Tuesday, 2 January 2018

A review of 2017

2017 has been a great year on patch with 149 species seen in total of which I managed 146.  This is a whole 10 species higher than my previous best of 136 in 2014 and included five patch ticks!

I've tried to capture the best birds below:

21 Barnacle Geese assumed to be part of a cat C population
moving around in the cold weather in late January
Only two Red-crested Pochard records this year - this one in February
A 2w Med Gull in February - fewer records than normal this year
This 1w female Ferruginous Duck appeared on 27th Feb
 - a self found patch tick for me, but still with BBRC
A scarce Brambling in March, only my 2nd on patch
The first of two drake Garganey arrived in March
Arrived during rain on the same day as the 1st Garganey in March
and stayed for only 5 minutes. Third record in 2 years, but still rare here
These two Little Gulls came through in late March
Surprisingly, my only Arctic Tern record of the year - in mid April
April 20th and this fantastic pair of Black-winged Stilts remained
all day for me to see them after work - not surprisingly a patch first

Conditions were right on April 30th for this Black Tern to pass through.
Two Little Terns and a Temminck's Stint also appeared that day,
all seen but not photographed.
More Black Terns passed through early on May 1st
My only Redstart was a late female in mid May
A summer plumaged Little Stint in mid May was just my second on patch - rare!
This pair of beauties in early June were just my second on patch

Mandarins are never easy here, but this female stayed a month during its moult
Yellow-legged Gulls started to appear in small numbers
post breeding in June, but numbers were down this year.
An unringed adult Whooper Swan arrived in late June and remained
until early October. Its origin is unknown, but I did not count it as suspected
 a feral bird.
An unexpected visitor was this drake Scaup in early July

By the end of July when it departed, it was looking quite tatty
For the second year running, Reed Warblers raised a Cuckoo.
It could be found in July calling loudly for its food.
My only Greenshank was in early August
I watched three Sandwich Terns arrive on Aug 6th. 
Amazingly, I had another fly through four days later.
This juvenile Spotted Redshank was a brief visitor on Sep 1st.
Another was present a week later - scarce birds here.
Only my second patch Marsh Tit was a surprise find in September
Ravens were much in evidence in September

Two Ruff in early September were followed by a fly through in October
Thought I'd missed Spotted Flycatcher this year,
until this beauty turned up on Sep 19th
Two more moulting adult Black Terns passed through in late September

My find of the year was this Yellow-browed Warbler,
from Sep 27th to Oct 2nd, a site first. Photo copyright Mike Wallen.
A site second Great White Egret was present briefly on a murky mid Oct day
Only one Caspian Gull in the 1st winter period, this 1w in mid Oct
was my second but has been followed by about four others including
an adult and 3w by year-end.
Usually very brief, scarce visitors, three Goosander stayed for 2 weeks
from late Oct and a further single stayed until late Nov 
Three Pintail were present for a day in late Oct and a further five
for a day in late Nov
Further good birds that weren't photographed included an Osprey that flew through in late March; a reeling Grasshopper Warbler briefly in late April was only my second on patch; a fly through Curlew in early August; a Firecrest in the same bush as the Yellow-browed Warbler in late September was only my second on patch; a single Hawfinch over south in October, followed a week later by a superb flock of ten birds over low south east were my second and third patch records; a patch tick fly through Merlin in early December and lastly a Jack Snipe in mid December.

So a great year in 2017, the pictures bringing back some fantastic memories.  Hopefully 2018 will be equally as good.