Sunday, 28 December 2008

Part 1 Birding Challenge - NE 65 Species

Happy Christmas to all those who have posted comments here. Thank you.

Well I'm now back from my 753 mile Christmas trip and I have to say I enjoyed it immensely, even the drive back last night, over night. Roads were ghostly quiet and did the 320 miles door to door in a modest, erhhum just over 4 hours.

And now on Sunday I awoke to glorious sunshine.... bit dull in the north east yesterday, more depressing than having second helpings of turkey on Boxing Day just to use it up. Didn't get much chance for proper birding and for the first time in living memory didn't make it to friends in Northumberland during a visit, time just didn't allow. I have though begun the birding challenge for work, so far 65 species have hit the log book, 45 on Christmas Day, not bad for all of these being seen within a 5 mile radius of my parents house and all within the Tyneside conurbation. Full report next weekend.

Now I'm back in the, I have to say, absolutely freezing South West, I hope to hurtle this figure onto at least 66..... mate from work is already on 79 - eeek!!

Few highlights, a very obliging Treecreeper feeding off the fat spread

Cousin and wife stayed with my parents for Christmas, I've got her interested in birding, much to his dismay and she spent half an hour photographing stuff in my parents garden!!

and another obliging bird, Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Highlights so far have been 38 Turnstones, single Red Throated Diver, 9 male Tree Sparrows, Mediterranean Gull and possible?? Ring Bill Gull at Boldon Flats NR. The latter I'm not counting as it was a juvenile and these are deadly to id properly, but everything right. However too far away for a photo, so just a dream, though I did see one at Portland in January....Bit of a discussion with another birder, I know a Glaucous Gull when I see one, we'll leave that discussion there I think.

Right, sun is shining, Sand Bay here I come........ keep twitching 4 days to go!!


Somebody once said to me it was warmer in the South West. Well it may be sometimes, but this afternoon there was a wind blowing up the Bristol Channel which would have cut a Polar Bear in two. Glorious sunshine though, after yesterdays dark all day weather. So some photos to lighten the soul.

Wader paradise in the Bristol Channel at low tide - can't see it here but about 2000 Dunlin out there on the waterline, plus assorted waders, including 2 Greenshank.

This very pale Buzzard has been about for years, fools many in the summer who think its an Osprey. There are a lot of pale Buzzards around here.

An Arty shot on the way home.............


  1. 65!!!! I've only managed to see 11 but in my defence I have been working and not had time off to see anything. I will however try to do better. Glad you had a good time and safe journeys, BW Goosey

  2. I've taken up the challenge Andrew and I think we're running neck and neck. However, I'm going to struggle to get too many more now, time and available species (I'm sticking to my usual spots) being the limiting factors. Stewart is racing away with it I reckon. Details on my blog.

  3. Oh no, I haven't been counting the birds I've seen, just taking pictures. New birds at my feeders this past two days...American Goldfinches. So exciting!

  4. Hi Goosey, this is just a fun thing to do, I'm sure your 11 have given you as much joy as my 65.. keep going.

    Thanks for the comment Alastair, great blog by the way. good to hear so many people have taken up thi Xmas bit of fun.

    Oldcrow, as ever your birds delight, not many Newfoundland species here in the UK.