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Trystan's tentative 2021 world list (1 Viewer)


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Couldn't resist 2 potential Yorkshire tick at Whitby so took a half day from work today. 50% success as the bee-eater flock had moved on again but connected with the Lesser grey shrike.

209. Lesser grey shrike - 1st Yorkshire


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My most insane twitching day ever, after sorting a group to head down for the River warbler today and late news of the Northumberland Red necked stint, we decided to have a go at both birds - something around 750 miles round. Pleasingly, everything went according to the plan!

Ham Wall

210. River warbler - 1st UK

Performed brilliantly, singing and preening for long periods in full view. Disappointed not to be able to spend more time here, nor try for some of the butterflies in the area as originally planned.


211. RED NECKED STINT - my first lifer of the year.

Coquet Island

A rerun of a few weeks ago in better weather.

212. Sandwich tern
213. Roseate tern

East Chevington

214. Great reed warbler

Distant but on view on arrival singing and the icing on the cake after an incredible day.
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No chance to go for yesterday's Pacific swift as booked in for my final Covid jab. Finally made it to Anglesey today though for the once annual trip which I've not managed to do for the last two years!

Expected to pick up 5 year ticks and it all went like clockwork, with bonus Hooded crow and amazing views of Roseate tern at Cemlyn. The second time I've managed all the UK crow species in a day too with history repeating itself from a previous Anglesey trip, needing Jay only to finish and picking one up over the motorway on the journey home.

Holyhead harbour

215. Black guillemot

South stack

216. Chough


217. Arctic tern
218. Red breasted merganser
219. Manx shearwater


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Nice evening out, if slightly cold. Had to stay late for nightjars but the first time I've heard wing claps and saw what I guess was some courting with two birds landing on a branch and performing a kind of trembling tail shaking action.

Also tree pipit before dark, then woodcock and also a badger on the drive home!

220. Nightjar


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Full team today for another long day out and several good birds close together.


221. Roller - 1st UK

Lackford lakes

222. Glossy ibis

Cavenham heath

223. Stone curlew

Some enjoyable birding between the highlights and finished with another year tick with another stop on the way home.

Idle valley NR

224. Red crested pochard


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Very stressful day at work with no chance of getting away early and no car. Had to make the commute home on public transport before I could even set off.

After a nice clear run, I got stuck at the railway crossing and I picked up a message that the bird had left the cliff.

Complete panic set in on the last little stretch, stuck behind another late arriver who didn't seem to have any sense of urgency whatsoever on the drive up to the carpark.

Arrived with shredded nerves to find the bird was sat on the sea and there was no need to worry after all.

Got some spectacular views when the bird flew off, then back over before settling down with the gannets and trying a bit of bill fencing with one. Quite possibly the biggest buzz I've had from a UK tick.



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I thought it was July and I could start turning attention back to my butterfly list but the birds just keep coming. Saturday was a difficult day as plans in the evening meant I was a bit restricted. I had a failed attempt for the Oriental turtle dove in the morning, only for it to be back when I was home and nothing I could do about it. In addition, no Caspian terns around for consolation despite them lingering all of the week.

I therefore started Sunday in a not particularly hopeful mood but with a team ready to go and try again with the dove. Pretty much walked right onto the bird which gave great if slightly backlit views from a tree that I'd looked in any number of times the previous day.


226. Oriental turtle dove - 1st UK

This took the pressure off and I envisaged a relaxing day at spurn. After some nice birds such as Spoonbill, little gull, little tern and curlew sandpiper, everything changed with reports that the Albatross was back at Bempton and there was an "orange billed tern" at Cemlyn.

With one of our group needing the albatross we made haste for this first, noting on the way out of Easington that the dove was now sat prominently in a tall bare tree next to the road.

The albatross was just about showing on arrival but on the water, distant and hazy. By now the orange billed tern was being reported regularly as Elegant tern, a world lifer for us but a hideous drive from out present location. We stuck with the albatross a while, walking up the coast to hopefully get closer and better views but never did relocate it. When we returned to the viewing platforms, there had been no further sign and we decided that what we had seen would have to do. It was time to go cross country!

With one member of the team not up for the late finish, and another contact in Lancashire eager to go, we set off, changing cars and personnel along the way.

We finally arrived at Cemlyn around 18.30 having seen some horrific traffic in the opposite direction, we had no inclination to abort even when a negative report had come out.

Terns had been spooked on arrival and were all up in the air but fortunately the Elegant tern seemed to be favouring a particular section, and soon returned. It appeared to be displaying to the Sandwich terns, strutting round and nodding it's big orange hooter up and down most of the time we were present. Also great to see a constant stream of Manxies very close in, one even coming right into the bay during our stay.



Late finish but what a day again!
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Taken a bit of a break from year listing in the summer lull. Managed to connect with High Brown Fritillary last weekend and then a long weekend in Guernsey, one of the few places it seems you can come and go from without hassle if you are double vaccinated.

Just a relaxing trip with no real birding targets but did get Short-toed treecreeper for the year along with a few other nice species. especially a Honey buzzard coming along the coast harassed by crows one morning.

Full list of species seen on Guernsey including the crossing to Sark which added a few seabirds.

1. Herring gull
2. House martin
3. Carrion crow
4. Robin
5. Short toed treecreeper (228 for year)
6. Firecrest
7. Wren
8. Woodpigeon
9. Buzzard
10. Goldfinch
11. Magpie
12. Chaffinch
13. Greenfinch
14. Swift
15. House sparrow
16. Feral pigeon
17. Black headed gull
18. Great black backed gull
19. Guillemot
20. Shag
21. Oystercatcher
22. Cormorant
23. Peregrine
24. Gannet
25. Lesser black backed gull
26. Long tailed tit
27. Dunnock
28. Great tit
29. Swallow
30. Starling
31. Linnet
32. Meadow pipit
33. Mediterranean gull
34. Little egret
35. Whitethroat
36. Kestrel
37. Grey heron
38. Curlew
39. Pheasant
40. Mallard
41. Crossbill
42. Blue tit
43. Moorhen
44. Honey buzzard
45. Rock pipit
46. Great spotted woodpecker

Also heard

Serin - Frustratingly elusive bird which escaped without being seen


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229. Pacific golden plover

Good selection of waders but neither of the two easier ones still needed for the year, Sanderling and Little stint. Seems the Western sandpiper has moved on too so no point pushing on around the Wash.

Fairburn ings

230. Cattle egret


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Having seen the weather outside and the forecast, almost aborted this trip but persuaded to give it a go and apart from a mild soaking early on, did manage to avoid the worst of the weather and get some nice year ticks.


231. American golden plover - That's all 4 Pluvialis in the UK in a year for the first time for me.
232. Sanderling - Long overdue

Burton mere

233. Water rail
234. Pectoral sandpiper


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Very last minute trip to Ireland as one of the few places available with no Covid travel restrictions and a new country for me.

No targeted birding while there, although I did keep one eye on the sky in case of the Egyptian vulture passing over. Some birding from the ferry provided the most interest with very good numbers of Manx shearwaters throughout and and plenty of other sea birds in smaller numbers. The year list only benefitted on the return journey with one Great skua and one Storm petrel.

Full list of species seen for Ireland here:

01. Fulmar
02. Kittiwake
03. Gannet
04. Manx shearwater
05. Herring gull
06. Razorbill
07. Great black backed gull
08. Mediterranean gull
09. Black headed gull
10. Common tern
11. Shag
12. Common gull
13. Lesser black backed gull
14. Cormorant
15. Feral pigeon
16. Rook
17. Swallow
18. Starling
19. Wood pigeon
20. Blackbird
21. Hooded crow
22. Magpie
23. Pied wagtail
24. House sparrow
25. Jackdaw
26. Sand martin
27. Goldfinch
28. Collared dove
29. Chaffinch
30. Blue tit
31. Robin
32. Blackcap
33. Yellowhammer
34. Buzzard
35. House martin
36. Goldcrest
37. Kestrel
38. Curlew
39. Oystercatcher
40. Meadow pipit
41. Linnet
42. Raven
43. Turnstone
44. Wheatear
45. Stonechat
46. Grey heron
47. Mute swan
48. Mallard
49. Tufted duck
50. Little grebe
51. Coot
52. Moorhen
53. Great crested grebe
54. Wren
55. Mistle thrush
56. Sparrowhawk
57. Black tailed godwit
58. Redshank
59. Greenfinch
60. Bullfinch
61. Coal tit
62. Long tailed tit
63. Great tit
64. Swift
65. Whitethroat

Heard only: Jay, Chiffchaff

Ferry home (UK side)

235. Great skua
236. Storm petrel

Also Puffin, Guillemot and Black guillemot which didn't make the Irish list
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Blacktoft sands

Feels like a long time since I was at blacktoft. Some logistical challenges to get there this afternoon but we'll worth it for the obliging White tailed plover.


Very nice to get a world tick in Yorkshire.


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A bit disappointed with the day, despite some good birds, there was not much for the year list when the weather conditions, and the birds around during the week had promised so much more.


238. Arctic skua
239. Little stint


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Had a go at the Syke's warbler on Saturday with a full car, but obviously to no avail and the day continued to frustrate, failing to connect with possible year ticks such as Wryneck and Barred warbler, and not really having the time or inclination to head round the wash to try for the black stork either.

Despite this, some other good birds seen such as Common crane, Black tern and Turtle dove.

Today proved somewhat better, with planned seawatch at Flamborough producing Sooty shearwater early on before being rudely interrupted by news of an Ortolan in the area. Right place at the right time as I know a lot of people didn't connect later in the day. The the sun came out and the temperature rose and apart from a few more common migrants things seemed to dry up, though another spell at sea-watching produced Red throated diver for the year, another bird regained from losing the first two months of the year to lockdown.


240. Sooty shearwater
241. Ortolan bunting
242. Red throated diver


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Got a lift after work to head to Bempton/Buckton to try and see the Green warbler. Not my idea of fun with the amount of people present and all trying to see into a channel where the bird (apparently) kept being seen.

Mostly well behaved in the circumstances but a few irritatingly pushy types and some excessive and irrelevant chatter didn't do anything to help with the frustration that this kind of twitch brings. After a period of activity where quite a few had enough views to be happy to tick the bird, and a bit of a rain shower, the numbers thinned out a bit and it became more manageable but still views were fleeting and inconclusive for me.

Finally as the nets were being put away for the night, there was news that the bird was seen in a roosting position from within the bushes, high in a sycamore.

An attempt was made to form a queue in but with no clear instructions on how to proceed, it was still a bit of a scrum to get into the confined space and attempt to look at the bird which was set up in one very kind person's scope, though it kept getting knocked, I was one of the first 10 to get a look through and while the light was now too poor to get much colour and part of the bird was obscured by leaves, it was clearly the right bird from the brightness and size of supercillium compared to the video footage taken earlier in the day.

I kept my views brief to give others a chance to connect but with failing light, and the moving scope, I'm not sure many did, and I don't know if others managed to find it in their bins from other angles. Plenty were trying.

Not the most pleasant evening but the ends justify the means!



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Blacktoft sands

No year ticks last weekend but connected again with all three mega's lingering in Yorkshire, with better views of the Green warbler and further views of the Albatross and White-tailed plover.

Today was yet another trip to Blacktoft, and after a bit of a wait in the morning when it seemed the Bluethroat may have moved on, it suddenly popped out and performed really well, apparently offensive to other species in the area, in a 10 minute spell it has altercations with a Cetti's warbler, a Robin and a Reed warbler.

244. Bluethroat


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Swillington ings

After 2 weeks of nothing, it felt about time there was another mega bird in Yorkshire.

Small window of opportunity taken this morning. Wandered away from the redbeds after a no show in the early morning and got lucky with a small flock of parakeets through before having to race back when the bird came in.

245. Rose ringed parakeet


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Bizarre day at Spurn with pretty much nothing else around except for yet another Yorkshire mega, which is becoming the norm right now.


Showed very well early on so I was happy to leave the large crowd and try to get a few year ticks but it was really quiet and the Taiga flycatcher up the road seems to have moved on. A snow bunting eluded me and some miserable weather set in for the afternoon so in the end decided to cut the day short.


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248. Arctic warbler


249. Barnacle goose

The day also included 3 species of diver, spoonbill and avocet, but unfortunately not the hoped for Little auks.

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