Sunday, January 04, 2009

Quicksilver Christmas Challenge...

Between Chrsitmas Day and New Years day a few of us have been keeping a list of birds seen. Over this period most people have other commitments to keep them occupied, me included, so its a good way of just seing what you can get during a week in winter, whether you are all out birding or you are looking from the mother in law's window.

During the time, I counted birds mostly on dog walks, but there was a half day run around and a trip to Scotland for the last 3 days. Here's how it went...

1. Red throated Diver - Only one seen off Boulmer.
2. Little Grebe - seen in a few localities.
3. Cormorant - Boulmer.
4. Grey Heron - seen in a few localities.
5. Mute Swan - Howick pond, QEII lake etc
6. Whooper Swan - between Widdrington Village and Ellington.
7. Pink footed Goose - Many in Cresswell area.
8. White fronted Goose - 3+ near Linton.
9. Greylag - with White fronts.
10. Canada Goose - Bothal Pond.
11. Shelduck - 3 at Boulmer.
12. Wigeon - seen in a few localities.
13. Gadwall - Druridge Budge Fields.
14. Teal - seen in a few localities.
15. Mallard - common.
16. Pochard - Bothal Pond.
17. Tufted Duck - Few localities.
18. Eider - common.
19. Goldeneye - several at Boulmer.
20. Red breasted Merganser - several at Boulmer.
21. Goosander - 2 at QEII Lake.
22. Sparrowhawk - only one seen at Longhoughton.
23. Buzzard - Common.
24. Kestrel - a few localities.
25. Peregrine - Boulmer.
26. Red Grouse - 17 seen Dalwhinnie, Scotland.
27. Grey Partridge - Boulmer.
28. Pheasant - Common.
29. Moorhen - Howick Pond.
30. Coot - a few coastal ponds.
31. Oystercatcher - common.
32. Golden Plover - only one seen at Cresswell Pond.
33. Grey Plover - Boulmer.
34. Lapwing - Boulmer.
35. Knot - a few at Boulmer.
36. Sanderling - a few at Boulmer.
37. Purple Sandpiper - 2 at Seaton Point.
38. Dunlin - Boulmer.
39. Snipe - Widdrington Tip.
40. Bar tailed Godwit - Boulmer.
41. Curlew - common.
42. Redshank - common.
43. Turnstone - common.
44. Mediterranean Gull - 1 adult, Newbiggin.
45. Black headed Gull - common.
46. Common Gull - common.
47. Herring Gull - common.
48. Iceland Gull - 1 2nd winter at Lynemouth flash.
49. Great black backed Gull - common.
50. Stock Dove -only one at Howick woods.
51. Woodpigeon - common.
52. Collared Dove - common.
53. Barn Owl - one seen near Lesbury.
54. Kingfisher - a suprise at Howick Pond.
55. Great spotted Woodpecker - 2 in Howick Woods.
56. Meadow Pipit - one at Boulmer.
57. Rock Pipit - Boulmer.
58. Grey Wagtail - a few locations.
59. Pied Wagtail - a few locations.
60. Waxwing - 6 at Linton roundabout.
61. Dipper - 1 Pauperhaugh bridge, near Rothbury.
62. Wren - common.
63. Dunnock - common.
64. Robin - common.
65. Stonechat - Boulmer.
66. Blackbird - common.
67. Fieldfare - Corby crags, Alnwick.
68. Song Thrush - Boulmer.
69. Redwing - Corby crags, Alnwick.
70. Mistle Thrush - a few locations.
71. Blackcap - female in our yard.
72. Chiffchaff - Druridge Budge Screen.
73. Goldcrest - Howick Woods.
74. Long tailed Tit - Howick Woods.
75. Crested Tit - Insh, Scotland.
76. Coal Tit - common.
77. Blue Tit - common.
78. Great Tit - common.
79. Nuthatch - one at Howick Woods.
80. Treecreeper - Howick Woods and Insh, Scotland.
81. Jay - near Longframlington and over A9 near Pitlochry.
82. Magpie - common.
83. Jackdaw - common.
84. Rook - common.
85. Carrion Crow - common.
86. Hooded Crow - one at Dalwhinnie, Scotland.
87. Starling - common.
88. House Sparrow - common.
89. Tree Sparrow - a few around Boulmer.
90. Chaffinch - common.
91. Greenfinch - common.
92. Goldfinch - common.
93. Linnet - Boulmer and Seaton Point.
94. Twite - 5 at Bells Links, Cresswell.
95. Redpoll - one only Insh, Scotland.
96. Bullfinch - Howick Woods.
97. Yellowhammer - a few localities.
98. Reed Bunting - Boulmer.

Total - 98 Species.

Easiest 'misses' were Ringed Plover, Shag, Common Scoter, Guillemot, Razorbill, Tawny Owl, Skylark, Siskin, Crossbill and Snow Bunting. Slav and Red necked Grebes and Brent Geese are also not difficult if a visit to the North of the county could be made.

The first 7 are usually easy to see in the Boulmer area! Could have had 106+...must do better. I even had 2 Ravens just outside the time barrier on our way home from Scotland...

We used to do a bird race for 24 hours in January some years back. I think the most we got was 102 in a day...

Looking forward to next years challenge Andrew, it was great!

4 comments:

Ipin said...

Canny list there Stewart, I would struggle with the challenge, there is only so much you can see from the pub window! We got Kingfisher on last years winter bird race at Howick Pond....

Andrew at Quicksilverbirds said...

Hi Stewart, some cracking birds in there and a top score. I'll get this written up asap, and half thinking doing this again next year and maybe one over summer (one of the May BH's maybe for migrants), mainly as I'm getting older, being in sub zero temps for a week isn't fun any more.

And if you allow - Ipin, hello, it's the taking part that counts... hope to see you take part if it happens again.

shirl said...

Hi there Stewart :-)

Congrats on your list. LOL at my much smaller list all being common – many were new to my garden :-D

Ah… but I did notice the location of some on your list and I see you have been up in Scotland in areas I am familiar with. You must have had a very interesting holiday by reading the locations on your list.

All the best :-D

Stewart said...

Thanks all,

Shirl, I have some pics of my Scotland trip just down the blog. Scroll down to see them...