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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
 

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