Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ton Up...

Another bleak winters day today, but the morning on foot around the patch turned up a massive 6 new additions, including two of the targets mentioned yesterday.

The wind was strong again, cutting, on the coast path, but after adding an extra layer, I took position on the cliff top at Cullernose Point gazing at a largely blank sea. If I had not been doing the Patch Challenge, I would have given this no more than a cursory glance and been off for shelter, but common species take on extra significance with an added spice of competition.

So, I sat it out for 45 minutes seeing three new additions that would have hardly had me lifting the bins later in the year -

Gannet 3 adults S
Kittiwake 1 adult N
Wigeon 2 N
Goldeneye 1N
Eider 3 N
Common Scoter 1 female N
Fulmar 30+ milling around.

Amazing to see the top two species are worth two points in the challenge...

In the fields were 100+ Skylarks, 40 Golden Plover, 2 Lapwing, 30 Fieldfare and 50+ Linnets.

At this stage I retired home for breakfast and to shake off hypothermia before heading out again in an inland direction.

A wet corner was very productive when 11 Snipe flushed with 2 Woodcock nearby. I'll keep an eye on this damp spot for Jack Snipe, a full new species for the patch, as the weeks go on. A rough field here had more Fieldfares and Redwings with 3 Reed Bunting but still no Yellowhammers?

3 Brown Hares were beginning to 'box' on the heugh.

The route home was mainly quiet in the woods but after some lengthy perseverance my target surrendered -a Treecreeper, skulking about in the moss low down on a tree trunk. The pond here had 6 Mallard a Little Grebe and a Heron. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was in full drumming mode, a hint of spring in this winter weather.

That's me then for another week, 90 species (100 points) and a new record for January after 87 in Jan 2010. With still another weekend to go and a common species or two left to find, hopefully I can push the boundary even further.    


Anonymous said...

Nice one Stewart.
I was hoping to reach 100 garden species (not points) by the end of this month...but the damned white stuff as put pay to that. Not to worry it`s a marathon and not a sprint.

Joe said...

Hi Stewart,

Nice sightings, sounds like a very productive day

Stewart said...

Dean - Thats right too, once I finish January, I'll not get another tick until Chiffchaff in mid March!

Joe - Reasonable Joe, reasonable...