On the 26th January:
A visit to Cheddar Reservoir were there was a Black-throated Diver and 2 Great Northern Divers, also 30 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Goldeneyes, 6 Goosanders, 11 Cormorants, 2 Grey Wagtails and a Kingfisher. We continued south and at Tadham Moor there were 20+ Ruff, 250 Golden Plover, 200+ Dunlin, about 6000 Lapwing and 4 Redshank. At Catcott Lows there were 11 Ruff, 15+ Dunlin and 40 Lapwing. At Stathe we saw a Barn Owl and from Muchelney Bridge 128 Bewick's Swans.
An early start on a very cold, frosty morning, misty but later clearing to become bright and sunny, We arrived at Radipole Lake but couldn't find the Pied-billed Grebe, but did see a 1st winter Glaucous Gull, adult Mediterranean Gull, male Red-breasted Merganser, a Water Rail, 2 Cetti's Warblers and heard 2 more and heard several Bearded Tits. We continued to Ferrybridge where there was a Slavonian Grebe, male Long-tailed Duck, 5+ Red-breasted Mergansers and other ducks and grebes in the harbour. We then went to Sandsfoot Castle overlooking the harbour seeing 4 Slavonian Grebes, 15+ Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Northern Diver. It was here that we learned of an Ivory Gull on Portland, we soon arrived at Chiswell Bay and after scrambling over a few rocks saw the 1st winter Ivory Gull sat on a large, flat-topped rock, so we did get a new bird, just not the one we had planned for.
Ivory Gull illustrations
by Laurel Tucker
In Tanzania, on the Serengeti plain, 4 new birds and 3 new mammals today.
Photo: Kori Bustard.
In Norfolk where near Norwich there were 16 Waxwings. On the drive to the coast we stopped at some pools seeing 12 Egyptian Geese. At Wells there were Brent and Pink-footed Geese, Golden Plover, Lapwing and Oystercatchers, in the woods there was a flock of around 60 Lesser Redpolls, containing several Common ( Mealy ) Redpolls and 2 Arctic Redpolls, we also saw Great Spotted Woodpecker and over the fields a Barn Owl. At Stifkey we saw Greylag Geese and then continued to Cley where there were Brent and Greylag Geese, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Shelduck, Shoveler, Pintail, Turnstone, Lapwing, Golden Plover and on the sea a Red-throated Diver and a Shag.
On Brother's Island, New Zealand, 4 new birds and 1 new reptile today.
Photo: Adult White-fronted Tern.
A sound recording trip to the Forest of Dean, where I recorded mainly woodland atmospheres, but also the high-pitched alarm call of a Robin. In the woods were Blue, Great, Coal, Long-tailed and Marsh Tits, Nuthatch, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Crow, Raven and Jays. The Jays were very noisey at first and then began giving guttural conversational calls to each other.
At Home in Portishead, where there was a male and a female Blackcap coming to the feeders in the garden, and in the evening, at 5.07 pm, an amazing sight of a Bittern flying from the direction of the estuary towards and over the house.
In 2013, the snow had melted and it was the day of the Big Garden Birdwatch, in my garden there were 2 Song Thrushes, one of them singing, 2 males and a female Blackcap, 12 Starlings, 2 Crows, 2 Great Tits, 2 Blue Tits, 8 Chaffinches, 4 Greenfinches, 4 Blackbirds, a Dunnock, 2 House Sparrows, 7 Collared Doves and 3 Woodpigeons.
Photos: Female Blackcap.
A trip to Slimbridge on a cold, cloudy day. I saw 138 Bewick's Swans, 300+ Greylag Geese, a few of the Bewick's and most of the Greylag were feeding in the field on the approach to the reserve, along with hundreds of Rooks, Crows and Jackdaws.
From the Rushy Hide there were also Tufted Ducks, Pintail, Pochard, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal and a Little Stint. On the Track Piece there were 300+ Canada Geese and 9 Common Cranes, another 2 were near the South Lake, on the bird feeders there was a Great Spotted Woodpecker and another on feeders by the Kingfisher Hide. From the South Finger Hides there were 200+ Barnacle Geese feeding on the foreshore, also 400+ Wigeon, on the walk to the Kingfisher Hide I saw a Treecreeper and lots of tits. From the hide 6 Ruff, Lapwing, about 160 White-fronted Geese, and 1 of the 3 Buzzards seen, but no Bittern. On the south lake there were 6 Dunlin.