Sunday, 5 January 2014

Off to a flying start!

I said on my last blog of 2013 I was going to have a go at this Patchwork Challenge thing which involves outlining a patch and seeing as many species within the patch as possible in a year. The new year arrived and I still seemed keen on the idea so off I went. Started the year with this nice patch tick!



It arrived over Christmas and thankfully stayed long enough for me to get it on my patch list. Not that this species is unlikely to turn up again sometime during the rest of this year... their getting like bleeding Little Egrets! Which, by the way is also on the patch list...

At the end of new years day I’d accumulated a few birds and spent a good bit of time pondering whether to included our infamous Hooded Merganser?! Jury’s still out! Seems like most locals have been in to tick it for the year so I guess nobody can say too much if I stuck it on my year list?? Including ‘Hoody’, I’m on something like 55 with tons of common stuff still to get. I’m pacing myself...

Locally over Christmas there appears to have been a few good birds about! Including this rather bland looking Guillemot...



Only joking!!!! Cracking bird and glad I caught it before it croaked or whatever it did. Certainly didn’t look at the peak of fitness when I saw it new years eve but then again, after the xmas hols I doubt any of the on looking birders were either.

There’s been a few white winged gulls knocking around locally for a few week or so. I’m desperate for one of the Glaucous Gulls to drop in. An adult came close today and was seen off Weymouth Harbour. This is closest I’ve got so far at Radipole...


A pale Herring Gull.

I’ve managed to get a few other good gulls on the patch list so far including this Little Gull yesterday (and saw it again today).



Cheers Brett Spencer for a lend of the pic!! Mine were dreadful for some reason... ;-)
Also got Kittiwake on the patch list which is a bit mental. Not an annual species at Radipole and only my second in 5 years! Shame it was smothered in oil though



I’ll just finish up with a few shots of this odd Herring Gull from this afternoon. A large looking 1st winter bird with features perhaps consistent with Scandinavian Herring Gull??




Pretty pale inner primaries. Interesting to compare the two wing tips visible in this shot.



And cropped. Firstly the bird in question



And this ‘normal’ Herring Gull.




The fifth primary from last is interesting. Don’t know much about these birds though did see one a few weeks ago which was an interesting experience. I’ll leave it for someone else to comment further on this bird!

And finally (again), this gorgeous Great horned Owl in Wyke Regis. Obviously come across on a ship with all these American Snowy Owls... or possibly not!!!


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