Wednesday, 16 January 2019

The last post - final review of 2018

I think that this blog has largely run its course for me. I've been saying in older posts that I now use twitter for updates, as I find this quicker and easier and the blog has become a bit of a chore - hence the lack of posts.

If you have found this of any interest, please do follow me or just look up my tweets on @Adamdbassett

As a final hurrah, what follows is quite a lengthy post, mainly photos, of my year on patch during 2018.  It was a strange year in some respects, with a pretty good first half followed by a dire Autumn and a particularly poor wader passage.  I finished the year on 137 species, 10 short of the phenomenal 2017, but still my second best year to date.

The year really kicked off at the end of January, with a patch tick Whooper Swan. Actually my second here, but no doubting the credentials of this single afternoon bird.

February started with some nice farmland species:

By the end of Feb, gulls were starting to move through:

Following the previous Autumn's influx, it was great to discover a small flock of Hawfinches around the church:

The Beast from the East in early March helped to displace a few birds:


 March passage continued with an unusual Stonechat and more Med Gulls. Three Sandwich Terns that flew over on the 17th were very early:

The first of four Great White Egrets in the year appeared at last light on the 20th:
Passage continued in late March, the best being a fly over Osprey on the 31st:

Early April brought a 1st Winter Little Gull for three days. A migrating Merlin was watched flying northwards on the 2nd, whilst April 8th saw my second patch tick of the year when a pair of Common Scoter arrived on a misty morning. It also saw my earliest Spring Arctic Tern:

Three Avocets were a nice find in mid April:

April finished with more Arctic Terns:
May began with an unseasonal Caspian and Yellow-legged Gull:

My favourite wader of the year was a summer plumaged Knot in mid May that also shared its stay with a brief Kittiwake. Another three Sandwich Terns flew through early on the 15th:

The month continued with a few more waders and three Black Terns on the 24th:

Return wader passage began early in late June and had a promising start that unfortunately failed to deliver. This was probably the worst Autumn passage that I can remember:
I was left looking through gulls for much of the summer and along with the usual post breeding Yellow-legged passage, a few Casps turned up:


There was breeding success, with a fledged Cuckoo seen for the fourth year in a row, plus a couple of fledged Little Egrets:

I had my only Spotted Flycatcher of the year in September, but chat passage was very good, with particularly good numbers of Whinchat and several Stonechat:

The best bird in October was a Rock Pipit that flew through calling on the 9th. A male Ruff and another Caspian Gull were also seen:
In early November, I found my first colour ringed Caspian Gull, yellow HAT77, a second winter bird. It had been ringed as a 1st Winter in December last year in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The ringer kindly sent me some photos of the bird as it looked then.  The pale bill tip is identical.

The rest of the month saw some of the patch's scarcer ducks arrive:

December failed to add any new species, though Med Gull and more Casps were seen in the roosts.
And so that's it. Hope you've enjoyed the posts, but please do take a look at twitter @Adamdbassett