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Trystan's 2017 year list (1 Viewer)


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Unable to go for the Red rumped swallow yesterday due to family commitments, was pleased to see it reported this morning and managed to get over to Fairburn on my lunch break only to find that those on site thought the second report was incorrect and it had not been seen since around 8.30am.

With little time available, I had to give up on this one, but still got one consolation year tick.


172. Little gull


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Main targets today were Nightingale and Montagu's harrier plus any other migrants around still needed for the year list. Overall, a good day, frustrated only by Grasshopper warbler, heard but not seen.


174. Garden warbler
175. Nightingale
176. Lesser whitethroat
177. Sedge warbler


178. Montagu's harrier


179. Whitethroat
180. Reed warbler


181. Whimbrel
182. Cuckoo


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Strange not to have crossed paths with the local dippers so far this year until today right by the road bridge.


183. Dipper


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Dilemma of heading west to try for Pallid harrier or East for Savi's warbler today. The East won out with a stop off at swillington for a couple of common migrants to start and lots of potential at Spurn given the wind direction. Unfortunately it turned out to be the wrong decision with Spurn as disappointing as I've ever known it to be, not even salvaging one year tick there.

Swillington ings

184. Whinchat
185. Grasshopper warbler

North cave wetlands

It was apparent that a phenomenal amount of Black terns were showing up everywhere so took a quick detour here.

186. Black tern

And that was it, very frustrating.


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Covered some miles today, walked the strid wood area, then a detour for ring ouzel, the pallid harrier hike and finished by trudging up pendle hill and back!

Bolton abbey

Overall disappointing compared to previous years, particularly the lack of wood warblers.

187. Redstart
188. Pied flycatcher
189. Swift

Barden moor

190. Ring ouzel

Dunsop bridge

191. Pallid harrier - great display, landing on a post over the valley then taking what was probably a meadow pipit

Failed attempt for dotterel reported at Pendle hill increased the weariness, hope I can move my legs at work tomorrow. Still feeling aggrieved at the shoddy reporting of the Dotterels at Wainstalls on the bank holiday when I could have twitched them, rather than on Tuesday when by the time I left work they had departed but that seems to be the way of it with some areas.
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Stressful day at work with a UK tick sat 10 minutes from your house!


192. Stone curlew (1st UK)


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Long drive to Oban today before crossing to Mull tomorrow.

Loch Lomond

193. House martin

Only a brief stop here, may try for Osprey on the journey back down. Next up was an attempt for Black throated diver. Wasn't able to get anything definitive about where to find them but had several possible locations to try. I won't disclose anything here but was very pleased to find a pair (my first in breeding plumage) at the first site I tried. This completes all 5 diver species in the U.K. this year.

194. Black throated diver


195. Black guillemot - 5 in the harbour


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Took the ferry across to Mull this morning and spent most of the day in the south east looking at various view points and places of interest. There are 4 of us and not everyone is a keen birder so I can't do exactly as I like in optimising birding opportunities but did pick up tree pipit for the year and already have two white tailed eagles fly over. My first in the U.K.


196. Tree pipit
197. White tailed eagle (1st U.K.)


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198. Golden eagle (1st U.K.)

Despite some poor weather, all main targets for the trip now seen. Also saw my first wild otters today.


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199. Wood warbler - having to make a special trip as this species keeps eluding me but good views this morning.

Burton mere wetlands

200. BUFF BREASTED SANDPIPER - Stunning bird, smaller than I expected.


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What started as yet another failed Hoopoe twitch evolved into a very long day with mixed results. Some sensitive breeding sites so locations not given in some cases.

Wykeham lakes

201. Egyptian goose


202. Temminck's stint
203. Kittiwake
204. Puffin


205. Turtle dove
206. Common crane


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Planned Anglesey trip today coincided nicely with a Red backed shrike in the area plus hit all the other targets for the day.


207. Little tern

South stack

208. Chough


209. Red backed shrike

Cemlyn Bay

210. Sandwich tern
211. Arctic tern
212. Manx shearwater


213. Osprey


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Travelling to the midlands for work today gave me the chance to call into Shrewsbury to look at the ridiculously tame Night heron. So tame, I'm quite cynical about putting it on my list, especially for a UK tick but since I took the trouble to go see it, it can stay on there for now and I'll hopefully see another I feel less doubtful about in the future.

214. Night heron


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Late start today with the intention of trying for nightjars in the evening. With news that the Marsh warbler remained at saltholme, the course was set for the day.

Not a great start, setting off at 11 meant I caught lots of traffic I would normally avoid, then apparently missed good views of the warbler by 10 mins. Over an hour later still no sign and a strong breeze made the situation seem unpromising. A second Marsh warbler reported close by had shown from time to time in the day so a plan B began to form.

Went up to Hartlepool for the local parakeets, even these played hard to get for a while.


215. Rose ringed parakeet

Then back to Saltholme to see if the evening had encouraged Marsh warbler 1 out to sing and once again was told hit had been singing and been seen briefly. The only bird I heard while I was present despite some claiming the warbler seemed too close to Sedge warbler for comfort to me.

Off to try Marsh warbler 2 then, and this time had much more success. Not showing often but working around small patch of reeds and willows while being quite vocal, I managed a few flight views an a few seconds of the bird perched singing. Phew!

Bowesfield Marsh

216. Marsh warbler (1st UK)

Now for the Nightjars, calling at a reliable site for Spotted flycatcher, still needed for the year on the way down to Sutton bank.

Cod beck reservoir

217. Spotted flycatcher

Sutton bank

218. Woodcock
219. Nightjar

Took a long time to see, lots of churring going on, a couple of disappointing flight views then success with one bird perching up on one of the higher dead trees.


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Going to keep the numbering separate as I'm trying to keep track of my uk list this year, a personal best seems likely. 9 days now in Switzerland, not a birding trip but trying to take opportunities and focus on a handful of potential lifers too. I will keep editing this post rather than adding new ones for the duration of the trip.

Day 1 - Arrive Zurich and drive to our apartment in Flims. Birds seen along the way including a couple of rest stops:

1. Buzzard
2. Red kite
3. Carrion crow
4. Grey heron
5. Starling
6. House sparrow
7. Swallow
8. Goldfinch
9. Mallard
10. White wagtail
11. Grey wagtail
12. Marsh tit
13. Blackbird

Late afternoon around Flims

14. Swift
15. Black redstart
16. House martin
17. Coal tit
18. Nutcracker - year tick - single bird flew over the road and perched annoyingly in silhouette.
19. Fieldfare

Day 2

Flims, then chair lift to Nahaus and some beautiful alpine scenery. A very heavy going walk did not produce the target bird Snowfinch but added:

20. Great tit
21. Alpine chough - year tick
22. Wheatear
23. Water pipit
24. Raven
25. Kestrel
26. Ring ouzel
27. Citril finch - year tick
28. Bullfinch

Late addition back round the town this evening:

29. Jay

Day 3

Driving to Vaduz, Liechtenstein today for a country tick. Did surprisingly well at finding birds around the town and surrounding area.

Liechtenstein - new country new list!

1. House sparrow
2. Black redstart
3. Swift
4. Woodpigeon
5. Carrion crow
6. Kestrel
7. Magpie
8. Blackbird
9. Crag martin - year tick
10. Great spotted woodpecker
11. Fieldfare
12. Black kite - also made it into the Switzerland list as I later watched the bird fly over the river Rhine
13. Long tailed tit
14. Goldfinch
15. Starling
16. House martin
17. Tree sparrow
18. White wagtail
19. Grey heron
20. Mallard
21. Feral pigeon
22. Collared dove

Back into Switzerland and stopped at walk to a castle ruin Ruchenberg which turned out to be much further than my map suggested with about twice as many switchbacks. Was amazed that even out here, there was a parking charge. I had no change and the machine spat my debit card out three times before I gave up and was therefore disgusted to find a fine ticket on the car when I got back.
Anyway, the birds:

30. Black kite - see above
31. Chaffinch - finally off the heard only list
32. Wren
33. Song thrush
34. Crested tit - year tick
35. Bonelli's warbler - right up by what was a truly uninspiring ruin, not worth the walk or the fine but a nice bird at least
36. Chiffchaff

Day 4

Early morning attempt for Rock partridge in the Vals area was fruitless. A handful of birds for the trip added:

37. Black grouse - female flew into a tree and eyeballed me for a minute then moved on.
38. Linnet
39. Whinchat
40. Dunnock

Day 5

Would like to take this opportunity to thank Andre (Wintibird) for advice on my target species in this area. All difficult so not very high expectations but having dipped Snowfinch a couple of days ago he suggested Oberalppass and 3 mountain walks later, I finally found a bird that wasn't yet another Water pipit!

41. Crag martin

Day 6 Exploring the forested area south of town this morning.

43. Treecreeper
44. Great spotted woodpecker
45. Honey buzzard - year tick, a pair circling over the forest
46. Blackcap
47. Nuthatch
48. Firecrest - year tick

Day 7

A second and final attempt for Rock partridge this morning around Vals only turned up a couple of trip ticks and was more notable for mammals and also Alpine salamander.

49. Tree pipit
50. Yellowhammer

An afternoon walk around the forest and lake south of Flims was better producing a year tick.

51. Redstart
52. Serin - year tick
53. Robin
54. Little grebe
55. Magpie

Day 8

Made an attempt for hazel grouse today near Voralp, apparently little chance due to the time of year and so it turned out to be so only one of my main five targets accomplished which was rather expected. Some nice birds made it onto the list today though.

56. Woodpigeon
57. Mistle thrush
58. Golden eagle - adult as far as I could tell being harassed by two ravens.
59. Goldcrest
60. Three toed woodpecker - year tick, ok so not a lifer but maybe bird of the trip. Incredibly close views right at the base of a tree pecking at the bark and seemingly oblivious to my presence. Have some video footage from iPhone but looks distant even though I was behind the next tree.
61. Spotted flycatcher

Day 9

Drive back to Zurich, time for a few hours in town before our flight.

62. White stork - year tick, 2 in fields on route.
63. Feral pigeon
64. Alpine swift - year tick
65. Mute swan
66. Yellow legged gull - year tick
67. Red crested pochard - year tick
68. Coot
69. Great crested grebe

Additional heard only birds for the trip:


Non-birds noted

Red squirrel
Red deer
Alpine marmot
European hare
Common frog
Alpine salamander
Sand lizard

Current year total 235
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Back from Switzerland but unfortunately all the good birds hanging around Monday-Wednesday have all vanished. Hopes of an Iberian Chiffchaff, Caspian Tern, Spotted sandpiper combo fizzled out so instead:

Walton Hall Lake

220. Red crested pochard

Old moor

221. Wood sandpiper

Thorne moor

222. Hobby

(UK 222, Switzerland 69, Liechtenstein 22, Total 237)


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Braced to shoot off to Flamborough after work if the Albatross stuck around, plan b was the Sabine's gull at Nosterfield.

223. Sabine's gull


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East Leake

224. Bee-eater (1st UK)

Five together at one point this morning. No news on the Caspian tern further down the M1 so I cut across Lincolnshire and back to familiar territory.


225. White winged black tern

Also seeing Little and Sandwich tern takes my Yorkshire year total to 200.


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Nipped over to Blacktoft for the evening, was hoping to get Spotted redshank and greenshank onto the year list. Only half successful but also 5 Spoonbills on site and a very showy Barn owl.


226. Spotted redshank

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