Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Birding highlights of 2016

2016 was our first full year of retirement so it was nice to have the time to get out and birdwatch, spending as much time enjoying nature as we liked. The total opposite to the Saturday and Sunday chase around that we did whilst working. Birding is chilled now and we love it !  I am going to tell you of all the birding highlights of 2016.

The year got off to a flying start with 3 chiffchaffs at Alkborough Flats on the 1st January, and I will continued with just the highlights below

5th - willow tit
6th - merlin, peregrine and pintails at Alkborough Flats
10th - short eared owls, barn owl and tawny owl at Alkborough Flats
11th - bittern and cettis warbler at Messingham NR
16th - red-necked grebe at Cleethorpes Country Park and snow buntings at Buck Beck
17th - a black-eared grebe was on Barton Sailing Pit
21st - a smew was on Toft Newton Reservoir
22nd - a male hen harrier at Blacktoft Sands
27th - red-breasted merganser at Whisby 

2nd - our 100th bird of the year was a slavonian grebe at Toft Newton Reservoir
3rd - 7+ hawfinches at Rufford Country Park, Notts
8th - this day saw our first fail of the year when we drove up to Saltholme for penduline tits but we were lucky with a red kite sighting on the way home
9th - marsh tit and goshawk at the Welbeck Raptor Viewpoint
10th - woodlark, yellowhammer and corn bunting
22nd - goshawks at Troutdale and a dipper under the bridge.   A stop at North Cave Wetlands for a green-winged teal was bird number 115. 
24th  - 116 whooper swans and 4 bewick swans at Alderfen along with English partridges

10th - crossbill at Alkborough and a firecrest at Lound, Notts
13th - back to Saltholme for the penduline tits, a successful day gave us bird number 123 of the year
15th - an American wigeon at the Sealife Centre, Scarborough
19th - our first big find of the year - a pair of common cranes
22nd - more goshawks at Troutdale and puffins at Bempton
24th - sand martin over Reads Island
25th - another good find, a local raven and a swallow at Winteringham Haven brought us up to 133 birds 

2nd - long eared owl at Blacktoft Sands, a house martin, and a willow warbler
3rd - more local ravens
4th - wheatears and yellow wagtails
5th - 2 Richards pipits at Flamborough
14th - a grasshopper warbler and a reed warbler were at Waters' Edge
20th - Ospreys at Rutland Water
21st - Nightingales at Whisby
24th - whimbrel at Frampton Marsh (but failed with turtle dove)
27th - garden warbler at Whisby and it SNOWED !
30th - swifts at Hatfield Moor was bird number 160 

1st - cuckoo, tree pipits at Laughton and ring ouzels at Barton
24th - a female montagues harrier was at Blacktoft Sands
26th - little gulls and 4 turtle doves took the count so far this year to 166
27th - red-breasted flycatcher and red-backed shrike at Spurn. A savis warbler at Blacktoft and nightjar and woodcock at Laughton. 
28th - great reed warbler at Paxton Pits and another turtle dove

5th - great reed warbler at Waters' Edge 
7th - red-necked phalarope at Blacktoft Sands and spoonbills at Alkborough Flats was bird 175 
8th - spotted flycatchers at Willingham-by-Stow
15th - Great Knot at Titchwell, Norfolk
19th - a trip to Scotland. Corn crakes on Iona, sea eagles, golden eagles
25th - broad-billed sandpiper, little stint, pectoral sandpiper and curlew sandpiper at Frampton Marsh took the tally to 195 for the year so far

1st - western purple swamphen at Minsmere along with stone curlew
9th - squacco heron at Pasture Fisheries, Barton
17th - pied flycatchers and an ortolan bunting at Spurn was bird 200
22nd - spotted crake at North Cave Wetlands
23rd - wryneck and red-backed shrike
30th - the western purple swamphen that we went to Minsmere to see turned up at Alkborough Flats where it remained for most of the year

6th - bairds sandpiper at Hatfield Moors
10th - a kentish plover at Kilnsea Wetlands
20th - yellow-browed warblers at Spurn
24th - great northern and red-throated divers at Flamborough
28th - a self found yellow-browed warbler at Alkborough Flats

5th - eastern crowned warbler, black-browed albatros at Bempton took the total to 214
6th - little bunting, rustic bunting, great-grey shrike, jack snipe at Spurn
7th - pallas leaf warbler at Donna Nook
10th - red-flanked bluetail at Donna Nook was bird 223
13th - paddyfield warbler and olive-backed pipit at Flamborough
14th - a siberian accentor was at Spurn
24th - humes leaf warbler and a waxwing at Flamborough 
31st - brown shrike at Spurn took the total for the year so far to 232
This was, without doubt, the best birdwatching month we have ever had. It was phenomenal !

3rd - purple sandpiper at Covenham Reservoir
28th - pallid harrier at Stone Creek

5th - dusky thrush at Beesly, Derbyshire
11th - eastern black redstart at Skinningrove toot the final tally to 236 for the year

These are just the highlights, as you can see I haven't listed breeding birds or the more common species.

The birds missing from our 2016 list include lesser spotted woodpecker, quail and honey buzzard.

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