Well after posting my New Year's Greeting earlier today, I thought I'd get up and running with the Bird Challenge.
But before that, having had a Song Thrush as my last bird of 2008, this fed up looking Little Egret on a frozen pond near Burnham on Sea, takes honours for the first bird photo of 2009, and weirdly gives me my final bird of the Challenge.
So how did Border Reiver do in the NHU's Bird Cup (and blog challenge of course). Well, I think a respectable 90. I know I've not won as a colleague is on 91. But it's the taking part that counts, and as I boycotted going to any big Nature Reserves such as Slimbridge, or down on the Somerset Levels, I'm very happy with my score.
Highlights: Collard Dove nest building on Christmas day, 38 Turnstones, Red (I think) Throated diver off the coast at Sunderland, kept losing it in the waves, pretty certain though, Blackcap in Garden today as it was at feeders every day until Christmas, then went AWOL. As has been a Little Egret, until today, I see one every day on way to work, but nothing for 8 days, I think they know when to hide.
Lowlights: Loads of commoner birds missed this year, Dipper, Ring Plover, Peregrine, Merlin, all Owls, most Swans and Geese, Raven, Grey Wagtail, quite a few Waders (not even a Grey Plover!!), Kingfisher and so on. Could have got most of these at Slimbridge or down at Shapwick/Meare, but it's much more fun to be standing in an icy cold field, in a gale, freezing my chollocks off trying to find a winter thrush at 200 meters. Character building.
For those of you interested in what I did see, below the instructions for your reports, is a bird list.
Submit your sightings: If you are taking part in the challenge, please leave a comment to this posting. I don't need a species list as this will be on your own blog, but the number of species seen would be helpful and any highlights you'd like me to mention. And then on Sunday night I'll write up a summary of all the blogs, who won, as in most numbers, a summary of where you went birding and most importantly a link back to your own blog so we can all then have a read. And of course if something odd or bizarre happened to you, we want to know.
So until Sunday, I'm away to defrost myself. All the best, Border Reiver, trading as Andrew at Quicksilverbirds.
Black Headed Gull
Greater Black Backed Gull
Eider (on sea)
Red? Throated Diver (out at sea)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Greenshank (on River Wear)
Long Tailed Tit
Water Rail (seen)
Great Crested Grebe
Lesser Black Backed Gull