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Maenad's 2011 List (2 Viewers)


Well-known member
1 January 2011

When there's a young child in the house (or at least in our house), it's early to bed, early to rise, even on Hogmanay, and a relatively early start to birding in the New Year. We took a trip to Brandon Marsh, and although much of the water is still frozen, we picked up a rather nice range of 'basic' birds. I was particularly pleased with the Jays (several seen, both at Brandon and in our local park), as it took me ages to find one last year. We also had a surprising number of Reed Buntings: at least ten in our next door neighbour's trees. We saw a pair there regularly last winter when the weather was cold, so it looks like this year, they brought their friends!

1. Chaffinch
2. Blackbird
3. Reed Bunting
4. Fieldfare
5. Woodpigeon
6. Black-headed Gull
7. Dunnock
8. House Sparrow
9. Magpie
10. Carrion Crow
11. Rook
12. Jackdaw
13. Starling
14. Blue Tit
15. Great Tit
16. Common Buzzard
17. Common Kestrel
18. Cormorant
19. Coal Tit
20. Robin
21. Long-tailed Tit
22. Redwing
23. Mallard
24. Moorhen
25. Bullfinch
26. Mute Swan
27. Feral Pigeon
28. Lapwing
29. Goldfinch
30. Siskin
31. Lesser Redpoll
32. Pheasant
33. Teal
34. Shoveler
35. Great Spotted Woodpecker
36. Jay
37. Marsh Tit
38. Gadwall
39. Collared Dove
40. Canada Goose
41. Song Thrush
42. Skylark
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Well-known member
2 January 2011

No birds this morning, as we thought we should give LP a treat and take him to the local children's play centre, but a brief trip to Boddington Reservoir this afternoon. Most of the water was still frozen, though noticeably thawing, but there was a small collection of ducks and gulls on an unfrozen patch.

43. Pied Wagtail
44. Goosander
45. Tufted Duck
46. Wigeon
47. Common Gull
48. Lesser Black-backed Gull
49. Wren


Well-known member
3 January 2011

It's the last day of my maternity leave (back to work tomorrow, after almost 13 months at home!), so we celebrated by going to find a rather lovely duck at Draycote Reservoir. My first lifer of the year! B :) Any Smew would have been done, but a cracking male in all his glory made it even better. A couple of Great Crested Grebes were making an early start at their courtship dance in the distance too, and after ridiculous dips at Brandon Marsh and Boddington, we finally saw some Coots.

50. Coot
51. Herring Gull
52. Little Grebe
53. Great Crested Grebe
54. SMEW
55. Goldeneye
56. Great Black-backed Gull


Well-known member
8 January 2011

I think my entire list of birds since Monday reads something like Blackbird, Moorhen, Feral Pigeon, um, that's it. Yes, I'm back at work, catching the train before dawn and coming home when it's dark. My new office doesn't even have a view, just a window looking out on to another building two feet away. So no birds for me! But on to the weekend.

An excellent trip to Slimbridge today brought a good many ticks for the year, although we didn't manage to find the Lesser Scaup reported there. To be fair, I probably wouldn't recognize a Lesser Scaup if it came up and bit me (which a couple of the captive geese had a good go at this afternoon ;)). But with the help of a generous birder who shouted out 'there's a Scaup', we did manage to find its Greater cousin.

57. Stock Dove
58. Pochard
59. Pintail
60. Bewick's Swan
61. Greenfinch
62. Curlew
63. Snipe
64. Meadow Pipit
65. White-fronted Goose
66. Redshank
67. Barnacle Goose
68. Golden Plover
69. Greylag Goose
70. Dunlin
71. Black-tailed Godwit
73. Shelduck

Message edited 20 February: apparently the Greater Scaup I claimed at no. 72 was actually the Lesser Scaup. Add ducks to waders and gulls under birds I can't do unless male in breeding plumage...:smoke:
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Well-known member
15 January 2011

After a week of illness and misery, both adult and infant, we managed an hour at Witney Lake, where a Slavonian Grebe had been reported. Fortunately we found it quickly and got some splendid views as it fished only a few feet from the bank, as oblivious to CactusD's enormous lens as to the many dog-walkers cavorting around. And a bonus find on the way back to the car: a Little Egret wading in the shallows of the stream as it flowed under the A40.

74. Slavonian Grebe
75. Little Egret


Well-known member
28 January 2011

A baby's first birthday and another week at work meant no birds for the past couple of weeks, but on our walk from the supermarket this afternoon, we spotted a Goldcrest among a flock of Long-tailed Tits.

76. Goldcrest


Well-known member
2 February 2011

How long does it take to see a Grey Heron? No, it's not the beginning of a bad joke: for some reason, herons have been eluding me this year, in spite of various visits to likely habitats. But no more. Today one came into land by the canal as I walked from the station to work.

77. Grey Heron


Well-known member
11 February 2011

An unexpectedly excellent day for birds today. We headed out on foot after breakfast to pick up some sandwiches for a day out, and in the park we found a couple of woodland species new to my list. CactusD tracked down a Nuthatch calling from the top of a tree, and a Treecreeper was keeping company with a mixed flock of tits.

Onward, then, to Otmoor. First of all a Yellowhammer at the feeders: it showed for a moment only at first, but when we came back later in the afternoon, it did perch on the end of a branch for a few minutes. Vast flocks of Lapwings and Golden Plovers took to the sky, the intermittent sunshine picking up the golden glow of the plovers. All the usual ducks showed up in various places, including some sleek and subtle Gadwalls, I think my favourite of the inland ducks. As we stopped at the feeders on the way back, CactusD heard a 'cronk, cronk' in the distance, and sure enough there was a Common Raven dancing over the hide at the opposite end of the reserve.

Finally, on the drive home, a Sparrowhawk (at last!) flying out of some woodland near Deddington.

79. Nuthatch
80. Common Treecreeper
81. Yellowhammer
82. Common Raven
83. Sparrowhawk


Well-known member
12 February 2011

Another trip to Slimbridge today. The weather was beautiful, and it seemed like the whole world had the same idea as us. Never mind, I still managed a few new birds for my list, including the Lesser Scaup that eluded me last time. OK, I admit, I only saw it because someone said, 'Look, there's the Lesser Scaup.' At the time I could see how it was different from the female Tufties, but if you'd picked them up and shuffled them around, I might have been in difficulty again. ;)

84. Oystercatcher
85. Ruff

Message edited 20 February: apparently, I'd already seen the Lesser Scaup in January... See post no. 4 above.
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Well-known member
20 February 2011

A lovely weekend of birding in the Peak District. See CactusD's list for the whole story, but I did manage to add a pleasing seven birds to my year list.

86. Hawfinch (hooray, only my second after a longish gap)
87. Tree Sparrow
89. Grey Wagtail
90. Willow Tit
91. Great Northern Diver
92. Dipper


Well-known member
23 February 2011

A midweek trip to Otmoor, as the boy's nursery was closed for half-term. Lots of lovely birds, but most of them much too distant: the bridle path is more or less inaccessible with a buggy when it's so muddy. Anyway, among the Golden Plovers, Lapwings, and Dunlin, we did pick out a more unusual bird, digiscoped it with my mobile phone, and mulled it over for a day or two. The result is:

93. Ringed Plover


Well-known member
11 March 2011

Slimbridge on a Friday is a lot less hectic than on a Saturday, so we enjoyed a much more relaxing visit than last time. A fair amount about, although many of the winter visitors are either gone or on their way out, and we're still waiting for the spring arrivals. We found some waders passing through - I'm more used to seeing that many Curlews at home in Scotland than down here!

94. Red-legged Partridge
95. Greater Scaup

(And yes, this time I'm sure it was a Scaup, and a Greater one: I'll get there eventually!)
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Well-known member
Also 11 March 2011

I almost forgot - heard my first warbler of the year: a Cetti's gave a quick burst of song from the reeds by the Zeiss hide.


Well-known member
25 March 2011

I've been watching the beautiful spring weather from my desk for the past couple of weeks, but today, we finally escaped and found some migrants. Farmoor would have been lovely, were it not for the fog of mosquitoes. They swarmed round our heads, on the buggy, at our feet (the causeway was crawling with them). In spite of all that, though, we had diagnostic views of an interesting (to us) gull and a very close look at a rather distinguished duck. The Garganey was an adult male in all its glory, my first for the UK. The Little Gull was surprisingly easy to pick out among the innumerable BHGs: its distinctive flight and feeding gave the game away within minutes. And in the car park, about to head home, I finally pinned down a Chiffchaff. They've been taunting me for about a week now, singing out from the trees as I hurry past to the train, but I can now add a (very bad) view to my list.

96. Garganey
97. Little Gull
98. Chiffchaff


Well-known member
26 March 2011

A morning trip to Otmoor was a bit of a mixed bag. Some nice waders, courting Red Kites, and an extremely distant raptor on a post half a mile away. Scope was in the car as CactusD had the camera and I had the buggy, but careful analysis of the blurry snap and comparison with better shots from other people gave us another year tick.

99. Merlin

One more to go to make that magic 100. What will it be? Well, two of the obvious gaps for me are Linnet and Green Woodpecker, but I suspect that I might catch another summer migrant next. A Martin or Swallow can't be far away!


Well-known member
27 March 2011

In the words of my father, no doubt quoting someone wise, the spring is sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the birdies is? Why, they're at Grimsbury Reservoir this morning! :-O

100. Sand Martin
101. Willow Warbler


Well-known member
8 April 2011

It's been a very quiet two weeks for me in birding terms, mostly because it has not been at all quiet at work or at home. This afternoon, we took a trip to Brandon Marsh. I knew the Spotted Crake was there, but I didn't expect to see it. I have a very poor record with reedbed birds, and having a toddler sitting outside (with daddy) in his buggy doesn't allow for a long stakeout. And so it was, no luck with the crake, but nevertheless several summer ticks for my yearlist.

102. Blackcap
103. Little Ringed Plover
104. Cetti's Warbler
105. Common Whitethroat
106. Barn Swallow

Bird of the day was indubitably the Cetti's Warbler, which burst up from the reedbeds, chased a potential mate to the golf course, then came back to settle in a handy bush, allowing me my best views ever.


Well-known member
18 April 2011

I have officially qualified as Best Wife Ever (tm): my husband is off birding in Lesvos for a fortnight, leaving me at home with the baby. I would have loved to go too, but we weren't sure how it would go with a 15-month-old child who inconveniently can't drink cows' milk. So I bowed out and took LP to Scotland to visit the family, hoping to see a few birds myself along the way. I should be so lucky! We had, in short order, a very bad bout of teething (his), a virus (his), learning how to walk (him), a virus (mine), and a broken toe (mine). I did manage one trip to Troon, though, and as it was my first coastal visit of the year, I can add a few to my list.

107. Eider
108. Ruddy Turnstone
109. Northern Gannet
110. Linnet
111. Purple Sandpiper
112. Rock Pipit
113. Sandwich Tern
114. Shag
115. Black Guillemot

LP and I are back home now, but with no chance of any birding for quite a while. So Sedge Warbler and Common Tern will have to wait a bit. But where are all the House Martins? I expected to see the local breeders back in the eaves, but no sign of any so far.
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Well-known member
2 May 2011

A definitely non-birding trip to the in-laws in Derbyshire brought me two year ticks, one in the local park (the toddler has fallen in love with swings) and one flying over the house.

116. Mistle Thrush
117. House Martin
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