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Owen's lifetime of wildlife in a year. (1 Viewer)

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
My main targets this year are to fill in a lot of the gaps on my British butterfly list, finish off the last remaining British reptiles and to make a real impact on my WP bird list. So rather than a British birds target I wanted to do something more general. Going into the year I’ve got 413 species across birds, mammals, herps and butterflies and I’d like to match my life total across the four categories this year.

After a few years of covid dominated wildlife watching it would be nice to fit a lifetime figure into a year 😊 even if it's only possible because my existing list is so small . I’d also like at least 100 new species across the four categories.

It’s a bit of a stupid (though very symbolic) total as I’ll either make it very easily if some booked European trips happen or come nowhere close if covid restrictions get in the way but it should make me vary my wildlife watching quite a bit. With a seven year old my opportunities can be a bit limited at times, so it’ll be nice to have a range of targets over the year especially after two years with big restrictions.

January 1st

A very slow start as booster complications kept us in bed for half the day and then the main focus of the day was my wife going for a new year’s swim. We did briefly have a look for some local Black Redstarts that had been a very welcome December ’21 year tick but I think we probably left it that little bit too late and they'd gone to roost. I’d have thought a trip to the beach might have got something on top of the commonest gulls but there really wasn’t much around. The wildlife highlight was probably a very unseasonal bat at dusk, probability would say Pipistrelle, but it remained unidentified so no mammals yet.



1 Herring Gull
2 Feral Pigeon
3 Carrion Crow
4 Magpie
5 Wood pigeon
6 Lesser Black Backed Gull
7 Starling
8 House Sparrow
9 Pied Wagtail
10 Jackdaw
11 Mute Swan
12 Black Headed Gull
13 tufted duck​

Birds 13 Mammals 0 Herp 0 Butterfly 0 Total 13 Lifers 0
 
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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 2nd

Very enjoyable walk around Cardiff Bay in the morning. Missed quite a few species that were undoubtedly around somewhere, went through four kingfisher territories without seeing any and a few of the recent scarcer ducks had moved onto other sites, but was pleased to see a wintering Common Sandpiper and to get nice views of Water Rail. Good views of a Chiffchaff flycatching but the general mildness and small clouds of gnats over the water were a bit alarming for January.

An afternoon visit to my local patch of Cosmeston Lakes was cut a bit short by the mud and high winds but I did manage a few extra birds, my first mammals of the year and a few fungi.

14 Robin

15 Blackbird

16 Song Thrush

17 Coot

18 Cormorant

19 Goldfinch

20 Dunnock

21 Goosander

22 Common Sandpiper

23 Great Crested Grebe

24 Little Grebe

25 Canada Goose

26 Blue Tit

27 Grey Heron

28 Pochard

29 Moorhen

30 Mallard

31 Raven

32 Cetti’s Warbler

33 Long-tailed Tit

34 Grey Wagtail

35 Reed Bunting

36 Shelduck

37 Water Rail

38 Chiffchaff

39 Wren

40 Great Tit

41 Chaffinch

1 Grey Squirrel

Birds 41 Mammals 1 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 total 42 Lifers 0
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 3rd

No real birding today but visiting a few Cardiff parks with the family still brought me a few woodland species I’d missed so far.

42 Jay
43 Buzzard
44 Nuthatch
45 Sparrow Hawk
46 Goldcrest
47 Greylag

Birds 47 Mammals 1 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 total 48 Lifers 0
 
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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 4th First day back at work and driving in the dark wasn’t that conducive to wildlife spotting. Spent quite a lot of a meeting watching blue tits outside the window and hoping for a Coal tit to join them. The excitement of spotting common birds you haven’t seen yet in January is always a buzz but I only managed to add one bird.

48 Rook

Birds 48 Mammals 1 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 49 Lifers 0
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 5th

First, and hopefully last, day working at home for a while which at least meant that when I finished I could pop out looking for birds rather than just commute until it gets dark.

My second look for the local Black Redstarts turned up a male and a female, someone earlier had seen 4 there but I was glad just to avoid dipping on a bitterly cold dockside. The female was a lot more active which would have been a bit of a disappointment if I hadn’t had great views of the male there just before the new year. Great to have them nearby though. Also picked up a very soggy Kestrel and then a female stonechat on local waste ground but no luck with a scaup that had been seen in the bay yesterday. First day off tomorrow but weather looks a bit rubbish

49 Kestrel
50 Black Redstart
51 Stonechat



Birds 51 Mammals 1 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 52 Lifers still 0
 
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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 6th
Rain forecasted so got out quick after the school run and stayed local.

A rock pipit on penarth seafront was a bit unusual, probably down the combination of high tide and being there before the crowds. A circuit of Cosmeston Lakes brought some winter thrushes and my second mammal of the year. Had two separate looks at the Water Vole pond there with no sign despite it being before the crowds and dogs, water levels looked higher than I'd seen before so hopefully their burrows were staying dry.

I got to a few feeding stations before anyone had filled them up so stood there surrounded by Great and Blue tits pestering me for food, unfortunately I didnt have any as it's a good place to see Marsh tits if you do.

52 Rock Pipit
53 Mediterranean Gull
54 Mistle Thrush
55 Redwing
56 Fieldfare
57 Treecreeper
58 Coal Tit
59 Bullfinch
2 Brown Rat


Birds 59 Mammals 2 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 61 Lifers 0
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
My first chance today to get out early and go any distance. So I set off for Somerset as early as I could manage, not especially so as it turned out.

I decided to head about 90 minutes away and then work my way back home so first port of call was a three day old Birdguides location for some Whooper Swans. Got there just after eight and found a load of Mute Swans. There were some white blobs on the horizon though so got the scope out and yes a small group of Whoopers about three fields back from the road. They are a species I often miss, didn't see them in 2020 or 2021 because of the disrupted springs and by the time they are around in the winter there are usually more exciting species to go chase. This was in fact my first English record.

Next on to Ham Wall, one of my very favourite places. I only made it as far as the Avalon hide but had great views of skydancing Marsh Harrier. Very early for this behaviour according to the local watching. The Avalon hide itself was quite gruesome, apparently a barn owl had been using it to feed and the floor was covered in Starling parts. Didn't manage any Bittern but with them dispersed widely it's often easier in spring anyway and I'll definitely be back.

Had a nice drive around the local farms and came across three separate flocks of Cattle Egret. Amazing to see the changes with this species even in the handful of years I've been going to somerset. From finding a few hanging around with Little Egrets to there being decent sized flocks in every cow field. Drive another 5 or 6 miles and it stops but around the villages just north of Ham Wall they're almost common place.

My last stop was Weston for the Penduline Tits. It was raining when I got there and I expected quite concealed views so I left the camera in the car. End up having three of them stripping rushes about 5 feet in front of me and even trying phone photos. Gorgeous birds and far better views than I managed the only other time I've seen one. The closeness tempted me to go back for my camera and at that point the heavens really opened and the birds flew back into the reeds. I guess i'm not cut out to be a togger.

Very enjoyable day and back home in time for parenting commitments. Was a little disappointed I didn't see any mammals, you'd think driving around the countryside at dawn would be a better chance than normal but loved seeing the Penduline tits and very happy with all the ducks and egrets. I managed 219 UK birds last year so already having a couple I didn't see then feels like a decent omen.

60 Whooper Swan
61 Little Egret
62 Shoveler
63 Gadwall
64 Teal
65 Wigeon
66 Lapwing
67 Snipe
68 Marsh Harrier
69 Great Spotted Woodpecker
70 Great white egret
71 siskin
72 Common gull
73 Cattle egret
74 Collared Dove
75 Penduline Tit

Birds 75 Mammals 2 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 77 Lifers 0
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 9th
After a rainy Saturday that didn't trouble the lists it was good to get out and meet up with some local birders for the long walk out to Whitford Point at the end of the Gower. Something of a january tradition for South Wales year listers, it's normally a very well attended Glamorgan Bird Club trip and indeed was scheduled as such before a decision to cancel because of covid risks. In the end seven of us, including BF's own Clark Griswold made the trip anyway.

It's a 5km walk out across salt marsh that can either end in tons of birds it's hard to otherwise connect with in South Wales or nothing depending on the tides. Today we timed it well enough but a lot of the birds were distant and lost in glare and however hard we tried nobody could magic any rarer grebes out of the Great Crested. Rarer Sea Ducks and Raptors were also a bit harder to come by than usual, I couldn't get onto the only Peregrine we saw and no merlins. But there was still a nice variety of waders (and the biggest number of oystercatcher I've ever seen)

Stopping off at Llanridhian Marsh didn't provide the expected owls but there were great views of a Hen Harrier, a much harder species for me than either owls or Peregrines so it more than made up for the disappointment, didn't get one last year at all. A very muddy day but great company and a nice boost to the list.

76 Red Kite
77 Meadow Pipit
78 Linnet
79 Redshank
80 Pintail
81 Scaup
82 Great Northern Diver
83 Eider
84 Great Black Backed Gull
85 Turnstone
86 Bar Tailed Godwit
87 Oystercatcher
88 Knot
89 Grey Plover
90 Golden Plover
91 Brent Goose
92 Red Breasted Merganser
93 Curlew
94 Dunlin
95 Hen Harrier

Birds 95 Mammals 2 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 97 Lifers 0
 
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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
A rare day where my wife and I both had a day off AND no school pick up so rather than full on birding we decided on a place where she could do some swimming and I might pick up a few year ticks. Rhossili bay at the far end of the Gower.

The drive down was quite foggy but the headland itself was frosty but clear. We did the walk out to the start of the Worms Head causeway, the tides and me carrying a scope made the scramble across to the actual head impossible.

Plenty of birds and a lovely walk but no ticks until the very end when my wife picked up a couple of Kittiwake huddled into the cliff. In a couple of months the colony would be really busy but the scope picked up 4 early birds spread out over the cliff.

After some very frustrating sea watching. Largely struggling to get onto birds that turned out to be Great Crested Grebes (story of my January so far) things were at least enlivened by some nice scope views of basking Grey Seals and hundreds of oystercatcher on Worms Head itself.

After lunch my wife went for a very cold swim and as I waited on the beach I finally picked up binocular views of 9 Common Scoter brought in by the rising tide.

Checked them out in the scope once we’d climbed up from the beach and there wasn’t anything more unusual with them or even any more Scoter to be found but it had been a very enjoyable visit to one of the UKs best beaches even if it didn’t supply anything I won’t see again this year.

96 kittiwake
97 common scoter
3 grey seal

Birds 97 Mammals 3 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 100 Lifers 0
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 14th

A very foggy and frosty visit to slimbridge today. Visibility improved for about 15 minutes just after noon but was otherwise very limited.

In some ways it was fun. You had to spend a lot of time scouring the nearest vegetation as the vast majority of each field was lost to view. This led to some nice views of snipe and water rail (and not at the willow hide bird table either) but some of the hides were essentially fog bound and any shallow water stayed frozen all day.

Still some good birds around, a sleeping juvenile spoonbill was a nice bonus and the flying, calling Bewicks were atmospheric in the fog. I’m going to count the feral Barnacles and the cranes, even if I will hopefully see some others over the year, but apparently one of the goldeneye in the captive collection was actually a free flying wild female. I drew the line at ticking her.

It was nice to bring the hundred up. Two weeks into the year I’m a quarter of the way to my target and apart from a few puzzling omissions, where are the greenfinches?, there probably won’t be many more days with multiple ticks until I take a trip to Tenerife at the end of February. Be nice to add a few lifers to the mix

98 barnacle goose
99 black tailed godwit
100 spoonbill
101 crane
102 white fronted goose
103 Bewicks swan.

Birds 103 Mammals 3 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 106 Lifers 0
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
16th January.

Chasing up reports of solitary wintering Hawfinch seems to be a big part of january listing locally. As they so often are this one was in a local churchyard. Almost missed it. A few circuits turned up lots of birds. Including a very welcome greenfinch but no hawfinch.

Setting off back to the car I stop to watch a bunch of feeding Redwing and finally spot the hawfinch perched up next to the yews.

104 greenfinch
105 hawfinch.

Birds 105 Mammals 3 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 108 Lifers 0
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 20th

The twitching version of this day would probably involve waiting for the Baikal Teal from sun rise and then trying for Glossy Ibis and Kentish Plover in the west country but my day had to start with the school run and I didn't fancy driving past Cardiff, Newport and Bristol once the traffic had started so I stayed a bit more local instead. Maybe next week if the teal hangs around.

First port of call was Cwm Cadlan and Garwnant on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. Today brought home how much of January birding involves trying all those places you've got good birds in the past even though nobody has reported anything this year. So like every visit to Garwnant i first stopped off at the outflow of the Llwynn On reservoir because I saw a water pipit there years ago. Unsurprisingly no Water Pipit to be found.

It worked out a bit better at my next stop though, a clear fell on the way to Cwm Cadlan that had a Great Grey Shrike a few years back. No shrike but parking the car put up a massive Goshawk. It was long gone by the time I got the camera out of the boot but it was still great to see. Staying there a while I had a few groups of fly over Crossbill before a female stopped on top of a tree on the forestry edge. Needed to go to maximum zoom for it but was quite happy with the resulting photo.

At Garwnant itself there were more crossbill and plenty of siskin feeding in the carpark. Hoped for a redpoll amongst them but none to be found and there seemed to be less seed put down than usual so no sign of the willow tits that sometimes come in over winter for food. A walk around the forestry to another former Shrike site showed the flaw in this approach. What was a perfect clear fell two winters ago was now full of 5 foot high conifers. No luck either with dippers despite giving it 40 minutes on a small stream that is usually nailed on for them, presumably they've just moved to a less accessible stretch of stream for the winter. I'm sure i'll be back at Garwnant in butterfly season and as my wife is a keen river swimmer it's not really a bird I'm likely to go a year without in South Wales. Very pleased with crossbill and goshawk, those two plus the Hawfinch from earlier in the week means I'll probably not have to go to the Forest of Dean until the days are a bit longer and I can go after work. when the Wood Whites are flying.

After lunch I decided to have a go for the Pacific diver at port talbot. I'd had brief scope views from off the site back when it had first arrived but as the security situation seems to have calmed down a bit I fancied better views.

. After struggling with glare looking at distant birds for quite a while I got round to the back of the lake and with the sun at my back had very close views of this excellent bird. Much better than the scope views I first ticked it on. Slavonian Grebe and Goldeneye were nice additions as was my second Common sandpiper of the year.

Stopped off at Marcross on the way home where a Cirl Bunting has been in residence for about a week, I'm not that into my county list but it's a real star bird for glamorgan listers. No sign in fading light but I'm fully intending to go for Heath Fritillary later in the year so I should see one in devon at some point. Had a possible Yellowhammer there but I'm sure I'll see more so leaving it unticked.

A great day with a lot of walking and some very enjoyable views. The diver really was special.

106 Goshawk
107 Crossbill
108 Goldeneye
109 Slavonian Grebe
110 Pacific Diver
Birds 110 Mammals 3 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 113 Lifers 0
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 21st

My wife fancied a swim so we went to Newton beach in Porthcawl. As she debated whether it was too cold to go in we checked out the wader roost. We were 2 hours after high tide. Already too late to make finding Purple sandpipers easy but still managed Ringed Plover and Sanderling for the year before she did briefly brave the water

111 Sanderling
112 Ringed plover

Birds 112 Mammals 3 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 115 Lifers 0
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 27th

Had to work until after lunch today so when I did get out it was more to get done fresh air than with any major targets in mind.

Started out by making the most of the january sunshine by climbing up to the cliff tops at Nash point. It’s one of the best places locally for both chough and porpoise but no sign of either today.

Did really enjoy sitting up on the cliffs and looking down on the fulmar. They seemed to already be paired up with a lot of couples shaking their bills at each other. A very enjoyable half hour watching them and I was joined by a sparrowhawk disrupting the local starling and jackdaws and offering great views in the sunshine.

Stopped a few miles along the coast at southerndown where I finally managed to add pheasant to the list as well as yellowhammer (and another sparrowhawk). The Clifftop gorse at ogmore finally turned up a rabbit for the mammal list.

Tried for water vole at Cosmeston. Great views of Cetti’s warbler but no voles.

Final stop was a local park at dusk and almost instantly had Tawny Owl. Had hoped for foxes as well but I think there were probably a few too many people and dogs around.

All in all a very enjoyable afternoon that kept things ticking along. Hopefully going to be a bit twitchier tomorrow

113 fulmar
114 pheasant
115 yellowhammer
116 tawny owl
4 rabbit

Birds 116 Mammals 4 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 120 Lifers 0
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
January 28th

Up and out in the dark to try and get beyond Bristol before the rush hour started. As I passed into Somerset it got so foggy that the idea of birdwatching at all today seemed silly so I gave up on the idea of Greylake for first light and stopped at Sedgemoor for a coffee.

The half hour cost me a seat in the hide at Greylake but made all the difference to the drive. Driving along the road from the m5 towards Glastonbury with the tor rising into the sunshine above the mist was glorious and when I got to Greylake it was beautiful and frosty but not foggy.

There was plenty of room in the right hide but after reading up Paul Chapman’s comments here I went to the left one. No seats but I could at least set up my scope with a view if I bent over enough and there was a good atmosphere amongst the 6 birders present.

A lot of distant teal to search through with a background chorus of Cetti’s warblers and water rail but amazingly a youngish birder caught a glimpse of a briefly raised Baikal Teal head AND it was in line with a few landmarks to triangulate AND it only had a pair of wigeon rather than a hundred teal obstructing the view.

It was very sleepy and was to be honest mainly a dark green semicircle with a stripe next to it. But once you were locked onto it you’d get occasional flashes of more as it or the wigeon moved slightly.

Just as I’d finished letting some newly arrived birders get views through my scope a combination of a peregrine and a marsh harrier put thousands of ducks up. The Baikal moved a little slower than the birds around it and I briefly got totally unobscured views. A great looking duck and my first lifer of the year.

I’d half expected hours of searching but it was found within about 15 minutes of arrival and we watched it (sleep mainly) for about half an hour.

With the raptors not giving up the ducks stayed airborne in a huge swirling cloud for quite a while and I didn’t fancy the long search to refind it with the hide space at an ever increasing premium as more birders showed up.

I headed off to Burnham on sea in hope of seeing the Kentish plover that had been there for a few weeks. It wasn’t to be, an hour or so of walking an incredibly muddy beach and scoping groups of what would all turn out to be dunlin. I get the feeling it’s a high tide location as the near banks of the channels were completely out of view and there were acres of exposed mud.

Safely back across the border I popped into Goldcliff picking up a bunch of Pink Footed Goose on some farmland and a single Tundra Bean on the lagoons.

Both are really infrequent species in South Wales but there was a fall of overshooting tubdra bean around a few Severn estuary sites last winter with one ending up at Goldcliff for the winter. Presumably this is the returning bird. Nice close views showed up the size difference from other goose species nicely.

Also had great views of a spotted redshank. There’s usually a few wintering at goldcliff each year staying long enough to see the summer plumage but this one was a wonderfully pale bird.

Very pleased to finally get a lifer this year. Not too disappointed in the missed Kentish plover as I decided this year not to spend too long going for year ticks that I might also see abroad and to concentrate on new species when I can. With a Canary Islands trip in February and mainland Spain in April I will hopefully see Kentish plover at some point.

Very happy with my January overall. The Baikal teal, penduline tits and pacific diver have been the three big birds within 90 minutes of my house during January and I’ve managed to see them all. Hopefully in the first few weeks of Feb I can pick up some of the species I’ve missed but I have to say I’m mainly looking forward to Tenerife, i really want to see some butterflies and that’ll be my first opportunity

117 Baikal Teal
118 Peregrine
119 Pink-Footed Goose
120 Tundra Bean Goose
121 Spotted Redshank

Birds 121 Mammals 4 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 125 Lifers 1
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
February 3rd

Visited a few local sites that I don’t regularly visit today. The woods adjacent to Lisvane reservoir are the only places to view a small body of water that quite regularly picks up rarer ducks.

Today in amongst the tufties and Pochards were a (or possibly 2 but only 1 in view at a time) female ring-necked ducks. They’ve been commuting around Cardiff sites most of the autumn and winter and ive seen them a few times so not all that thrilling but good to finally connect this year

While I was in North Cardiff I thought I might as well take in Forest Farm. A local reserve that’s a real draw for photographers who come every day for perched up kingfishers. It’s a nice patch of land, had good views of large redwing flocks and loads of song thrushes and tits but the sheer volume of photographers and put down seed felt a bit odd. Did add Stock dove to the list and heard a few green woodpecker.

I’m sure at some point I’ll add something as heard only but I’m pretty sure I’ll see a woodpecker soon so I’ll leave it off.

A quick walk around the marina back home in penarth didn’t add any birds but I did manage two wood mice scurrying around which was a bit of an unexpected bonus at the end of a nice morning out and the result of me not having any particular targets in mind and taking my time

122 Ring-necked duck
123 stock dove
5 wood mouse

Birds 123 Mammals 5 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 128 Lifers 1
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
February 4th

A couple of hours patch birding this morning at Cosmeston lakes. Lots of good views and activity from the common birds and nice to find a fieldfare amongst the redwing flock but no new birds for the year. The best green woodpecker feeding area was waterlogged and no sign of any marsh tits.

Half an hours wait on my 4th attempt of the year finally got me water vole though. Most of their run is currently obscured by reeds but staying focused on the one short clear stretch did eventually pay off.

6 Water Vole

Birds 123 Mammals 6 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 129 Lifers 1
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
February 10th
Headed west today to Pendine sands where the local Common Scoter flock has been joined by a few more exotic ducks.

A steep climb up out of the village on the Wales Coast path took me to a nearby headland and the job of scouring the sea for ducks and then the ducks for slight differences.

Found some ducks then setup the scope. Had that moment where you realise you’re at maximum zoom and have the focus spot on and the ducks are clear but still very very tiny and the hard work begins.

The ducks were spread out in dozens of smaller groups on both sides of the headland and I had to use a few different places to shelter from the wind and view the different groups. Luckily they did take off and fly short distances fairly regularly and it didn’t take long to get a velvet scoter in flight. A welsh tick for me but not what I was after.

The surf scoters took a lot more work but in the end I was happy with some. There was a count of 4 yesterday. I never had clear views of more than one at a time but a very welcome tick.

The work was broken up by some nice views of a pair of close in Red-throated divers and a small flock of chough. Peregrine and Grey Seal were the best of the things that weren’t new for the year.

A lovely morning at a great beach although my knees didn’t enjoy the climb up.

124 velvet scoter
125 red-throated diver
126 Surf Scoter
127 chough

Birds 127 Mammals 6 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 133 Lifers 2
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
My wife wanted to visit Symonds Yat today so we fitted in a visit to Cannop Ponds on the way

A solitary Marsh tit was outnumbered by countless Blue and Great Tits and a few Nuthatch on the bird table and the pond itself had double figures of Mandarin.

That was it for the list, had hoped for a glimpse of deer especially when scanning nearby fields from the Symonds Yat rock but nothing. Did have prolonged views of a soaring goshawk from the rock.

Unless there’s a sudden change of plans or an unexpected commute sighting this was probably my last chance for any birding before i go on holiday at the end of next week. Pretty happy with my total, kingfisher, bittern, dipper, green woodpecker, avocet, skylark and redpoll are probably the biggest omissions but I’m sure I’ll get them at some point. Purple sandpiper might be a bit harder but should still be doable this spring. Otherwise there hasn’t been much in South Wales or south west England that I’ve missed, not been many rare gulls and I’ve done well for ducks.


128 Marsh Tit
129 Mandarin


Birds 129 Mammals 6 Herp 0 Butterflies 0 Total 135 Lifers 2
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
Start of a quick trip to Tenerife today. Very much a family rather than birding break but I do have one day birding and a, fairly touristy, whale watching trip booked.

It’s only my second trip abroad since I started birding properly but the other was to lanzarote at the same time of year so I have seen a few of the local birds before.

Set of for Bristol airport at 4am and thought we might fluke something in the country lanes between Bristol and the airport but didn’t see a single non human living thing before we left the country.

Tenerife didn’t start much better, we’re staying in a resort on the south coast and the taxi drive there genuinely saw more hang gliders than birds in the sky.

First birds we saw were actually three flying Ruddy Shelduck. Large white patches on their wings really evident. Technically a tick but having seen quite a few in the U.K. it didn’t really feel like one.

Getting the flat soon found a Small White in the grounds. Am hoping for a few more exotic species this week but the first butterfly of the year is always great.

Investigating the local beach cafes for lunch brought Spanish Sparrow and Yellow Legged Gulls but also 8 flyover parakeets. No bins so wasn’t sure if they were Monks or Rose Ringed. Monks would be a lifer so hopefully I’ll see them again.

Also unidentifiable was my first Dragonfly of the year. Quite a large one and presumably a new species for me but went past about 20 feet up without stopping.

A grey wagtail was a Spanish tick then a quick scrurry along a wall was presumably a Gallots Lizard. Didn’t take long to find 4 or 5 more. A few of which were less skittish.

Then chanced upon a very showy Canary Islands Chiffchaff. Seemed very dainty and once I got used to the call I was noticing them everywhere with a few giving really good views.

130 Ruddy Shelduck
131 Spanish Sparrow
132 yellow legged gull
133 Canary Islands Chiffchaff
1 Gallots’s Lizard

1 Small White

Birds 133 Mammals 6 Herp 1 Butterflies 1 Total 141 Lifers 5
 

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