On the 6th December:
A day at Virginia Water in Windsor Great Park, which at this time was the only place where wild Mandarin Ducks bred, we saw 4 males and 3 females. Also seen was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 6+ Nuthatches, a Treecreeper, 30+ Siskins, 2 Marsh Tits and lots of Goldcrests. Then we drove east to Kent.
A visit to Chew Valley Lake where the best were c27 Goosanders, 10+ Goldeneyes and a Black-necked Grebe.
A drive to Torquay where near the seafront there was a female Pied Wheatear, a new bird for me. It was seen close to and along the railway lines, also in the front gardens of nearby hotels. Also seen was a Chiffchaff and on the sea 3 Common Scoter, 2 Shags, a Razorbill, a Slavonian Grebe and 2 Great Crested Grebes.
Female Pied Wheatear.
In Kenya, on a BBC sound recording trip, 7 new birds an 1 new mammal seen today.
Holub's Golden Weaver.
In Australia on a sound recording trip, 14 new birds and 2 new mammals seen today.
Pacific Black Duck.
Overnight in Elgin, we returned to Burghead early in the morning, but couldn't find the tattler, there were lots of other waders and a Red-throated Diver. Leaving the other birders, who were still searching, we went back to Findhorn where we saw much the same as yesterday, including the 3 Red-throated Divers, plus a Black-throated Diver. Then we drove around Findhorn Bay seeing lots of waders and in one place lots of finches and a Scottish Crossbill. We continued to Grantown Forest where we saw another c20 Scottish Crossbills. At a stop at the Cairngorm car park there was a Snow Bunting and at Aviemore we saw 3 Whooper Swans.
A good day watching the garden, in Portishead, a Marsh Tit in the Plum Tree, then a Merlin flew through the garden and later, a Sparrowhawk landed briefly on the fence.
After a couple of days of westerly gales, I went to Severn Beach seeing at least 5 Leach's Petrels and a Great Northern Diver. Then I went to New Passage where I saw another 3 or 4 Leach's Petrels flying down river, on the shoreline were 1000+ Dunlin, 20+ Redshank, 30+ Curlew, c150 Common Gulls, but only a few Wigeon and Teal. Back in Portishead, from the seafront, I saw another Leach's Petrel being mobbed by gulls.