On the 20th January:
A day spent at Chew Valley Lake where there were good numbers of duck, the water level still quite low so a few waders around in the bays, we saw 3 Green Sandpipers, 4 Ruff and 90 Dunlin, also a male American Wigeon with a female Wigeon, 15 White-fronted Geese, 3 Barnacle Geese, 4 Greylag Geese and about 50 Canada Geese, a Stonechat, 2 Water Rails, 3 Buzzards over the hills behind Herriott's Pool and from the bridge a female Peregrine sat on a mud bar by the shore. On the way home at Little Stoke we saw a Little Owl.
A mild, bright sunny day and a visit to Chew Valley Lake where from Herriott's Bridge we saw 204 Ruddy Ducks, a Pintail and a female Smew amongst the other ducks, around 15 Dunlin on the shoreline and 4 Buzzards over the hills. At Twycross there was a finch flock of about 40 birds and a male Yellowhammer. We then went to Berrow, where along the top of the beach we saw a Shore Lark, also 10+ Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Reed Buntings and lots of Fieldfares and Redwings, in the marsh we heard 2 Water Rails, on the shore was a large flock of Dunlin and a few Curlew and Redshank.
In Nairobi, Kenya, where Grosbeak Weaver was the first new bird of the trip, in the afternoon went to Nairobi National Park where new for me were Common Waterbuck, Blacksmith Plover, Southern Black Flycatcher, White-bellied Tit, Klaas's Cuckoo, Northern Brubru, Spectacled Weaver and Yellow-spotted Petronia.
Photo: Immature Martial Eagle.
A trip around north Somerset, on the M5 going south were flocks of around 800 and then 500 Lapwing. At Berrow I saw Redwing and Fieldfare, a Jack Snipe, Ringed Plover, Oystercatchers, Dunlin, Curlew, Shelduck, a Kentish Plover and a Water Pipit. At Cheddar Reservoir along with the usual common ducks were around 50 Goldeneyes, 5 Goosanders and a Great Northern Diver. At Chew Valley Lake there were good numbers of duck and Great Crested Grebes, a few Dunlin and Lapwing, a Kingfisher and a Ring-billed Gull.
In North Island New Zealand where new birds today were New Zealand Shoveler, New Zealand Dabchick, Australian Bittern
and Brown Quail.
In Portishead I saw 6 Waxwings feeding on berries in a bush at the Primary School.
A cold, sunny day with clear blue sky, I went to Sand Bay and eventually saw the wintering Dartford Warbler well, it was associating with a pair of Stonechats. Then on to the Marine Lake at Weston-Super-Mare to see the wintering female Eider.
Photos: Dartford Warbler.
Female Eider. Video here.