Friday, 7 January 2011

2011 Initial Sightings.

As usual the New Year started off with a bit of window watching and in the last seven days the garden list has already risen to a decent total of 18 species. House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Blue, Great and Coal Tit, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Robin, Magpie, Starlings, Parakeets, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Siskin and a Lesser Redpoll plus a very brief fly through by a Sparrowhawk.
 House Sparrow waiting its turn for a meal.
 Just four of the 30 Black-headed Gulls that circled above the garden for an hour or so.

On 2nd Jan we travelled to Kent to meet up with friends and paid a visit to Dungeness RSPB and clocked up around 50 species including Goosander, Smew, Goldeneye, Chiffchaff, Marsh Harrier and two Bitterns in flight - one crashed into the reed bed 50 yards in front of us and disappeared! The light was poor so the camera stayed in the bag most of the day but here are two shots taken in late December.

 Male Goldeneye.
 Female (Red-head) Smew.

A brief stroll alongside the Wey Navigation on 4th Jan produced tantalising views of several Little Grebes as they constantly dived to feed and always reappeared in the shadows on the far side of the water! Activity on the lake was mainly Coot, Tufted Duck and a few Mallards plus numerous Canada Geese on the grazing meadow with the usual large roost of gulls (Black-headed, Common and Great Black-backed). 
 Adult Little Grebe in winter plumage. 
Male Tufted Duck.
Coot - admiring its own image.

A visit to Barnes WWT on 5th and my first local patch walk today added a few more sightings bringing the month total up to 68. Interesting to note that in previous years a visit to the coast on the 1st Jan regularly exceeded this figure in just one day!   FAB.

15 comments:

  1. ...68 is a great start to me! The last photo is interesting. I really like it.

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  2. Frank I just have to say it, you have so many varieties of birds in the UK. I don't have near that many in Kentucky. But then I'm no where near a coastline. Love all your images and listening about the places you visit. Happy New Year! Carol

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  3. Oh man your Tufted Duck is a beaut! I have been searching for one that's mixed in with a flock of thousands of scaup... Love the gulls too!

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  4. Hi Kelly. Yeah, not a bad start bearing in mind all the wet weather! The Coot often provides some interesting poses.

    Hi Carol. Actually the coast is not that close - 2 hours away but hope to get there soon. Happy New Year.

    Hi Jen. Lucky you ... I will gladly swop a single SCAUP for a Tuftie any day!

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  5. Hi Frank..the Coot is a good one the only thing is you can hardly tell where his eyes are..: }}
    Perhaps he is nodding of instead of admiring himself!!
    Anyway good start for the 2011!
    I would imagine it is hard to compare from year to year!

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  6. Thanks Grammie. Next time I'll try to get his eyes in focus!

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  7. Great birds and list for your new years list. The photos are wonderful.

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  8. So many beautiful bird sightings to start off the year! Love the Tufted Duck and coot with its reflection. Such a pretty smew. Happy birding to you in 2011! Looking forward to more posts.

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  9. The list is off to a cracking start Frank; and some decent birds there too.
    Lovely shot of the female Smew.

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  10. The Smew is my fav.. Happy New Year ... :)

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  11. Hi Julie. Thanks. Just a pity that a few other species never made it close enough for the camera. Best Wishes for 2011.

    Thanks Keith. Have taken a more relaxed start to the year this time! Still waiting to get a decent shot of the male 'White Nun'.

    Cheers Angad. Happy New Year to you.

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  12. Some lovely shots Frank, the Smew has to be my favourite only had a brief visit by one here end of Dec in the Marazion area, and I had the flu SL. Never mind hope for another soon.
    Happy New Year.

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  13. Nice selection of wildfowl photo's Frank. I especially like the Smew :-)

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