Sunday, 31 January 2010

Another year passes by.

According to the calendar I'm another year older but fortunately not deeper in debt. So after yesterday's exercise I adopted a more relaxed pose today including undertaking the RSPB Garden Watch (through the window as the temperature was just below freezing) for the obligatory one hour late this morning. 
In order of appearance, here is the final list and highest numbers seen at any one moment:
Blue Tit (4)
Greenfinch (3)
House Sparrow (4)
Robin (1)
Blackbird (1) Subsequently a male and female were seen leaf turning in the main border.
Blackcap (3) A male plus 2 females.
Woodpigeon (1)
Song Thrush (1)
Great Tit (1)
Starling (4) Numbers eventually rose to 8 an hour later as they squabbled for feeding positions.
Magpie (2) One was stripping buds off the Hawthorn.
Dunnock (1)
Collared Dove (1)
LESSER REDPOLL (1) This to my knowledge was a garden first. A very fleeting glimpse of this individual right at the end of the recorded 60 minutes before it disappeared into a neighbours garden not to return.

Other species seen flying over were Grey Heron, Carrion Crow and Black-headed Gull but no visit from Parakeets at all today.
Starling in prime position.
Blackcap checking out the competition? 

So my total sightings for January 2010 finally reached 99 after seeing Yellowhammer and Scaup yesterday. This includes 61 species seen in Surrey and 23 in the garden. Far from the highest count for the first month of the year but then I am taking a far more relaxed approach to bird watching than I did some twenty years ago! Have a good week everyone.  FAB


  1. stunning pics today Frank, and 3 Blackaps in the garden!

  2. ...sounds like a relaxing day, Frank...and that birthday congrats are in order! Hope you had a lovely birthday. 99 birds for January is a wonderful list!! Glad the Lesser Redpoll showed up. For the briefest moment, I thought I saw one in our backyard. He was only there a second before being scared away, and there was not enough time for me to grab my binocs to verify. It would have been the first ever to our yard as well! I keep watching hoping he will return, but no luck. Yours was a birthday present!

  3. I did my RSPB bird survey this morning and pleased with the results.

    I love love love that photograph of the starling....who says they are dull and boring birds. Not me.......

    You must be pleased with your weekend results.....

  4. What!!! 99 species ;-) I'm sure dreaming!!!! Wow I'm not even at 50 yet, only 42 and I had to go to an excursion south of the city on the coastline to reach that!!!! Man, I would love to see 23 birds in my yard but that's never gonna happen!!! You got wonderful pictures... I love the starling and the robin shots!
    Did I get it right, it was your birthday!!!! Happy birthday then... And I hope the year will be full of bird surprised for you and a good health (that counts too when we have to walk hours)

  5. Hi Frank, lovely pictures. I can't get the Yellowhammer in my sights. Never.

  6. Happy B'day Frank. Lovely garden bird shots, specially the Starling! I'm glad I'm not the only one year listing, am just ahead of you at the moment at 107, not that I'm conmpetitive! (-: It's a great way to make yourself get out birding I think!

  7. Thanks Warren. Not sure how long these Blackcaps will hang around but they are keeping us entertained for now.

    Hi Kelly. Thank you. It was a quiet B-day, just the way I prefer it plus the special visitor, albeit so brief, was a joy. I hope your Redpoll returns and maybe you can get a pic or two.

    Hi Cheryl. Definitely some bonus visitors at the moment. I totally agree that Starlings are far from 'drab' particularly in their spotty garb.

    Hi Chris. Thanks for todays wishes..much appreciated. 99 is correct but a bit below my all time January total of 150 so there are still plenty of winter species to hunt for but only if I'm prepared to travel! I've said it before but QUALITY beats quantity, anytime.

    Hi Bob. Cheers. Yellowhammer is not that easy for me locally so happy to see one on an awayday outing.

  8. Hi Jen. Thank you. I stopped actively chasing numbers a long time ago but interesting to note that another top flight Surrey birder already has 107 for his 2010 county list and we are landlocked with no coastal opportunities!

  9. Hi Frank. Nice to see someone has Greenfinches still. Ours are VERY scarce. LOVE the Starling shot. They are my number one at the moment. I just think they are so under-rated.

  10. Lovely photos.
    I am also not in a rush to get ticks, in every sense of the meaning of the word lol.

  11. Happy birthday , Frank! Have a good one.
    In Alberta , Canada , I would have to work very hard to find 10 to 15 species.
    We do get about 40 to 50 species in the Christmas bird count.

  12. Hi Frank Happy Birthday with some cracking pics to celebrate it. Like you my Grandson who is 5 and I did the Garden Birdwatch and only came up with 12 Species which is my worst one yet. It was done in heavy Hail showers with Hails as large as peas coming down so this didnt help. 99 so far on the year list really well done and sure there will be a lot more to follow.

  13. Hi Angie. Apart from the recent influx of Starlings the Greenies are the most predominant species at the moment.

    Razboynik. Cheers Andy & I'm with you on that one.

    Hi Red. Thank you. Every species is a delight to see regardless of how many or not, as the case may be.

    Hi Monty. Glad to see you're getting the young one involved. We've had a little more snow overnight so will be interesting to see who turns up today.

  14. A Very Happy (albeit slightly belated) Birthday to you Frank! What a great present the Redpoll was, it must have known :)

    The photos are beautiful. Greenfinches seem to be the most predominant species in my garden too and can be very aggressive, I have noticed my Goldfinch numbers are well down and I am sure the hostility the Greenfinches show them is responsible!

  15. Frank, these are wonderful. Your variety never ceases to amaze me!

  16. Wow!! The greenfinch and starling photos are sharp, fantastic! You rocked that camera, kiddo! ;o)

  17. Hope you had a great Birthday!
    Really lovely photos Frank.
    Sound like a relaxing day,but they can also be the best!
    Take care

  18. Happy belated Birthday wishes Frank.

    Lovely shots from the garden; especially that Greenfinch.

    99 for January/2010? I've some catching up to do lol

  19. Hi Jan. Thanks. I haven't actually seen Goldfinches around much at all this year although I have heard them calling ocassionally and the nyger feed has reduced slightly.

    Hi Mona. Glad my visitors are also keeping you entertained.

    Hi Jann. I'm trying my best "through the window" and today I actually got some fresh air pics.

    Hi Shirleyanne. Thanks for the kind wishes.

    Hi Keith. Cheers my friend. I hope you are still obeying orders?

  20. You have done well for being relaxed in your approach. I have never seen a European Starling look so striking.

  21. Hi Steve B. The Starling's winter coat is very spotty but these disappear as the feathers wear and they gain a glossy coat.

  22. Congrats Early Birder. I will add you and your count onto my bloglist!

  23. Thanks Kathie. I'll return the favour shortly. FAB.

  24. Happy belated birthday. Glad you are enjoying your bird watching and adding to your list.


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