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

Lazza's 2016 list (1 Viewer)

Had a weekend away over the bank holiday, camping in Yurts near Fountain's Abbey in North Yorkshire, in a small village called Aldfield. Lots of wildlife about, with quite a good bird list of nearly 40 species on the campsite, including:

117. Tawny Owl
118. Green woodpecker
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A little progress on the UK list, as more summer visitors arrive, although some rather later than usual.

6th May brought my first:

119. House martin

with the breeding birds around our housing estate returning in some numbers

Then, on 7th May, a short loop out on my bike, heading east added:

120. Common swift

at Bothal Pond, and

121. Common whitethroat

- several in hedges near Hepscott village
Another work trip, and two more country lists started for 2016.

First, I was in Sweden for a couple of days visiting customers. As I was with a colleague, I had even less time to wander about, but I still managed to pick up a few species along the way, before I left by ferry allowing me to also bag a few sea bird species:

At Arlanda Airport:

1. Starling
2. Magpie

And then, all the way south to Sodertalje:

3. Mute swan
4. House sparrow
5. Feral pigeon
6. Black-headed gull
7. Jackdaw
8. Blackbird

Took the train into Stockholm, as my colleague left for home, and outside the central station were a few:

9. White wagtail

Then headed off to the ferry terminal at Väartahamnen. At the ferry terminal, I saw

10. Lesser black-backed gull
11. Common gull

And across the road at a small park:

12. Fieldfare
13. Woodpigeon
14. Great tit
15. Nuthatch
16. Treecreeper
17. Greenfinch
18. Chaffinch

As I was on the later evening ferry (to Turku), I didn't get quite as good a chance to birdwatch from the deck, as it got dark before we cleared the archipelago, but I still added:

19. Goosander
20. Grey heron

(near Norra Lagno, as the ferry takes a strong left turn)

21. Barnacle goose*
22. Cormorant
23. Shelduck (new for Sweden)

(near Bjornhuvud, shortly after passing the vehicle ferry crossing)

* 1 species not on a previous/higher list
Then, on to Finland.

Up as early as I could handle (5:30am, so 3:30am UK time!) to get in an hour's birding from the ferry deck as we approached Turku, which was well worthwhile, as it was gloriously sunny and calm, and there were lots of birds about!

First up, as passed near Norrskata island:

1. Eider
2. Cormorant - new for Finland
3. Common gull
4. Herring gull
5. Lesser black-backed gull
6. Mute swan
7. Black guillemot*
8. Common tern

Then, later, as we passed Aaslaluoto island:

9. Goosander
10. Great black-backed gull
11. Black-headed gull
12. Hooded crow*
13. Jackdaw
14. Common sandpiper - new for Finland
15. Oystercatcher
16. Barnacle goose
17. Lapwing

Once into Turku, we were greeted with the sound of lots of

18. Willow warbler

calling from woodland near the port. Also around Turku:

19. Blackbird
20. Feral pigeon
21. Magpie

Headed east in a hire car, and stopped for some breakfast at a service station near Paimio, adding:

22. House sparrow
23. Skylark

Had a meeting with my customer near Espoo, and they took me for lunch at their works canteen, and as we walked there through the factory grounds, I added a few more species!

24. White wagtail
25. Lesser whitethroat*
26. Fieldfare
27. Great tit

And once I was done, I managed to grab a couple of hours at Viikki Nature Reserve before having to head for my flight home. This was - yet again - a complete revelation; an amazing reserve on the edge of the city, with vast areas of reeds, grassland and small wood copses. I added 3 lifers and 5 more birds to the Finnish list in my 2 hours there!

28. Goldfinch
29. Common whitethroat
30. Reed bunting
31. Blue tit
32. Goldeneye
33. Coot
34. Citrine wagtail*
35. Barn swallow
36. Reed warbler
37. Canada goose
38. Chaffinch
39. Starling
40. Redshank - new for Finland
41. Blackcap
42. Meadow pipit - new for Finnish list
43. Teal
44. Great crested grebe
45. Grey heron
46. Greenfinch
47. Mallard
48. Sedge warbler*
49. Red-footed falcon* - the first of the three lifers
50. Hobby* - new for my Finnish list
51. Common crane* - new for Finland
52. Marsh harrier - new for Finland
53. Bluethroat* - another lifer
54. Thrush nightingale* - and another lifer!!

* 10 species not on any earlier/higher list
Out on my bike along the coast again at the weekend, and some nice additions to the year's UK list, and a few more to the overall list too, with a surprise late winter visitor thrown in.

At East Chevington, warblers were quite conspicuous, with several calling

122. Sedge warbler
123. Reed warbler

along with willow warbler and a couple of chiffchaff too. Also, on the small island:

124. Little gull
125. Common tern

Then, heading down to Druridge Pools:

126. Whimbrel - 3 calling flying north, then heading back and landing in the budge field
127. Brant goose - 4 very late pale-bellied variety on the budge field

Finally, as I passed Cresswell, with a brief stop at the northern end:

128. Avocet
Not updated my list for a while, and although it's hardly jumped forward enormously, I should keep it updated, I suppose!

So, end of May, down in London for bank holiday with the family, where I added two of the usual introduced species, while strolling around Hyde Park:

129. Ring-necked parakeet
130. Egyptian goose

Then, a little more recently, in the last couple of weekends, while out on my bike:

At Sheepwash road flash
131. Ringed plover(!)

On a ride back from Tynemouth, I added another mammal to the year list, as there were 15-20 grey seal [9] hauled out on the rocks at St Mary's island.

Then, this last weekend...

Pegswood Nature reserve:
132. Grasshopper warbler (phew, thought I might have missed them for this year)

Linton Lane NR:
133. Garden warbler (my first in Northumberland for 3 years, and among 8 warblers seen/heard in a single visit)

Druridge Pools:
134. Black-tailed godwit
After several failed attempts at locations I have seen them before, I finally found a pair of Common Redstart at the weekend, near Pigdon, so quite close to home. In fact, the list ticked on by two species:

135. Common sandpiper - River Coquet, near the Running Fox pub, Weldon

136. Common redstart - near Pigdon
ANd then, this week, I was back in Switzerland and France with work.

During travel through France, I added a handful of species without really looking too hard:

23. Black kite - as I drove along the motorway just over the border from Geneva

24. Barn swallow - over the motorway near Bonneville

25. House martin - Abondance

26. Crag martin* - several flying overhead at cliffs near Bioge, Haute Savoie

* 1 species not on a higher list
Then, in Switzerland, I put a little more effort in with a stop at the small border lake at Pas de Morgins, still adding the same number of species as just driving through France, but two particularly nice additions to the year list:

62. Black woodpecker* - 3 or 4 flying between trees next to the track
63. Black redstart* - several breeding pairs
64. Dunnock - new for Switzerland.
65. Song thrush

I also added another mammal, spotting a fox [10] trotting along the road in Martigny.

* 2 species not on any previous year's list
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Back in Spain, for my annual summer break, but working for the first few days. Nevertheless, on just a short cycle around Urb La Marina (to check on swimming pool opening times!) I added:

89. Bee-eater*
90. Woodpigeon (surely missing from my March/April list in error!)

Then, sitting out on the in-laws' terrace yesterday evening, the unmistakable calls of

91. Stone-curlew*

* 2 species not on an earlier list
Another couple of species to add:

El Pinet Salinas:

92. Little tern*

And at El Hondo, Vistabella Road hides:

93. Little bittern*

(and I also had my first Stone-curlew sightings, in addition to the earlier calls I'd heard)

* 2 species not on any earlier list
Now back from Spain, and the list has moved on well in the last 2 weeks!

A couple of cycle rides at the end July, not previously counted here, added:

94. Black-crowned Night-heron*

seen flying over at the "reservoir" end of Vistabella Road.

95. Roller*

- excellent views in the pine-scrub near Urb La Marina, and on the same day, at El Pinet beach, flying over the car-park:

96. Great spotted cuckoo*

* 3 species not on a previous list
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Into August, and a ride out along the Rio Segura added:

97. Spotted Flycatcher*

Several were seen feeding around the olive grove at the mouth of the river, a place where I've always had some success (adding stonechat, black redstart and various warblers in previous years)

My first decent trip out of this holiday was to Laguna La Mata, based on information posted on the Alicante Region thread on Birdforum, and I managed to add a lifer (but not the target Turtle Dove!):

98. Montagu's Harrier* - lifer
99. Sandwich tern
100. Curlew Sandpiper*

* 3 species not on a previous list
Another ride out to the local salt lakes - taking in Santa Pola and El Pinet Salinas was also quite productive:

At Santa Pola, I had very good, close views of feeding Squacco Heron, and was pleased to also find a single

101. Whimbrel*

Then at El Pinet, among plenty of stilt, flamingo and godwit were:

102. Slender-billed gull*
103. Greenshank* - new for my Spain list

And heading home through the pine-scrub to the Urb, I added another lifer, coming across a confiding

104. Woodlark*

* 4 species not on a previous list
My final "big trip" was a cycle ride up into the Sierra Crevillente, which was exhausting and rather satisfying, as well as rather good for new species!

Finally, I added:

105. Little Owl*

a single bird scanning a small farm from a dead tree. But as I got higher, the number of birds increased dramatically, and among such pleasing sights as Woodchat Shrike, Crested Lark and Red-legged Partridge, I also managed to add four more species, including two lifers!! Every tree and shrub seemed to hold warblers, so three of the additions were:

106. Subalpine warbler*
107. Dartford warbler* - lifer
108. Western Orphean warbler*

Meanwhile, the orchard in the valley above Finca Bonelli held a couple of family parties of

109. Northern wheatear

and on the way back down the valley, I finally got a firm ID on a

110. Blue Rock Thrush* - lifer number two for the day

All very exciting!

Then, at last, on my circuitous route home, I had only my second sighting of

111. Turtle Dove*

- a pair found perched on telegraph wires near Daya Nueva (one to remember for next year!)

Before I headed back to the UK, a final species was added when I was at the "Thieves' Market" in Guardamar on my final Sunday, where lots of common and pallid swift feeding over the adjoining scrub and farmland contained 2 or 3

112. Alpine swift

* 6 species not on any previous list
Had an excursion to Holy Island at the weekend, and a few hours wandering the island was very pleasant, and I managed to add a new bird to my UK life-list:

137. Marsh harrier - seen over the dunes near the causeway
138. Curlew Sandpiper - new for me for the UK, with two seen among large numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover on one of the sandy bays to the north of the island

Then, I rose early before work yesterday to see if the Ruddy Shelduck was still at Bothal pond - it wasn't. But I got a tip-off from another birder, which led to me adding a lifer at QEII Country Park in Ashington!

139. Black tern

- a rather nice juvenile swooping around the lake in very clear view.

(The black tern takes me to 221 species for the year, which is actually level with my whole year's total for 2015, so should surpass that total....just my 2014 total of 224 to aim for now!)
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(The black tern takes me to 221 species for the year, which is actually level with my whole year's total for 2015, so should surpass that total....just my 2014 total of 224 to aim for now!)

Well, that was quick!

Had a short stop at Prestwick Carr while waiting to pick up family from NCL airport, and had very good sightings of:

140. Whinchat

...taking me to 222 for the year across all lists :)

Also saw a Weasel [11] which darted across the road in front of me as I approached Prestwick village
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Surprising progress on my list over the last few days.

Firstly, one I missed off the list from a couple of weeks ago, as I thought I already had it on the year list, but looking back, it was missing. So, at Holy Island, I also saw a few:

141. Bar-tailed Godwit

Then, a stop at Bothal Pond last weekend added two more to the year list:

142. Green sandpiper
143. Barnacle goose - a surprising early returner in among the 100-or-so Canadas

And then, on a family trip to the Ingram Valley for a picnic by the river, we took a short walk over one of the moors, and disturbed a couple of

144. Red grouse

.....that takes me level with my previous best year-list total....
Well, I have been a bit slack in keeping my list up-to-date, so here are some brief developments.....


Additions to the UK list were:

145. Shag - several seen passing Church Point in Newbiggin during an Autumnal high tide (along with gannets feeding close in)

146. Greenshank - seen a couple of times at Bothal Pond in the second half of the month


In the UK:

147. Water Rail - my first for a couple of years, seen at Cresswell Pond
148. Spotted Redshank - a UK list lifer, also seen at Cesswell Pond, calling nicely as it flew in to the exposed mud in front of the hide.

And, on a night visit to Cresswell, looking for the aurora borealis, I had a close encounter with a very cute woodmouse [12]

149. Kingfisher - finally, first sighting of the year of the River Wansbeck kingfisher in Morpeth!

In Spain, during a few days at a conference, starting with a trip to a small nature park on the edge of Baixador de Vallvidrera called Panto de Vallvidrera:

113. Robin
114. Wren - new for my Spain life list
115. Blue tit
116. Great Spotted Woodpecker
117. Jay - new for Spain
118. Coal tit
119. Red-billed Leiothrix* - a lifer, and my reason for going to this particular place!
120. Crested tit - new for Spain
121. Common Starling - whisper it, but new for Spain!
122. Common redstart

And a further addition in Barcelona itself:

123. Monk parakeet*

(* two species new for the year)

ANd finally, on a trip to France last week with work, staying in the ancient city of Pérouges:

27. Black redstart
28. Jay - new for France life list
29. Green woodpecker
30. Jackdaw
31. Goldfinch
(also an assortment of flycatchers and warblers, but not seen for long enough to identify any of them!)

And still in France, a short trip out to the "la Dranse" lake district, stopping at Étang Chapelier:

32. Kingfisher
33. Great white egret
34. Little grebe
35. Mallard
36. Marsh tit
37. Great spotted woodpecker
38. Little egret
39. Ferruginous duck - new for France

with one further addition to the mammal list coypu [13]
Not a lot to report from the last couple of weeks, and have missed seeing several amazing rarities locally, and even not really caught up with any of the more common autumn migrants.

Nevertheless, it was great to catch up today with the year's first:

150. Waxwing

15-18 on rowan trees around Ashington Asda and the police station.


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