2018 Bird Highlights

At the start of the year, due to lack of finances, I decided to give up my rare bird alert pager.  This device would give me up to the minute information on the location of rare birds around the country and scarce birds in my county.  Having had the pager for the best part of twenty years it felt strange going out without it in my pocket.

The bad thing about going to see rare birds (twitching) is the crowds.  Back in the day it was the same faces, you got to know everyone.  Now it’s like a rugby scrum, madness.  So in a way I’m glad to just do my own thing, I’ve seen over 400 species in the UK, not really bothered if I notch up any more, plus I appreciate the commoner birds more.

March kicked off with the ‘Beast from the East’ a snow storm that blocked local roads keeping me from going to work (how sad lol). It also brought Fieldfares (Turdus pilaris) to the garden
The weather was so severe that two Woodcocks (Scolopax rusticola) were forced to look for worms in my lawn
And even crazier this Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) pitched up on the front lawn. A very definite first for the garden!
As the weather improved the local Barn Owl (Tyto alba) searched the meadows
Mealy Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) the highlight of a day at Sculthorpe Moor NR
Chiffchaff (Phyllloscopus collybita) in the garden weeping willow. Will it head south or stay the winter? Well I’ve not seen them since the autumn
Lone Dunlin (Calidris alpina) in the shore pool at Salthouse reflected my mood that day
I just had to finish with another showing of the hovering male Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) at Holkham Marshes

31 thoughts on “2018 Bird Highlights

      1. Since 2016 when I first began to record I am up to 49 photographed species solely in my garden so far.

        Considering I only ever remember seeing sparrows, starlings and blackbirds in the garden when I lived in Chester ,I am shaking my head almost in disbelief at the figure of 60 plus.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Nicely done. As you know from my previous post, I am super jealous of the Woodcock shot you can actually see features on – the Snipe is even better. Truly humbled by your 400+ number. I am ramping up, but have a long way to go to get to that plateau. Sounds like birders here may be a bit more considerate on the rarities, although, I’ve experienced a few mobs when something blows in, but for the most part hold decorum.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s incredible that a Snipe decided to visit your yard. They are beautiful but shy birds here. “Mobbing” is becoming a problem here (Japan) too, but most bird lovers have good manners and are respectful of the birds/environment & other people. Sadly, there are exceptions. I wish you a happy 2019.
    Best wishes,
    Takami 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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