Saturday, 2 January 2021

Year List 2021

It's the second day of 2021, but, due to COVID 19 restrictions I've not been out birding yet this year. Instead I've started this year's Year List from the back garden and from a shopping trip to the supermarket!!

The first bird of 2021 was Carrion Crow, followed quickly by Blackbird and a single Goldfinch on the feeders. The biggest surprise of the year, so far, was the 6th species I saw, a Raven, being mobbed by 2 Crows as it flew low over the garden!! Here's the list so far.

Year List update:

1 – Carrion Crow

2 – Blackbird

3 – Goldfinch

4 – Magpie

5 – Lesser Black-backed Gull

6 – Raven (garden on 1st!)

7 – Starling

8 – Chaffinch

9 – Woodpigeon

10 – Black-headed Gull

11 – Coal Tit

12 – Collared Dove

13 – Greenfinch

14 – Jackdaw

15 – Rook

16 – Mistle Thrush

17 – Blue Tit

18 – Wren

19 – Robin

Year List 2020 - 175 species

 Well, 2020 is over and we're back in Lockdown!!

This year, despite everything, I've managed to see a reasonable number of 175 species of birds. The last bird of the year being a Red-necked Grebe, at Colwick Country Park that I saw on 21st December.

Red-necked Grebe

The highlight of the year has to be the Bearded Vulture,(my one and only lifer of 2020) that turned out to a be a 2nd year bird (born in 2019) that had flown over 1000km from the Alps in south eastern France.

Other interesting birds included two British ticks, Caspian Tern and Hoopoe, whilst the Grey Phalarope in Derbyshire was also a great record. 

Let's hope COVID is brought under control quickly and we can all get out and about birding soon.

Year List update:

175 - Red-necked Grebe.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Last Gulls of 2020?

Today I was out with 3 members of Sorby Breck Ringing Group for a gull ringing session at The Carrs in Warsop again. With news that our areas are going into Tier 4 COVID restrictions from midnight tonight this will be our last ringing outing and my last chance to check gulls in 2020.

We were on site from 08:30 until 15:45 and managed to catch 1 new Black-headed Gull. The bird in question was an adult and was given the darvic ring 271A.

271A

Whilst there we also manged to re-sight 2 gulls that the group had previously ringed, namely 265A and 270A. Both birds had been ringed in December this year.

265A

270A

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Gull Ringing - 22nd December 2020

Last Tuesday I managed to get out gull ringing for the first time this winter. I spent five hours at The Carrs in Warsop with members from Sorby Breck Ringing group and Birklands Ringing Group (all socially distanced of course). In total we caught five new Black-headed Gulls, to add to the darvic-ringing scheme, and I was lucky enough to ring four of them! The site is just short of 9km from Rufford, so hopefully, I'll pick some of these birds up, during the winter months. The new rings added were 266A - 270A.

266A (adult female)

267A

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Rufford and Clumber - 21st December 2020

 On Monday I had a few hours at Rufford and Clumber Park, looking for ringed Black-headed Gulls. In total, I saw 5 known birds and 2 new ones. I also saw a new Canada Goose.

At Rufford, the gulls seen were 217A, 237A, 255A, EUM3 and V77K. 225A, the first new bird, had been ringed at Center Parcs on 25th January 2020. It was seen there again on 26th November 2020, but Monday's sighting was my first and the first record for Rufford.

255A, Rufford CP

The new Canada Goose was ring number 5215987. It had been ringed on 1st January 2003, making it at least 18 years old (born in 2002), but I'll update when I get the age and place of ringing back.

When I arrived at Clumber Park there were about 100 Black-headed Gulls out on the grassed area by the Chapel. Unfortunately, there weren't any darvic rings to be seen, but I did spot a new British-ringed bird, EY30536, which had been ringed 4th March 2013 (location yet to be confirmed), and a Danish-ringed bird, VAO171, which I first saw here on 18th November 2018. It had been ringed 911km away on Hirsholm, on 26th May 2015. 

EY30536

VAO171

The darvic-ringed Mute Swan, Y204, that Jayne and I saw back in November, was also present.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

New Black-headed Gull - VA5573

There were about 200 Black-headed Gulls at Rufford CP yesterday, including three well known birds, 217A, 237A and V77K (see labels for details of these birds). The sighting of 237A was the first since March 2020 (see here). In addition, a new, 1st winter bird (born this year) bearing a Danish metal ring, VA5573 was seen. 

Danish-ringed Black-headed Gull VA5573

VA5573

Details received from the Danish Ringing Scheme show that the bird was ringed, as a pullus, 877km away, on Hirsholm, Denmark on 25th May 2020.

In addition to the gulls there were also two metal-ringed Mute Swans, W17370 and W17357. The former bird was also present on my last visit, and had been ringed by Birklands RG, 3km away in September 2014. W17357 had also been ringed by Birklands RG, 3km away. It was ringed, as a age 5 bird (born in 2015), on 10th February 2016.

W17357

The final rings read were 2 Canada Geese (5230424 and 5215963) and 1 Greylag Goose (5230471). All 3 birds had been sighted previously, and had been ringed just 3km away (click on the labels to see ringing details).

Linacre WeBS - 12th December 2020

 I was down at Linacre yesterday morning to carry out this month's WeBS walk. It was one of the best walks I've done all year, with record counts for both Mallard and Mandarin Duck

Totals seen were: 181 Mallard, 179 Mandarin Duck, 69 Tufted Duck, 10 Moorhen, 5 Coot, 48 Black-headed Gull, 9 Goosander (5 males and 4 females, including birds displaying), 2 Grey Wagtail and 2 Little Grebes.

The woodlands were quite quiet, but I was quite surprised to hear a singing Song Thrush on arrival! The final bird of note was Fieldfare, which was heard flying over.