On the 12th January:
Overnight in Suffolk, in the morning a visit to Covenithe where one of the first birds we saw was an adult Mediterranean Gull, a new bird for Laurel and I, also there was a Red-throated Diver, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Goldeneyes and 5 Tree Sparrows. Later at Walberswick Common we had good views of a Great Grey Shrike, another new bird for us. At Walberswick marsh we saw 45 Bewick's Swans, 7 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Redshank, 2 Stonechats and 10+ Reed Buntings. We continued to Westwood Lodge where we saw 2 Marsh Harriers, another new bird.
A visit to Chew Valley Lake, where from Morton Hide we saw our first Ferruginous Duck, a male. Also on and around the lake were 3 Goosanders, several Pintail and Goldeneye and a small flock of Dunlin. In the hedgerow and field behind the hide was a mixed flock of around 60 Tree Sparrows, 20+ Chaffinches, 20+ Reed Buntings and 6 Grey Wagtails.
In South Island New Zealand, in Rowallan Forest I saw Kaka and Yellowhead. From there I contined north to Fiordland, new birds here were Black-billed Gull, New Zealand Scaup and Grey Duck.
Photo: Black-billed Gull.
A trip to Welney to record Whooper Swans, recording a variety of calls including greeting and trumpeting, feeding and excited calls at being fed. During the day I also saw the following birds, the numbers are taken from the board at the centre, Skylark, Grey Partridge, 2100 Bewick's Swans, 500 Whooper Swans, 118 Mute Swans, 45 White-fronted Geese, 1415 Pochard, 1408 Mallard, 458 Coot, 76 Tufted Ducks, 823 Pintail, 9130 Wigeon, 1892 Teal, 187 Greylag Geese, 74 Shoveler, 42 Gadwall, 3000 Lapwing, 300 Golden Plover and a Redshank.
A day out birding with John Rossetti with our first stop at Westhay, where we had great views of the male and female Penduline Tits, a new British bird for me.
Also there we saw a Bittern, Stock Doves and a Chiffchaff, as well as the commoner birds. At Shapwick there were 6 Redpolls, around 35 Siskins, we heard 5 Cetti's Warblers and also heard 3 Water Rails, we saw 3 Gadwall, about 25 Wigeon, 3 Goosander and around 60 Teal. In a flock of about 40 Chaffinches were 2 male Bramblings, and there were Fieldfares and Redwings, 2 Bullfinches, 8 Skylarks and 3 Roe Deer.
At Cheddar Reservoir there were the usual ducks, Coots and grebes, so continued to Chew Valley Lake, where again there were good numbers of duck and gulls, the highlight being 3 Bewick's Swans.