Tuesday 24 January 2023

Review of the year 2022

I've had a much quieter year on the blogging front that is for certain. With patch issues detailed below I've been spending time exploring new and different pursuits. Long-term I'll be concentrating my birding around spring & autumn, being chased off the patch by the game keeper to count 1 Heron & 6 Gadwall is now something I'd rather not do.

Salford Priors Summary

The least said the better despite our best efforts. Limited access, barberd wire on egress points made it very difficult. Everyones visits were reduced which in turn effected our total numbers. The total for the year was 129, three down on previous year but 15 down from 2020. The highlight was the Wryneck, what a bird. It was just a shame it was so illusive. Visits will continue when possible but long gone are the days of sightings daily. 

UK Life List 

Just the eight lifers in 2022 but some top grade quality birds many of which are once a decade sightings. 

1) American Robin (East Sussex) March

2) Eleonara's Falcon (Kent) June

3) Red-tailed Shrike (East Riding of Yorkshire) July

4) Cape Gull (Cambridgeshire) August

5) Common Nighthawk (Oxfordshire) September

6) Blackburnian Warbler (Isle of Scilly) October

7) Pallid Swift (Isles of Scilly) October

8) Alpine Accentor (Suffolk) October

My birds of the year

My birds of the year are never decided on the rarest. l. I like to assess the whole experience, views of the bird, journey, ease of experience & also habitat.
1) Blackburnian Warbler (Isle of Scilly) - My week on the magical islands delivered yet again. I was so pleased I resisted temptation not to twitch the stunning american wood warbler. It was all the more special I got to enjoy it with the Scilly house family.
2) Common Nighthawk (Oxfordshire) - After a disappointing Shetland experience in 2021 the twitchers cleaned up in 2022 making it a bitter pill to swallow espically as there was a Whites Thrush. However, compenstation was delivered with a Common Nighthawk. I'd never shut my laptop so quick. Even better I could enjoy the bird with both Ian & the Squire.
3) Red-tailed Shrike (East Riding of Yorkshire) - A no nonsence planned twitch that went to perfection with the Squire & Chris Lane. We all enjoyed some fantastic views of the Shrike feeding along a hedgerow on a private farm. The £10 fee to see the bird was money well spend.
4) Pallid Swift (Isles of Scilly) -  Twitching Swifts from the midlands is a road to madness so to see a Pallid whizzing over my head on the Garrison was a great experience. It was weirdly on the same day as the Blachburnian Warbler. What a double! Get the whiskey out.
5) American Robin (Eastborne) - I thought this species was over due & it became the first lifer of the year. It's never easy birding on a housing estate however on this occasion there were no issues as the bird popped out quickly allowing for some crowd pleasing views before I headed home to the midlands.
6) Eleonara's Falcon (Kent) - Since my interest in seeing rare birds, Eleonara's Falcon seemed to be just fly pasts that are impossible to twitch. So when this individual took up residence in Kent we organised a team twitch where we all had an excellent experience.

7) Dotterel (Gloucestershire) - Dotteral have remained a species I've always wanted to watch at close quarters. When three individuals stick on Cleeve Hill (Cheltenham), I finished early one afternoon and because of some heavy showers I had the pleasure to enjoy the birds completley on my own. Just magical.

8) Garganey (Worcestershire) - Well...well...well. a pair on Garganey on small pool just a mile from home! I'd never heard a Garganey call before and this male was in great voice. The pair stayed for around ten days. What a pair of birds.

9) Wryneck (Warwickshire) - PATCH GOLD ! - Many thanks to Francis Peplow who dug this beauty out on the service at the pits. A absolutley awesome find! 

10) Cape Gull (Cambridgeshire) - Mmmmm, first for Britain and yet only no.10 ! Well let's be honest this bruit of a bird was no oil painting. Take the tick, move on.

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