On the 4th February:
On a cold, dull, misty morning we were at Chew Valley Lake, at Moreton hide, there were lots of ducks on the lake but nothing exceptional, along the fields and hedgerows we saw around 25 Skylarks, about 120 Linnets, 30+ Chaffinches and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. On the Mendips in a mixed flock of finches we saw a male Brambling, at Cheddar Reservoir there were lots of ducks and grebes, with 100+ Ruddy Ducks, 10 Goosanders and a female Smew. At our last stop at Tealham Moor, we saw lots of Fieldfares, Lapwings, 60 Golden Plovers and around 80 Dunlin.
In Tanzania, the first part of the morning around the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, seeing 6 new birds. Then a drive back through Tanzania to Nairobi.
In North Island New Zealand on Little Barrier Island. 7 new birds seen today.
Photo: Brown Teal.
An early start to drive to north Norfolk, on the way I made a detour to Werrington on the outskirts of Peterborough to see a first winter male Black-throated Thrush.
I continued to Snettisham to record the Knot flock coming into their high tide roost from The Wash. On the mudflats there were 1000's of Knot, 100's of Bar-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Curlew, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Turnstone, 100's of Oystercatchers, 100's of Pink-footed Geese, Wigeon, Mallard and Shelduck.
At high tide, on the sea, I saw a Red-throated Diver, while on the pools with the other ducks there were several Goldeneyes, a Water Rail and a Little Auk.
At Shire Valley near Marshfield, with several hundred other birders to see a 1st winter male Red-flanked Bluetail, a new bird for me.
After a walk down into the valley and along a very muddy track alongside the overflowing stream, swollen by all the rain of previous weeks, I saw the bird perched on the grass by a dry stone wall. It flew to various areas nearby and then to the woodland alongside the stream.
Found the previous day it stayed until the 10th March, a 1st for this area, a 1st wintering Red-flanked Bluetail in the UK and the longest staying in the UK.
Also seen in the valley were 2 Bullfinches, a Grey Wagtail and a Raven.
Video: 1st winter male Red-flanked Bluetail.