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Lazza's 2013 list (1 Viewer)


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A ride up to Druridge pools was rather productive, with nearly 40 species seen, including:

135. Little gull
136. Spoonbill

Also, a surprising sighting of a siskin at Cresswell.


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Called in at Rutland Water on the way back from some meetings down south, and had good views of my target species, which just happened to be a lifer!

137. Osprey

Very clear views of the a breeding pair, the male on a nearby perch and the female on the next with three chicks (also being streamed live on someone's iPad in the hide, from the video link on the Rutland Ospreys web site!).

Also, on the way back to the car, a

138. Green woodpecker

flew across the fields to the south into a small coppice.

Also, a quick mention for amphibians number two and three of the year, as I inadvertently pulled a common newt [2]out of our pond when clearing weeds at the weekend, and then had a common frog [3] watching us from the pond while we ate our lunch today!
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More progress over the last week, on a couple of long bike rides out into Northumberland.

Firstly, a trip up to Harwood forest in the hope of finding crossbill. The trees were devoid of cones, so no luck with the target species. But at Harwood gate, there was a lovely pair of:

139. Redstart

The this last weekend, a further bike ride, this time up past Forestburn gate. Heading towards Pigdon, a

140. Cuckoo

was calling from Willy's Wood, northwest of Morpeth. And after adding another fine redstart at Forestburn gate, and plenty of mipits on the moors, I added a life heading over Beacon Hill. This is a long-lasting omission from my UK list!

141. Garden Warbler

Two males were competing in a singing competition half way down to Morpeth from Beacon Hill, both showing reasonably well among the foliage.


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An odd week away with work, involving 2 days in Switzerland (via France), a night in Amsterdam, and two days in Copenhagen! Even though I only went through France in transit, driving over to Martigny from Geneva via Chamonix, I managed to add a lifer! I stopped off at a rest area near Servioz on the autoroute up to Chamonix, which was fairly quiet, but a tseep-tseep-tseep call from a fir tree attracted my attention, and after a few minutes, a

1. Firecrest*

revealed itself. A lifer! Also present were

2. Blackbird
3. House sparrow

And over the autoroute earlier, near Bonneville, I had seen

4. Grey heron
5. Black kite

Stopped for dinner in Chamonix, adding

6. Common swift
7. Chaffinch
8. House martin
9. Feral pigeon

* 1 new species not on other lists
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An evening wander around Kalvebod Fælled near the airport in Copenhagen added several new species to my Danish list, but nothing to the 2013 list:

1. Hooded crow
2. Herring gull
3. Common swift
4. Magpie
5. Woodpigeon
6. Jackdaw
7. Rook
8. Chiffchaff
9. Greenfinch
10. Willow warbler
11. Common Whitethroat
12. Mallard
13. Tree sparrow
14. Starling
15. Greylag
16. Meadow Pipit
17. Canada goose
18. Skylark
19. Lapwing
20. Blackbird
21. Great tit
22. Barn swallow
23. Pheasant
24. Coot
25. Common gull
26. Reed warbler


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A cycle out to the coast a couple of weeks ago had little to show, but one quite surprising lifer was a pair of

142. Pintail

on a coastal pool. Still a possibility of these being migrants?


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And, on a day-trip to Ireland last week, I managed to fit in a walk around Bull Island, a tidal island linked to the mainland by a couple of bridges, just north of Dublin.

Added several new species to my Ireland list, but also a new species for 2013:

At Castlebellingham (service station on the motorway from Belfast!)
1. Hooded crow
2. Rook - new for Ireland
3. Magpie
4. Pied wagtail
5. Jackdaw - new for Ireland(!)

And over the motorway at Ardee:

6. Common buzzard - new for Ireland

Then at Bull Island:

7. Great blackback gull - new for Ireland
8. Lesser blackback gull - new for Ireland
9. Little egret - new for Ireland
10. Grey heron
11. Shelduck
12. Woodpigeon
13. Cormorant - new for Ireland
14. Curlew - new for Ireland
15. Black-headed gull
16. Herring gull
17. Meadow pipit - new for Ireland
18. Starling
19. Oystercatcher - new for Ireland
20. Bar-tailed godwit - new for Ireland
21. Little tern*
22. Skylark - new for Ireland
23. Sand martin - new for Ireland
24. House martin - new for Ireland
25. Goldfinch
26. Feral pigeon
27. Mallard
28. Redshank - new for Ireland

Finally, on the way home, in Dundalk:

29. Collared dove - new for Ireland

* of which one species not on previous 2013 lists


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First opportunity today to go looking for the Bridled Tern up near Cresswell, riding out there on my bike late afternoon. Expectations were low as I had limited time and couldn't visit the various locations it's been sighted along he coast as they were too spread out to cover on my bike in the time I had. And as expected, no bridled tern!

However, I did add 3 birds to the 2013 list.

Firstly, among the many Sandwich and Common tern on Cresswell pond, there were a couple of

143. Arctic tern

The only other bird of note was the return of a single avocet.

A brief stop off on the cliffs at Cresswell holiday park then added two more species, one a lifer!

144. Razorbill - a single adult loafing close to shore with a group of eider
145. Manx shearwater - while watching a group of gannets flying off shore a group of 4 black-and-white birds skimming the sea caught my attention, showing typical side-to-side flight with alternate wing tips almost touching the water. A lifer


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Just realised I missed an update. Late June, I had another trip to the Geneva area, and travelled around Lake Geneva to the south, through France, with a couple of stops.

In Loisin, for lunch:
10. Magpie
11. Greenfinch

Then an hour's wander around la Delta de la Dranse, a lovely small reserve created at an inland delta leading into Lake Geneva.

12. Garden warbler - new for France
13. Carrion crow
14. Short-toed treecreeper*
15. Chiffchaff
16. Red-crested pochard
17. Black-headed gull
18. Mute swan
19. Yellow-legged gull
20. Tufted duck
21. Great crested grebe - new for France
22. Reed warbler - new for France
23. Blackcap

And finally, staying near Geneva airport at the Novotel in Ferney Voltaire, I had great views from my room over the gardens:

24. Nuthatch - right outside my window!
25. Great tit
26. Great spotted woodpecker
27. Green woodpecker - new for France

* of which one species is not on previous lists


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Not out much recently, but had a cycle out to Cambois past several good wader spots at the weekend. Despite plenty of birdlife being around, only added:

146. Little egret

A single bird at Bothal pond along with a family of 4 grey heron (2 adult, 2 juvenile).


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And another succesful pass by of Bothal pond at lunch time today added:

147. Green sandpiper

- a new species for me at Bothal.


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Well, what a day! Headed out to Bamburgh yesterday, and cycled from there up to Harthope Valley. Parked up in the dunes car park in Bamburgh, and a brief look out to sea didn't show much, but in the dunes were goldfinch, linnet, whitethroat and a reeling

148. Grasshopper Warbler

It didn't show, but a dead cert on call.

Then headed over to Budle Bay, where a surprise spoonbill was the star of the birds on the mudflats, but also a small number of scattered

149. Whimbrel

and a pair of

150. Black-tailed godwit

along with shelduck, swans and many different gulls.

In Harthope Valley, I only managed one of my target species, eventually connecting with a pair of

151. Whinchat

which was a lifer for me. Didn't manage to see any tree pipits or spotted flycatcher as hoped, and only once (think I) heard the distant kok-kok of red grouse, but only faintly and only briefly. Dozens of beautiful summer plumage redpoll and a breeding colony of sand martin the other highlights.


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A ride from Newbiggin up to Druridge pools and back in the early evening sun was a pleasant last UK trip for a couple of weeks, as off to Spain today. Also added a new UK tick in Newbiggin (taking my UK list to 191):

152. Mediterranean Gull

At least two adults on the beach with BH gulls, possibly also two immature birds. I think I also may have had a feeding roseate tern in the bay, but I am not sure, and the photos I took aren't very good!

Then up to Druridge Bay, with no new species for the year, but a common sandpiper feeding just in front of the hide, and two sedge warblers very close to the path showing well. Then to Cresswell Pond, where a

153. Barn owl

was seen from the car park at the north end of the pond hunting over the fields and again at the south end of the pond half an hour later when it flew across in front of the hide. There were a barely believable TWELVE avocet in from of the hide, along with lapwing, redshank and a single greenshank, and the sky was full of sand martin, possibly 300-400 birds flitting above the pond. Also, 5 stonechat seen along the road, 2 adult and 3 juvenile, I think. Finally, as the sun was setting, a female

154. Marsh harrier

flew in from the northwest, being mobbed by a couple of hundred of the sand martin and some of the waders, before landing on the northern bank of the pond, apparently devouring prey for 15 minutes.

And finally, a female marsh harrier flew in from the north west, being mobbed by a couple of hundred of the sand martin, before landing on the northern bank of the pool to devour some unseen prey.


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12 days in Spain on our annual summer holiday was very productive, as expected, adding close to 30 new species to the Spain 2013 list, of which 15 were new birds for 2013, and 2 were lifers!

The first morning, I was out on my bike for a short jaunt round the local streets of La Marina, and straight away added:

63. Woodchat shrike*

Heading back along "Vistabella road", the small pool by the roadside held stilt and a single

64. Green sandpiper

while overhead were several

65. House martin

and the canals near the Urbanizacion held several

66. Common sandpiper

The next morning, I headed out to El Pinet beach and to the hide overlooking the salinas there, adding

67. Little owl*
68. Little tern*
69. Kentish plover*

Also, good numbers of avocet and stilt, but very few flamingo. Heading back along the "lower" road to the Oasis Urb, I managed my target species for that area:

70. Roller*

The next afternoon, another cycle ride out from the Urb to my favourite location - El Hondo. Took the cycle tracks that skirt the southern end of Dolores, and soon encountered several target species, and my first lifer:

71. Stone curlew* - a lifer (two birds flushed in the same place on the way there and the way back)
72. Purple heron*
73. Little bittern* - a single female(?) at the top of some tall reeds briefly
74. Redshank
75. Kingfisher - flashed along the canal on the way back.

Another evening ride later in the week, along the canals near to the La Marina Urb added a new species for me for Spain:

76. Squacco heron*

In fact, these became rather a feature of the trip, with singles and small groups turning up frequently along the canals. And a second new species for Spain seen at the park in Guardamar:

77. Long-tailed tit

* of which 9 are not on previous lists for 2013
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An early morning visit to one of the Vistabella road hides in El Hondo revealed a startling number of waders. The pools were heaving with flamingo, black-tailed godwit, stilt and egrets, with many other smaller waders that I wasn't able to identify. However, I did see:

78. Night heron* (almost a lifer, as my only previous sighting was possibly a little dubious, from a car in India!)
79. Dunlin
80. Lapwing - a single bird flying over, and another new species for my Spain life list

And from the hides near San Felipe Neri:

81. Curlew Sandpiper*
82. Shoveler
83. Purple swamphen*

In addition, a large flock of cattle egret fed in a flooded field near San Felipe with a group of raucous

84. Jackdaw

Later in the holiday I had two separate visits to the salinas along the N332 near Santa Pola, where passage waders were the highlight:

85. Turnstone
86. Ringed plover
87. Spotted redshank* - my second full lifer of the holiday
88. Little stint*
89. Little ringed plover

And above one pool a flock of common swift contained several paler

90. Pallid swift*

So all in all, a very good trip. Birds listed are only those new to the Spain list for 2013, but there were many other notable sightings, including good views of a large flock of glossy ibis and cattle egret feeding in flooded fields off Vistabella road, and large numbers of bee-eater and southern grey shrike along most rural tracks.

One final sighting, as we headed home by train(!) via Barcelona (and Disneyland Paris) was a number of

91. Monk parakeet*

in the park near Barcelona Franca station!

* of which 7 are not on previous lists for 2013
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So, that takes me to 199 for the year! One to go for 200, which I only reached in mid-December last year.... :)


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Get in! 200 up!

A trip to Cresswell pond on Saturday morning provided me with species number 200 for 2013, a full 3 months earlier than last year :)

155. Ruff

And what lovely birds too, 4 of them flying in with lapwing shortly before I left.

For the record, I also bagged mammal number 10 for the year, watching a weasel (10) chasing a squealing baby rabbit round in circles at Bothal pond on the way out to Cresswell, before the weasel was seen off by an adult rabbit!
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A trip down to London with work allowed me a little time to have a wander around Regent's Park (in search of flycatchers and warblers apparently present in reasonable numbers, but I could only get there late afternoon when the dog walkers and joggers had seen them all off). The ponds held large numbers of (presumably captive) wildfowl, but there were a couple of

156. Mandarin duck

that flew off. Maybe a bit dodgy, but seemingly free to come and go...


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No new birds for ages, but on a trip to the South East for work, I stopped off to eat my lunch at Paxton Pits in Cambridgeshire. Still no new birds, but a new mammal: muntjac deer (11)


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At last! First new addition in the best part of a month. A wet and windy cycle ride out to Cresswell pond was tiring, and devoid of anything of great interest due to the very high water levels, with the sand bank almost completely submerged - two snipe being the only waders there, perched on the only exposed ground. The impending arrival of winter was confirmed not just by the grim, dark conditions, but the presence of 100+ wigeon. But the ride home, via Widdrington Station and Ulgham finally added species 202 for the year:

157. Barnacle goose

About a hundred pinkfoot lifted from the fileds between Widdrington Stn and Ulgham, with about 50 remaining in the field, together with two barnacle geese.

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