As the month of February draws to a close, its time to check the patch listing stats.
February is always the worst month for birding on my bit of coastline. I have mainly cleaned up on all wintering visitors and resdents by the end of January and spend February adding a few that were overlooked, and hoping for spring.
This month fitted the stereotype perfectly. The month came in like a lion and went out like a lamb, a phrase supposed to be associated with March but global warming has moved everything else forward so why not the prose? A covering of snow and temps down to -7 during the first weekend added a quick flurry to the list with Fieldfare, Redwing, Water rail, Willow Tit, Peregrine, Meadow Pipit and Collared Dove. More Crossbills, Barn Owls and Pink footed Geese added to the interest.
From then on it was all down hill. On 10th a singing Siskin was species 97 then in the warm, spring like days of week three, Coot 98 and Whooper Swan 99 arrived on the 25th.
This 99 species gives me 49% of my all time patch total score.
What will be species 100 be in March I wonder? Lesser black backed Gull or Redpoll is likely to be followed by Chiffchaff later in the month. Maybe the sea will be the key to some extra additions with birds like grebes and divers or white winged gulls shuffling around from other sites. Or maybe the small pond will pull in a Pochard (unlikely!) or a Wigeon?
Who knows? It will take the second week of April to arrive before the ticking can begin in earnest...
Compare this result against my blogging colleague Steve Gale here...