's route: arrive early morning - wait for dawn in bus shelter near nature centre - visit Tairo-Ito - walk back to harbour - seawatch from ferry on return to Tokyo

156. Japanese Wood Pigeon
Japanese White-eye (ssp. stejnegeri)
157. Owston's Tit
Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker (ssp. matsudairai)
Eurasian Wren (ssp. mosukai)
158. Japanese Cormorant
159. Common Kingfisher (although I may have missed this off my Mai Po list...)
160. Northern Goshawk
161. Izu Thrush
162. Streaked Shearwater
163. Black-tailed Gull
164. Blue Rock Thrush
165. Short-tailed Albatross

Ferry - north of Miyakejima - Oshima Triangle

166. Black-footed Albatross
167. Laysan Albatross
168. Black-legged Kittiwake
...and 'one that got away' - the briefest of views of a large (in storm-petrel terms) dark-rumped storm-petrel...
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7th March, Kyoto

Doing the tourist thing visiting temples, rewarded by another 'lifer'...

169. Pale Thrush
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