Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Wetter late than never....

Craster Harbour the other day...
Happy New Year all, long time no see. There is a reason for this though. We have been without internet since 28th December, it only coming back on today as if by magic, without an engineer or anything, just a manifestation in blue light on the router.

No more ado, my blood boils just thinking about the customer service given by BT, so lets not mention them again.

Much better to start with a finish to 2015. I was going to do the bloggers standard summary of the last years highlights but that candle has fizzled now so here's an update.

For the Patchwork Challenge and my friendly competition with Mr Gale of Banstead the end total is a respectable 151 species for 191 points, nicely clinching back a forgotten Sibe Chiff (oh that's only a PWC rule, so for you Steve the year closed on 150) from November.

Time for it all to start over for 2016. This coming year I have a couple of plans to look forward to - continuing with the patch birding, I am enjoying it more than ever since I am taking it casually. Accompanying my friend John on his first dip into the PWC down at the Coquet Estuary where I can enjoy a new set of species that can be tricky on my own patch ie waders and lastly, later in the spring John and myself will be making our first foray across the Atlantic with another 5 friends to catch up with some Nearctic warbler migration.

In between these main features there will be more ventures into moths and butterflies, plants and mammals or anything else that takes the fancy. I will be keeping my notebook tidy with a few more sketches and trying to get some better photographs.

And that's me really, a man of simple pleasures!

What, may you ask, has 2016 given me so far? Well, I have to say, rain. And gales, and even more rain. New Years day was ok, but every day since has been grim, dark, wet and windy to a backing track of booming, pounding, headache inducing waves against the cliffs.

The Howick bird list is a bit lower than at this stage last year, but it is early days. My first highlight of the year came as a surprise on the 1st when a lovely adult Little Gull fed in a village field with black headed gulls. It did a short circular flight low over our heads to show of the pale rounded wing tips against the sooty wing linings. This is a scarce bird here with only a few occurrences maybe every other year always on seawatches. It was nice to get a land bound one.

Speaking of seawatching, I have dabbled against the elements seeing very little except up to 3 more Little Gulls together at Craster and 2 Little Auks blasted North with a wind up their tail.

PWC 2016 61 sp.

I dont fancy a dip in there....


Steve Gale said...

Enjoy the year Stewart, and here's to a closer patch challenge in 2016!

Warren Baker said...

Welcome back Stewart :-)

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

That is a heck of a wild sea! Hope none of that got in your camera when you were taking those great shots.

Trademark Lawyer said...

That sea certainly looks rough! Good to see you back, can't wait to read more posts from you!