Tuesday, 31 January 2023

One Month Down

I end January on 102 species for Patchwork Challenge.  As expected new species have slowed right up in the last few weeks, with Red-legged Partridge added today and Dipper last Friday.  These being the only new birds since my last blog post on 24th.

With calm seas lately any spare morning I've had I've been scanning over Seaton Bay.  This hasn't shown any more surprises since the trio of Eider, but it's always a joy to be out when there are sunrises like this to be witnessed...


Birdwise all I have seen is up to six Red-throated Diver, the odd Common Scoter, 90+ feeding Kittiwakes lingering (notable for us) and several hundred auks, of which so far all the ones I have been able to identify have been Razorbill.

My inability to competently identify (/string) a Guillemot brings me nicely on to species I should really have seen by now  Guillemot and Mistle Thrush are top of the list, with Blackcap, Firecrest, Siskin and Marsh Tit not far behind.  We don't seem to have a wintering Common Sandpiper on the Axe for this first time in at least 15 years, in fact aside Avocet wading bird variety and numbers have been poor - bring on the spring!

There's three key species I have missed; Little Gull, Marsh Harrier and Red Kite.  Am not worried about the latter two, but Little Gull has become a less than annual visitor to the Axe so really need some more southerlies!  This dip was even worse as I would have seen it were it not for a helicopter flushing the gull flock literally seconds before my arrival.

I won't list the highlights as they are in the contents of my recent blog posts, but something I do want to mention as a highlight is just how much I am enjoying participating in Patchwork Challenge. Exactly as I was hoping it would, it has given my patch birding a new lease of life, and as everyone knows being out more is the key to seeing more - and as a result I am blogging more!  

Roll on the next 11 months...

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