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On the 9th January:




Overnight at the cottage at Achininver and then a drive back to Golspie, on the way seeing several Redwing and a Merlin. At Littleferry there were still large numbers of Eider and Long-tailed Ducks, as well as the male King Eider and a Great Northern Diver. In Golspie we searched the finch flock for the Pine Bunting, but there were not as many birds today and we couldn't find it. On the beach we saw the adult Glaucous Gull, and just offshore several Red-breasted Mergansers, another Great Northern Diver and 2 Red-throated Divers.


A day spent at Chew Valley Lake seeing large numbers of Wigeon, good numbers of Teal, 13 Pintail, 22 Goosanders, 3 Goldeneyes, 120 Ruddy Ducks, 2 male Smew, a male Ring-necked Duck and 95 Bewick's Swans. Also good numbers of Great Crested Grebes, a Kingfisher, 2 Redshank, 2 Ruff, 2 Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk and a Barn Owl. We also saw 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Stonechats, a Tree Sparrow, 2 Grey Wagtails and a Water Pipit.


My last day on the Otago Peninsula, South Island New Zealand, seeing many of the same birds as in previous days in a variety of habitats. 


Photo:Little Penguin in sea

cave on Otago Peninsula.


A drive to Headington, a residential part of Oxford, after finding the right road and parking, I followed other birders to the rear of a row of houses and by looking over the back fence we could view the garden. There was nothing there to start with and during the wait I saw Redwing, Fieldfare and a Blackcap. Finally, flying in to the shrubs, which contained pieces of apples and oranges, was the first-winter male Baltimore Oriole. Even in this plumage it was a spectacularly colourful bird and remained feeding in the garden for 15-20 minutes. A new British bird for me.


A Tawny Owl calling outside the flat in Cam at 12.15am. In the morning a trip to Chew Valley Lake where duck numbers were very low, however, I did see a female Scaup, 5 Black-necked Grebes, a Water Pipit, a Common Sandpiper and a Great White Egret.

Then a visit to the orchard by Northwick Village seeing a Little Owl, which didn't stay for a photo.

Then a wait at Aust Warth, during which time there was a Stonechat, after a while 2 Short-eared Owls appeared, at times scrapping in the air, then a 3rd bird made a brief appearance. While one of the owls was sat on a log in the marsh it called several times.

Record shot of Short-eared Owl. 

Short-eared Owl 190109-01, Aust
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