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

KB57s 2022 year list (1 Viewer)

May 20: Perthshire, Scotland
Driving up the A93 en route to a walking weekend with my son and partner's son, a couple of red-legged partridges just made it across the road.

104. Red-legged Partridge

May 20: Glenshee
Walking to Carn a Gheoidh from the ski centre - hoping for a little more high altitude avian diversity than red grouse and meadow pipits, although did get some great views of mountain hares.

105. Willow Ptarmigan*

11. Mountain Hare
May 21: Lochnagar, Scotland
A total of 3 ptarmigans seen during our walk up Lochnagar. Kept my eyes open for raptors (when I wasn't looking at the ground) but apart from a few meadow pipits the walk was relatively quiet. It would be great if people actually took notice of the 'dogs on leads' signs though, perhaps otherwise it would've been a bit more interesting.

106. Rock Ptarmigan*

Spittal of Glenmuik
Back in the valley, a few sand martins flying around, and finally caught up with a small herd of red deer.

107. Sand Martin

12. Red Deer
03 June: NW Durham
Can't believe it's taken me almost half the year to add jay to my year list - a reflection on the lower number of local walks I'm doing post-lockdown. This one gave up waiting for me to look for it, and perched on my garden fence while I was having my morning cup of tea. A new addition to the garden list too.

108. Eurasian Jay
June 11: Hareshaw Linn, Northumberland
Staying up near Bellingham for the weekend for my son and daughter-in-law's Covid-delayed wedding reception, rearranged for summer when they could finally invite all their friends. Great weekend - and I still managed to squeeze in a little birding, although no time to explore the North Tyne in search of the local Mandarin population.
Took a walk through upland broadleaved ancient woodland to Hareshaw Linn waterfall before the festivities, I reckon over 50 years since my last visit - 06 May 1972 according to my sadly incomplete records, when I added siskin (#122) and marsh tit (#123) to my year list. Saw a couple of siskin again today, but no marsh tits...but happy in particular to add spotted flycatcher to the year list, as well as finally connecting with lesser redpoll and nuthatch this year. Certainly no nuthatches around here 50 years ago, the closest population then was down near Hamsterley Forest in SW Durham.

109. Lesser Redpoll
110. Spotted Flycatcher*
111. Eurasian Nuthatch

June 12: near Bellingham, Northumberland
'Sir, on June 12 at around 9pm, I distinctly heard the call of a cuckoo'...

Common Cuckoo (heard only)
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June 16: Stockton on Tees
A few additions to the mammal list with the help of a fancy Swiss detector I was using - mostly common pipistrelles, but it alerted me to a Myotis species and a noctule flying overhead. The former may yet get identified with sound analysis, although they are tricky to assign to species.

13. Myotis sp. bat
14. Noctule
June 18: Bellingham, Northumberland
My partner left her fleece behind in the lodge we stayed at last weekend, so it was a good excuse to return and have a walk by the river - managed to finally see a Eurasian treecreeper in some riparian alder woodland, and connect with the small local population of Mandarins on this section of the North Tyne - a female with a brood of 5 ducklings in fact...as well as seeing another spotted flycatcher.

112. Eurasian Treecreeper
113. Mandarin
June 28: Santa Luzia, Portugal
Back to our usual haunts in the eastern Algarve - decided against hiring a car this year so we're limited to the Santa Luzia - Tavira area. Not really a birding trip either...more chilling out, doing a few beach walks, and attending to some business in Tavira. That said, Ria Formosa SPA is always going to provide some additions to the year list...
After a late evening arrival from Newcastle, we woke to the inevitable YLGs on the marsh opposite, with a number of little terns fishing in the channel - this was a species we saw a lot of during our stay, but which is absent when we normally visit in October. A walk through the village to buy breakfast provisions added house martin to the year list, before another belated addition (for me) over breakfast on the terrace, in the form of little egret.
The ferry to Terra Estreita provided views of Mediterranean and Audouin's gulls in the channel, before chilling on the beach. Had to be a little discreet with the binoculars due to some topless sunbathers nearby, but saw a few more flyover Audouin's (usually confined to the channel and salt pans later in the year), Kentish plovers foraging along the waterline, a crested lark on the beach, and a few mostly immature gannets offshore. Not bad for a non-birding day!

114. Yellow-legged Gull
115. Little Tern*
116. House Martin
117. Little Egret
118. Mediterranean Gull
119. Audouin's Gull
120. Kentish Plover
121. Crested Lark
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June 29: Santa Luzia, Portugal
Amongst the large numbers of common swifts seen from our balcony yesterday, I'd been 80% convinced there were a few pallid swifts, both in terms of call and plumage, but hadn't got a convincing view. Saw a couple of definite pallid this morning though, separate from the common swifts, and giving good views of both upper and underparts.
Walked through the salt pans to Tavira for a meeting - didn't have much time to linger, but added a good number of 'expected' species for the time of year, including a couple of foraging bee-eaters, as well as good views of a couple of early-returning black-tailed godwits. Later, back in the narrow streets of Santa Luzia, a much more unexpected sighting was a glossy ibis low overhead heading for the salt marsh. White stork on the marshes and viewed from our apartment completed the day's new year list additions.

122. Pallid Swift*
123. Iberian Magpie
124. Black-winged Stilt
125. Greater Flamingo
126. Black-tailed Godwit
127. European Bee-eater*
128. Zitting Cisticola
129. Glossy Ibis
130. White Stork
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June 30: Santa Luzia, Portugal
Lots of birds, but only one addition to the year list today, at the start of the walk to Barril beach as part of our SL - Pedras del Rey - Barril - Terra Estreita walking circuit.

131. Sardinian Warbler
Jul 01: Tavira / Santa Luzia, Portugal
Got the bus to Tavira, then took a ferry ride downriver to the beach and back - normally this is good for waders later in the year, but the most notable was a curlew on the return trip - although foraging little terns around the boat and flamingos on the salt pans provided ample avian interest.
The busy path to the beach was notable for a very tame serin singing from the top of a bush right by the path, and giving excellent views.
Back at Santa Luzia, we added a hoopoe crossing the channel to Tavira island, and a small group of spoonbills viewed on the marsh from our apartment.

132. European Serin*
133. Eurasian Hoopoe
134. Eurasian Spoonbill
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Jul 02: Santa Luzia, Portugal
Our only real birding of the trip - on the Santa Luzia salt pans - failed to add any new species to the year list, but was rewarding nonetheless. Excellent views of Zitting Cisticola, serin, Iberian magpie, Kentish plover, crested larks and black-winged stilts, with the undoubted highlight of an extended period of watching up to 4 foraging bee-eaters.
Later that evening we headed in the opposite direction from the village for some owling - a reliable spot for little owl. We saw a total of 3 perched on wires and periodically dropping to the ground to hunt. My partner spotted most of them first, but unfortunately didn't get onto the star of the evening very quickly - a red-necked nightjar which flew along the field boundary opposite us, crossed the road giving excellent views of wing patches in the street lights, then headed out onto the darkness of the salt marsh. Lifer #2 of the year!

135. Little Owl*
136. Red-necked Nightjar
Jul 03: Santa Luzia, Portugal
Did a long beach walk today from the village via Barril, back along to the east end of Tavira island, catching the ferry back to town. Only one addition, a fairly distant but distinctive great egret viewed across the marsh from Pedras del Rey. Kept looking offshore as there was a fairly fresh onshore breeze, but best of the seabird action was a close in group of immature gannets.

137. Great Egret*

All in all, despite not doing a great deal of birding and not renting a car, we saw a lot of birds...there were still a few omissions which we might have expected to see in this area, such as red-rumped swallow and common waxbill (seen previously in the Santa Luzia salt pans area) and spotless starling (in urban Tavira), but I'll happily pass on all those in return for the nightjar, owl and bee-eater action.
Jul 10: Whitley Bay, North Tyneside
A late afternoon trip to the refurbished Spanish City (as featured in Dire Straits' lyrics) for a coffee and cake in warm sunshine, followed by a walk along the promenade to St. Mary's Island in comparable temperatures to our recent Portugal trip.
This takes you past an area of undisturbed rocky foreshore between the dog walkers on the beach and the rock poolers around the causeway, giving excellent views of redshanks, a few turnstones, and a couple of common sandpipers. Good to see everyone respecting the seal haul-out / high tide roost area beyond the lighthouse too, although there were only a couple of grey seals visible when we were there today.

138. Common Sandpiper
Nice. Not a bird I’ve seen for a few years
County Durham and Tyneside remain relative strongholds, they're still hanging on here - my partner on the northern edge of Newcastle gets them in her garden occasionally too, and I've heard and seen them in my local woods. In contrast marsh tits require a bit more effort, perhaps reflecting the fact we don't have a high cover of mature broadleaved woodland up here.
Really though we should be putting more effort into willow tit conservation, where we have a globally endangered subspecies in Britain, instead of spending money introducing globally common species like white storks.
I agree. Its much harder work but ultimately far more important. They're both rare by us. There are a few pairs of Marsh on my local patch at cosmeston but I can't think of anywhere else nearby and only one place for willow in county where they sometimes come to seed in winter but are very hard to see otherwise
Aug 06: North Newcastle on Tyne
Remember to put water out in your garden in dry weather...you might get to add hedgehog to your mammal list...

15. Hedgehog

A day off work on Aug 08 with my partner and a walk up at St. Abb's Head failed to add anything to my bird or mammal list, although there'd been a few cetacean sitings reported - and last time I was here in August we saw a bonxie - nothing disturbing the rafts of kittiwakes today though. Partner did add sedge warbler to her year list, and we did have a great walk in superb weather.


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Sep 18: St. Mary's Island, North Tyneside
Had a spare afternoon so decided to head for the coast, walking from Old Hartley to the lighthouse car park and back, then inland to take in Holywell Dene and Pond. Much to my surprise, the Lapland bunting which had been reported on Twitter for the past few days was still there and giving great views - in fact some people had seen 2 birds. I think this is my first UK bird, and first I've seen for decades - in fact since I found a nest in actual Lapland whilst walking in northern Sweden.
Flocks of golden plover back in the area too.

141. European Golden Plover
142. Lapland Longspur *
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