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kb57's 2020 list (1 Viewer)

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
25th March, NW Durham

Work hasn't abated, I'm just doing it from home instead of the office or out on site...

Common Chiffchaff (heard only)
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
This lockdown is really getting to me - loads of deadlines piling up, and I hate working from home...at the same time can't feel too sorry for myself as I still have a functioning business, at least for now. A couple of additions from the past week...

12th April: north Newcastle on Tyne
Called up to my partner's place with shopping and walked to the local open space. Finally caught up with meadow pipit! Willow warblers earlier than last year

95. Meadow Pipit
Willow Warbler (heard-only)

14th April: NW Durham
Woke early and took a short walk out into the local woods. Still didn't manage to see a chiffchaff, but got a great view of a drumming GSW, and a willow warbler singing from the top of a small birch tree.

96. Willow Warbler

(18th April: 'is this a willow tit?', asks my partner, texting me a BOC shot of a willow tit from her garden feeder...)
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
25th April: near Ponteland, Northumberland

My weekly foray into the dangerous world of the supermarket to shop for myself and partner, this time I thought I'd give Waitrose a try and treat ourselves to some posh grub for lockdown. Better class of idiot here I suppose, wealth clearly has no bearing on one individual's ability to follow arrows in the correct direction (after I called him an 'idiot' and the woman behind me told him to get away from her, then the lady behind the fish counter shouted at him, he seemed to get the message...).

Foraging excursion completed, I was rewarded by a couple of swallows sitting on wires near a farm on the journey back.

97. Barn Swallow

26th April: north Newcastle on Tyne

At my partner's place the willow tit I thought I'd heard singing nearby a few weeks ago, and she managed to photograph last week. came back to the sunflower seeds for another helping. Class addition to my threadbare year list.

98. Willow Tit
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
29th April: NW Durham

Woke early after a not very restful night and decided to go for a walk in the local woods - weather about to break this afternoon after a long dry spell.

Willow warblers are still common in these parts, in fact I counted a 2:1 ratio to chiffchaffs in terms of territories on my short walk. Finally got a look at a chiffchaff too, with a willow warbler conveniently just behind me for a ready comparison of features.

99. Common Chiffchaff

Returning to the village, I heard a familiar call I couldn't place at first, then saw a grey wagtail fly over and perch on telephone wires close by me - strange!
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
14th May: NW Durham

First thing I saw when I opened the curtains this morning was a GSW on the telegraph pole outside my house - next thing I noticed was the sunshine, so decided to go for a short walk before starting work.
Finally caught up with a blackcap in my local woodland which has been giving me the runaround...singing high in the canopy. After proving ridiculously elusive, a worthy #100 species. Good views of singing chiffchaffs and a foraging treecreeper too.

100. Eurasian Blackcap
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
15th May: north Newcastle on Tyne

A new species for both my year list and my partner's garden list, pausing briefly on the fence before heading for the more familiar habitat of a nearby hawthorn bush.

101. Common Whitethroat

16th May: Rothbury, Northumberland

Staying within the new lockdown guidance, but not heading for the countryside without purpose - had to deliver some groceries to a friend and adjust their lawnmower, all whilst maintaining appropriate social distancing! Took the opportunity for a walk along the riverside to Thropton, rewarded by a couple of typical riparian species.

102. Sand Martin
103. Common Sandpiper
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
18th May: Druridge Bay, Northumberland

We've been missing the sea during lockdown, but thought (probably correctly) it was best to avoid the weekends. Quite a lot of cars parked along the Druridge Pools road on Monday in any event, although the beach was quiet. Although its probably peak whimbrel time just now, we gave the nature reserve a miss, as we didn't think the narrow paths and hides allowed for sufficient social distancing. The sea proved sufficiently distracting though, with gannets and Sandwich terns actively fishing in the bay, and two red-throated divers quite close inshore - one still in non-breeding plumage (last year's juvenile??). Great view of a sedge warbler singing from a treetop at the edge of the nature reserve too.

104. Sandwich Tern
105. Northern Gannet
106. Red-throated Loon
107. Common Swift
108. Sedge Warbler
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
23rd May: north Newcastle on Tyne

My partner had seen a reed warbler a couple of days ago in a wetland a short walk from her home, so I was keen to have a look myself. The wind didn't help, but did hear it singing distantly. Somewhat belatedly added house martin to the year list, a few flying over the wetland giving good views.

Reed Warbler (heard only)
109. House Martin
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Not been on Bird Forum, keeping up my list or getting out birding much for that matter - still at home working most of the time...so this may be a little incomplete, but here goes:

30th May: north Newcastle on Tyne
Flyover common tern over an inland wetland

110. Common Tern

June I have the following listed with no dates-

Northumberland Coast

111. Whinchat
112. Northern Wheatear

Newcastle on Tyne

113. Black-legged Kittiwake

30th June - escaped from lockdown perhaps a tad prematurely for a trip to the Algarve, mostly casual birding in between doing holiday stuff

1st July: Santa Luzia

114. Yellow-legged Gull
115. Mediterranean Gull
116. Little Tern
117. Kentish Plover
118. Greater Flamingo
119. Little Owl

2nd July: Santa Luzia

120. White Stork
121. Eurasian Hoopoe
122. Serin
123. Audouin's Gull
124. Great Egret
125. Black-winged Stilt
126. Zitting Cisticola
127. Common Waxbill (* 2014)
Eurasian Stone-curlew (heard-only)

3rd July: Santa Luzia

128. Whimbrel
129. Iberian Grey Shrike
130. Avocet
131. Crested Lark
132. Eurasian Spoonbill

4th July: Guadiana Valley

133. Iberian Magpie
134. Golden Oriole (*22/04/1973 - 'heard only' more recently)
135. European Bee-Eater (*2018?)

Golden oriole has been a bit of a bogey bird for me since seeing one in my youth, frustratingly heard in tall poplars in a number of trips to Europe without so much as a glimpse. No less than 3 separate birds in quick succession here, and some great views! Checked under a lot of bridges for white-rumped swift, didn't realise there's only about half a dozen pairs in Portugal...

5th July: near Santa Luzia

136. Red-rumped Swallow
 
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kb57

Well-known member
Europe
August additions (need to check dates)

St. Abb's Head

137. Great Skua
138. Spotted Flycatcher (* 2016?)

north Newcastle on Tyne

139. Tawny Owl

September additions so far

6th September: St. Mary's Island

140. European Golden Plover

9th September: near Uxbridge (work trip)

141. Rose-ringed Parakeet

Ordinarily I'd plan a work trip south to try and call off somewhere interesting on the way - but now I buy myself enough snacks to last two days, then only stop for petrol and hole up overnight in a Premier Inn - still paranoid about this darn virus!
 
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kb57

Well-known member
Europe
21st Sep: Gullane Point / Aberlady Bay

A few days 'staycation' in East Lothian and Fife, should've been at Lake Kerkini this week if it hadn't been for a certain virus...
Great views of a dark-phase Arctic skua from Gullane Point causing havoc at the mouth of Aberlady Bay, and a Barwit close up on the channel near the footbridge.
Lots of pinkfeet around, and a peregrine was a year list addition for my partner.

142. Parasitic Jaeger
143. Bar-tailed Godwit

24th Sep: Gosford Bay

Quite a few mergansers in the bay, plus distant 'scope views through the rain of a couple of Slavonian grebes, moulting out of summer plumage.

144. Red-breasted Merganser
145. Horned Grebe

West Wemyss

First time visit to the Fife coast, aside from a few unidentified pipistrelles the first addition to my mammal list for quite some time.

8. Harbour Seal

25th Sep: Fife Ness

I realised how far off the seawatching pace I've dropped from my younger days when I failed to pick up a majority of the sooty shearwaters heading north. Pelagics have spoiled me for sure!

146. Common Scoter
147. Sooty Shearwater
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
4th Oct: St. Mary's Island

My no-twitch rule is holding firm, apart from one lapse in Bedfordshire earlier this year (GG shrike, ring-necked duck...), and I've resisted going after the plethora of rarities and scarcities on the NE coast.
Couldn't help but go to see the numerous goldcrests (and smaller numbers of blackcaps) today, in the hope of self-finding something rarer. Apart from a possible YBW 'heard only', the only addition to the year list was at the opposite end of the taxonomic spectrum - 32 barnacle geese overhead. Goldcrest was a year list tick for my partner though, and she was happy to see them fly within a few feet of us.

148. Barnacle Goose
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
11th Oct: Holy Island

Did a quick(ish) walk down Straight Lonnen, across dunes and along coast to Crooked Lonnen then back, as my partner needed to get back in time to see Nadal demolish Djokovic in the French Open final.
The main migrants around seemed to be blackbirds, with a few redwings. Good views of two merlins over the dunes, and lots of bar-tailed godwits on the beach, ahead of the inevitable arrival of the dog walkers. Saw a diver in the bay west of Emmanuel Point which was clearly no RTD, white patch near the tail clinched it as black-throated, although it was moulting with a somewhat atypical head pattern. A flypast diver at the point actually looked like another BTD in more classic winter plumage, but I couldn't be 100% certain as I didn't have the scope unpacked at that point. Oh, and lots of brent geese on the mudflats on the way over....thought they were on my list from last winter but apparently not...

149. Brent Goose
150. Merlin
151. Black-throated Loon
 
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kb57

Well-known member
Europe
12th Dec: Morpeth, Northumberland

Spent most of November in my home office, venturing into the local woods once or twice, with no real opportunity to add to the year list.

I've done most of my Christmas shopping on line, but visited a pop-up shop to buy a selection of local beers for gifts, followed by a walk along the Wansbeck. Urban birding has its advantages, not least the greater degree of habituation to human presence - great close-up views of goosander and little grebe, and a kingfisher unconcerned by our presence on the opposite bank.

152. Common Kingfisher
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
17th Dec: Lindisfarne, Northumberland

Very welcome day off work for a trip up to Lindisfarne. Started off on the mainland near the causeway, at a spot where we've frequently seen a twite flock - nothing around today, either they're not around or were invisible feeding out on the saltmarsh.
Very quiet in terms of both people and birds on Holy Island, although a small flock of grey plover overhead was a welcome and somewhat overdue addition to the year list. Incoming tides forced us off the island with enough daylight to visit the saltmarsh at Lowmoor Point, have a quick scan of Budle Bay, and call into Stag Rocks for a last look at the sea in the fading light. Added pintail to the year list at Fenham-le-Moor, and enjoyed great views of a large grey seal at Stag Rocks, as well as a decent sized flock of roosting purple sandpipers which periodically took off in a tight flock.

153. Grey Plover
154. Northern Pintail* (2018-Saltholme)
 

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