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Trystan's tentative 2021 world list (1 Viewer)


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Having surprisingly not picked one up elsewhere this year, I braved the rush hour traffic this evening to head into Wakefield to see the world famous Peregrines. While the bird on the nest is not visible from the ground, fortunately the mate was perched up high on the spire.

142. Peregrine falcon


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Still managing to catch up with the odd winter species as well as collecting the new arrivals.

Elton reservoir

143. Scaup - nice drake
144. Common sandpiper - at least 3 around


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Very good day today where everything seemed to go like clockwork. The main draw was another trip into Notts for the Two barred crossbill, then with not much else within striking distance, an attempt to see Adders over at Thorne moor.

Thoresby Pit Top

145. Common crossbill - several already present on arrival and perching up well.
146. Two barred crossbill - after a short wait, probably less than 20 minutes, a larger flock of common crossbills moved in and prolonged views given of this bird amongst them.

Thorne Moor

Following some information on good spots to look, ended up with brilliant views of three adders here. I was not expecting to connect with the common cranes present around here which can be very difficult so two birds in flight were very welcome.

147. Common crane
148. Marsh harrier

Decided to finish the day a bit closer to home for some general birding and managed to claw back another two species normally picked up earlier in the year.

Wombwell ings

149. Ringed plover
150. Kingfisher


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Midweek jaunt to Swillington where Jack snipe have been showing quite well in recent days. Managed decent distanced scoped views of one.

151. Jack snipe


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Have been waiting for calmer weather to have a go at a local Barn owl sight and was rewarded with one popping out just after 8pm this evening.

152. Barn owl


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A more ambitious jaunt to see the long staying Walrus today now that the Welsh border is open, heading down through the night in the hope that it would still be on its ramp early morning. Infact it seemed to be having a lazy day, shuffling up the ramp each time the tide caught up with it before going back to sleep.

Attempted digiscope effort attached - you will see why I don't usually bother trying to get photos!

The birding year list kept creeping forwards too, with a stop off at Attenborough NR on the way home to break up the drive.


153. Rock pipit

Attenborough NR, Notts

154. Black tern
155. Common tern


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Plans to go to Rutland water to pick up the Osprey's and lingering Bonaparte's gull along with other migrants species. The Gull spoiled the party going AWOL, so it was left to the supporting cast to provide a good day out.

Rutland water

160. Greenshank
161. Grey plover
162. Sedge warbler
163. Bar tailed godwit
164. Ruff
165. Whitethroat
166. Osprey
167. Grasshopper warbler

As with other recent trips, have headed a bit closer to home to finish the day's birding. A breeding plumage spotted redshank at Edderthorpe provided the opportunity for this. A cuckoo was also calling here but not visible.

Edderthorpe flash

168. Spotted redshank


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Swillington ings

Not the hoped for Arctic terns or Whinchat but a pleasant evening out with lingering pink footed goose being the last evidence of winter and breeding activity at full steam ahead.

169. House martin
170. Swift
171. Wheatear


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Set off on news of Collared pratincole today but negative news followed so tried to salvage a bit of general birding for the day.

Kirkby, Lancashire

172. Whinchat


173. Wood sandpiper

Cutthroat bridge

174. Ring ouzel
175. Raven


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Today could have gone either way, trying to connect with some tough birds on the decline and came away with a big win.


176. Lesser whitethroat
177. Garden warbler
178. Nightingale

Frampton Marsh

179. Dotterel
180. Brent goose (Dark bellied)
181. Turtle dove
182. Short eared owl

Over 80 species seen plus a few more heard, with other highlights including Grasshopper warbler for the second week in a row, showy Jack snipe, Spoonbill and some wonderfully plumaged Ruff.


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Managed to catch up with the mockingbird this morning before the miserable weather set in.
No sign of the black/grey headed wagtail at Bothal in the rain so had a go at scoping up coquet island for terns.

With the poor visibility and shake from the wind, I couldn't really be happy putting any of the tern species on the year list though conditions were about good enough to make out puffins.


183. Northern mockingbird - 1st UK

Coquet island

184. Eider
185. Puffin


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Mixed fortunes today and much more driving than originally planned.

Started at Langford lowfields to try and connect with what I felt was a fairly safe glossy ibis, while waiting to see if the Bonaparte's gull that was at Holmepierre point was still around. As it turned out, neither bird was on, and had to settle for the consolation of a couple of very nice Hobbies - or should it be Hobbys?

Langford lowfields

186. Hobby

Anyway, the next nearest bird of note seemed to be the Temminck's stint at North Cave so decided to have a go, arriving to negative news. The bird had gone and consolation here was by way of the excellent butty van.

A second report of Hoopoe from Flamborough was encouraging so pushed on another hour of driving and after some confusion over where to view the bird managed to connect with the bird as it flew away. Not sure if it was relocated later in the day, but a relief nonetheless that fortune seemed to have changed.


187. Hoopoe

After some general seawatching, and managing to find only 2 puffins amongst the huge rafts of auks, began retracing the route to a reserve I've never visited before called Swinemoor which had a report of red-necked phalarope.

Luck seemed to have gone again with a couple of birders there having lost sight of the bird and the waders it had been associating with taking off high. After a bit of searching, 2 waders suddely flew back in and simply would not settle. One was clearly a dunlin, the other, I strongly suspected was the phalarope, but they stubbornly refused to land.

After losing them several times as they twisted and turned they finally did settle and vanished into the vegetation before finally showing and happily, the second bird was indeed the phalarope which then gave good but distant views.

Swine moor

188. Red necked phalarope


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The last day of having a car for work before my wife returns to the office and I end up on public transport again and with a UK tick and a county tick available, I took advantage and booked a half day from work.


Arrived just as a negative report came out for the Thrush nightingale but after a short wait, the bird sang briefly though not able to get a view, at least I knew it was still around. Some 2 hours later, it began to sing again and this time, for a bit longer and being on the right side of the bushes, was one of the lucky few who managed to get brief but reasonable views.

190. Thrush nightingale - 1st UK

Before moving on to the Savi's warbler site, I headed up for a quick look for little terns and was rewarded with a perched short eared owl only 2 posts away from a cuckoo on the fence line, the first of 3 along the walk.

191. Cuckoo
192. Little tern

York University campus

Savi's was calling almost constantly. A few glimpses of what was probably the bird before it came out into full view giving excellent views and rounding off a fantastic evening.

193. Savi's warbler - 1st Yorkshire


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Been a good while since last meeting up with any of the Birdforum group but arranged a Bolton abbey trip for today and it didn't disappoint with all the main targets seen and a nice supporting cast. No Wood warblers here again, but managed to connect at the relatively nearby St. Ives estate.

Bolton abbey

194. Mandarin duck
195. Pied flycatcher
196. Redstart
197. Spotted flycatcher

St. Ives Estate

198. Wood warbler


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Having had so much misery inflicted on me by Franklin's gull over the last couple of years, it seemed history was about to repeat itself with a mobile bird at my favourite local reserve and no transportation available to get to it. After a couple of texts and a call I'd managed to blag a lift over after work so had to stew for the day and hope for the best.

On arrival, first news was that the bird was still around, followed by news that it hadn't been seen for 40 minutes. A number of birders were scanning around where it had been last seen and we worked this area and the main lake without any success when a report suddenly came through saying on western reedbed still!?

A dash round the reserve ensued and happily, the bird was indeed sat amongst the black headed gulls being watched by another set of birders. Big thanks to whoever put the news out, though after a while the gull took off and did relocate to where we had originally been watching so we would probably have been ok eventually!

A big relief to get this bird onto the UK list and at Swillington ings no less!

199. Franklin's gull - 1st UK

Only my second day back on public transport and think its worth a little rant - there were no trains out of Wakefield to Huddersfield without first going back to Leeds so had to be inconveniently dropped back into Dewsbury, where the train due in 10 minutes was running over 20 minutes late (not exactly rush hour - and with reduced passengers at the moment too it is totally incompetent). Instead I opted for the bus which goes round the houses and takes 3 times longer than the train only to arrive and miss my bus connection home by 30 seconds because the driver had decided to pull out of the station before he was due to leave condemning me to another 15 minute wait. It just doesn't seem like it should be so difficult to make it all work better.

Anyway I didn't let it mar the fantastic bird, my 2nd UK tick and 3rd Yorkshire tick in 5 days.
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Aborted plans for Anglesey based on the weather and headed east for a half hearted effort at Honey buzzard at Wykeham with a couple of other year species possible.

Near Yedingham

200. Grey partridge


201. Honey buzzard - one very distant but prolonged flight view was actually more than I expected.
202. Tree pipit

Forge Valley

203. Marsh tit


204. Common scoter


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Plan to stay overnight in Scotland this weekend with 2 major targets. Firstly, with only a handful of species of UK butterflies still needed, to try and see Chequered skipper while they are out and with good weather forecast for the weekend; and secondly, through bad luck, bad weather and incompetence I am still to see ptarmigan in the UK.

Apart from the mythical Scottish crossbill, this latter is the last regular breeding bird from the UK, I haven't seen in the UK.

As time allowed, I would also try and see what other bits and pieces I could add to the year list.

205. Black throated diver - seen en route, the site is in the public domain but not particularly shouted about so will not mention it here.

206. Hooded crow

Also delighted to stumble upon the Castle Aaaarrrgggghhh which I did not know was here and found is really called Castle Stalker.

The weather was not anything like as good as I'd hoped, it rained several times on the way to Glasdrum, however, I did manage to find one skipper fairly easily and with that success decided that despite a lack of recent reports I would have a go at the Strontian black duck. No joy here though, scoured the river and the shoreline for a couple of hours before moving on to the Cairngorms to be positioned for a long day searching for Ptarmigan if required.



Reached the carpark at 6am. A Ring ouzel was singing from the fence. A couple of photographers were getting some shots of it and they seemed to know the area, directing me to the best route up to the restaurant to search. The funicular is closed for renovation currently.

About three quarters up, a couple of Dotterel close to the path. Around the restaurant, I quickly came upon a grouse head sticking up. Moving a little closer and scoping up, a female ptarmigan - too easy! She was a bit wary to start with then started walking about and surprisingly began to come closer to me at which point I realised that between me and her, squatting behind a rock, was a male only a few metres away. I sat down and took a few photos on my phone before leaving them in peace. A scour for snow buntings yielded nothing.

207. Ptarmigan - 1st UK

Back down to the carpark before 9am. I spent a bit of time at Loch Garten looking for crested tit which proved much harder but eventually stumbled on one.

Loch Garten

208. Crested tit

I contemplated heading to the Findhorn valley but in the end decided that I'd rather not be too late home and headed back happy that I'd scored on my two main targets.


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