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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

KB57s 2021 list (1 Viewer)

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
May 26: Uxbridge, London
Discussions on another thread reached the conclusion that an EV wasn't the best choice for long-distance twitching, but it worked in my favour this morning. After a long day via a site in York, meeting in Leeds, top up at a fast charger near Chesterfield, and diversion across country to the M40 due to an accident causing long delays on the M1, I ended up at my hotel in Uxbridge with only 30 miles range left in my battery. Too tired to top up that night, I plugged in to a DC charger in Lidl car park the following morning, and went for a 45 minute walk down the Grand Union Canal, and back up the River Colne on part of the 'London Loop' footpath.
A pair of Mandarins on the canal were great to see, then a Cetti's warbler by the Colne did its usual 'burst into song right next to me then disappear' act. Fortunately it had only flown across the river, and proceeded to sing for some time in plain sight on top of a tangle of vegetation. Brilliant view!

115. Mandarin
116. Cetti's Warbler
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
May 26: South Buckinghamshire
Forgot to add another addition to the mammal list, seen in a woodland whilst out on site.

11. Fallow Deer

Jun 01: NW Durham
After a long and frustrating day at the office, I stepped out of the door to see a green woodpecker fly off onto a nearby patch of grass, then into a small patch of birch trees, where it gave a loud call (BF autocorrect insists on describing it as a 'waffle'). I think this is the first one I've seen in 15 years of working here.

Jun 02: NW Durham
Really stressed out with work at the moment, didn't sleep well and then the dawn chorus woke me up as I'd left the window open. Decided to try and chill with a truncated version of one of my local March walks, setting off before the sun burned the fog off. Added willow warbler (about a 2:1 ratio with chiffchaffs up here, which is encouraging), blackcap and swallow to the walking from home green list. I'd harboured ambitions of adding redstart - a local wood looks just right, but I guess I'm just not quite far west enough in the county. What was more frustrating was hearing two garden warblers without so much as a glimpse - the second at close range, with a willow warbler and chaffinch in the same patch of scrub doing their best to distract me.

Garden Warbler (heard-only)
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Jun 09: Craigleith and Bass Rock, East Lothian
A few days off to chill, get the train into Edinburgh, and drive across to Midlothian to meet up with my son and his fiancee. Not much birding apart from an hour out on the catamaran cruise around Craigleith and Bass Rock. 160,000 gannets and a much smaller number of guillemots and shags were sharing the island with at least one rock pipit.

117. Atlantic Puffin
118. European Rock Pipit

Some great views of urban dippers and grey wagtails along the Water of Leith, but I missed the otter spotted by my partner - we've had great views here in the past of otters.
 
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kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Jul 11: Warkworth, Northumberland
As so frequently happens at this time of year, work becomes all-consuming and I don't get much opportunity for birding, or anything else for that matter. Managed to motivate myself to drive up to Warkworth beach and do a short coastal walk - young black-headed gulls and terns around, newly-fledged from Coquet Island. Starting to get that early autumn feel too, with flocks of lapwings and a few flypast curlews. Partner thought she had a single whimbrel too, which I unfortunately missed, although not a year list tick for us.

119. Common Tern
120. Arctic Tern
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Aug 10: near Sacriston, Co. Durham
Haven't been out birding for ages, using the weekends just to chill when I can and watch the willow tits (at least 2) which are now regular visitors to my partner's sunflower seed feeder.
One more for the mammal list though: heading out on site today down a quiet farm track, a bank vole ran across in front of me.

12. Bank vole
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Aug 22: Warkworth beach, Northumberland
I've more or less given up on my year list this year, in the sense of any kind of planning in the hope of adding target species. That said, an afternoon trip to the Northumberland coast in August always brings up some possibilities, even if limited to our well-worn circuit around Warkworth beach.
It was really busy with people and even more dogs when we arrived, so much so that we diverted off to a quiet dune-top for a picnic and seawatch - this proved a good move, with lots of guillemots on the water, and a dark-phase Arctic skua which took off and harassed the rafts of mostly immature herring gulls from time to time. I hadn't realised my partner wasn't fully aware of their feeding behaviour before now, and was suitably disgusted - I'm struggling to turn her into a skua fan! Despite the sometimes high levels of disturbance, our short coastal walk produced a flock of ringed plover, and a nice summer-plumage dunlin, while a summer-plumage red-throated diver fishing close inshore on a rising spring tide was a belated year-list tick.

121. Parasitic Jaeger
122. Red-throated Loon
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Sep 19: Boulmer, Northumberland
(BF autocorrect driving me crazy - no, I was not in Colorado at the weekend....)
Went for a short coastal walk in the afternoon - whenever we come to this part of the coast we tend to head south towards Alnmouth, but headed north today for a change.
Round about high tide so lots of waders roosting on rocks, giving excellent views, and mostly remaining undisturbed thankfully. Lots of dunlin and redshank, plus turnstones, ringed plover and bar-tailed godwits. Golden plover flying around, and curlews in the fields. Checked the wader roosts carefully, as I know there'd been a semi-palmated sandpiper seen here recently, but the only odd one out we managed to spot was a single knot.
What wasn't so great was seeing a razorbill close inshore, and a dead auk sp. floating on the tide - something going very wrong with guillemots and razorbills on the North Sea coast of Britain at the moment, emaciated corpses being washed up and people reporting razorbills coming into estuaries to feed.

123. Red Knot
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Oct 03: Santa Luzia, Portugal
Happy to escape to our regular holiday destination again - just a week-long trip planned with a mixture of chilling out and attending to other matters, and less time for birding than usual (we weren't, for example, going to the Sagres Birdwatching Festival this year).
We arrived to find out too late that the Terra Estreita ferry was on its last day of operation for the year - this was our favourite place to chill, with the added attraction of being one of the best places to see Audouin's gulls on the short journey to the jetty on the Ria Formosa. After a very early start, we'd decided anyway to stay in Santa Luzia. One day I'll take the trouble to sort out the immature YLGs from the LBBs and improve my gulling skills, but this was not the day....added grey plover and spoonbill from the apartment balcony, then a walk to the east of the village produced cattle egrets perched on sheep's backs.

124. Yellow-legged Gull
125. Grey Plover
126. Cattle Egret
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Oct 04: Tavira, Portugal
I'm not a great fan of the more developed beach resort at the western end of Isla da Tavira, but the ferry downriver is good for birds - added white stork plus lots of flamingos on the salt pans, plus a female marsh harrier circling near the landing stage - I think this is actually the first we've seen on our Algarve trips. Mediterranean gulls are more or less nailed-on certainties along the seaward side of the island. The tide was going out on the return journey, providing more optimal conditions for waders - as well as the usual ringed plover, turnstone, sanderling, grey plover and whimbrel, we added curlew and a small group of little stints.

127. White Stork
128. Greater Flamingo
129. Mediterranean Gull
130. Western Marsh Harrier
131. Little Stint
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Oct 05: Terra Estreita, Portugal
A national holiday in Portugal, so lots of people out and about. We found relative solitude at Terra Estreita by taking a water taxi to the jetty from Santa Luzia (no Audouin's on the way unfortunately..), then walking back to Santa Luzia via Barril and the path alongside the narrow-gauge railway. No pied flycatchers at Barril, but we did add a couple of resident passerines in the dune scrub near Terra Estreita.

132. Sardinian Warbler
133. Zitting Cisticola
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Oct 08: Terra Estreita, Portugal
Our last chance to add Audouin's gull from the water taxi failed again (and we didn't have time to visit the adjoining salt pans east of Santa Luzia where they often roost), but we did see our first black-tailed godwit of the year on the sides of the channel. I don't know why I wasn't paying attention when my partner went off on the beach and came back with some excellent photos of a Kentish plover....I thought she was just photographing sanderling, while I was focussed offshore hoping for something more interesting amongst the gannets...

134. Black-tailed Godwit
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Oct 10: Tavira, Portugal
Some matters to attend to in Tavira in the morning; walking back to the car park along the Gilau river, my partner spotted a Caspian tern which circled around and gave great views.

135. Caspian Tern

Ludo saltpans and golf course, Faro
A late-afternoon visit on our last full day in Portugal was the first time we'd got out to do some targeted birding, with a circuit from the west end of the airport runway to the golf course and back through the salt pans. Great for waders as usual and an excellent flypast osprey, although we dipped on slender-billed gull which we've seen quite frequently here in the past. No pied flycatchers around the golf course either, although we finally saw two regular species here which had eluded us in the past - glossy ibis and the established population of black-headed weaver. I got one back on my partner with a lone red-rumped swallow over the golf course whilst she was engrossed in photographing a hoopoe.

135. Crested Lark
136. Black-winged Stilt
137. Common Greenshank
138. Western Osprey
139. Iberian Magpie
140. Hoopoe
141. Black-headed Weaver
142. Red-rumped Swallow
143. Glossy Ibis
144. Western Purple Swamphen
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
November 14: Isla de Tavira / Tavira, Portugal
Back in Portugal for a few days, staying in Tavira this time - again not entirely a holiday and only a couple of opportunities for incidental birding. No car this trip, so got a taxi to Santa Luzia and walked via Barril and the beach to Terra Estreita jetty, where we'd booked a water taxi back to town. Caught up with a few dips from the previous month, with a Kentish plover amongst some sanderlings near the jetty, and a small group of Audouin's gulls on the channel between Terra Estreita and Tavira. A small park in the city with two tall trees is a favourite spot for spotless starlings.
The following day we were stuck in town, but a beer by the river on a receding tide was not without interest, with two Caspian terns circling around and fishing, where we'd seen one last month.

145. Kentish Plover
146. Audouin's Gull
147. Spotless Starling
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
November 16: Santa Luzia saltpans
Got a water taxi to Santa Luzia for lunch, then walked back to Tavira through the saltpans - quite a few waders about, including my first avocets of the year. 90% certain I saw a black redstart disappearing over a bund, but not a countable view. Some good views of Sardinian warblers, and really a lot of chiffchaffs around at the moment.

148. Pied Avocet
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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