Monday, 5 January 2015

2014 Highlights

Well the year on patch fizzled out and with little birding done over the festive period, I failed to add anything after the pair of (Christmas) Grey Partridge.  So, as ever, time for a little reflection on the year's birding on patch.

The total of 136 species is actually exactly the same as recorded last year on what became a slightly wider patch in 2014 - see here for the patch boundaries. As I have only been birding here with any continued effort for about 5 years, patch ticks are still appearing relatively frequently and this year I notched up a further nine: Kittiwake in March; Spoonbill, Grey Plover and Cattle Egret over a seven day period in May; Osprey, Spotted Flycatcher and Honey Buzzard in the second half of August; Firecrest in September, which stayed for about seven weeks and finally the pair of Grey Partridge in December.  Two Siberian Chiffchaffs in January were also new, but non-BOU.

Despite this number of new birds, it was a relatively poor year for waders and terns and this is the main reason that the year list wasn't higher. Anyway, c'est la vie, I'm sure 2015 will see a different set of birds again - the joys of patch birding!

Below are a few record shots of the best birds of the year:

Adult Ring-billed Gull for about 2 hours on Jan 20th

Kittiwake for about 30 minutes on March 7th

The pair of 3 Garganey present from late Feb to early April

Black and Arctic Terns (and Common Tern and Ringed Plover) on May 1st

Adult Spoonbill for 2 hours on May 6th and again on May 13th

Grey Plover May 8th

Cattle Egret May 12th

One of several Med Gulls in the year. This bird on July 5th was ringed in Antwerp

The Spoonbill reappeared for a few hours on July 7th (or possibly another)

Little Egrets bred for the first time - 2 pairs fledged six young

An Osprey flew through on Aug 17th

This Spotted Flycatcher was present Aug 27th - 29th

This male Firecrest first seen on Sep 12th was present until late Oct
Only my second Avocet here arrived on the late date of Oct 6th

Only 3 Caspian Gulls seen this year. This 1w on Oct 27th and 28th had a strange looking bill and was a bit streaky on the head but otherwise looked fine. It's with an adult Yellow-legged Gull

A pair of Grey Partridge in recently cut game cover on Dec 17th

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