12 days in

12 days into the new year.
79 – the number of species I’ve seen on the local patch.
93 – the number of species that the person leading the local patch competition as seen.
0 – the number of species that my arch-rival as seen on patch this year.

Teal in flight

Teal in flight


Goosander on the river

My personal highlight was seeing 5 species of owl before the month was out.

Three species of Owls

Three species of Owls

And finally a video of the the Short-eared Owl and Kestrel. It’s not me doing the vole impression!



Looking back @ 152

A pretty pathetic UK year total for me this year, 152 species. In fairness I wasn’t trying, work has been unsettling for almost all of the year and I focused mainly on patch birding. So for a local list with a single birding trip to Skye this year, it wasn’t a complete disaster. ¬†The most annoying thing? Phil W, one of my regular birding colleagues¬†recorded 160!

But, 2014 beckons. Phil and I have metaphorically thrown the gauntlet down to each other – in Phil’s case thrown down, picked up, dusted off, called Percy and accepted! I doubt either one of us would either welcome or deserve the word “twitcher”, although there was an incident in 2011 involving a desert wheatear, great northern diver, a male smew, a lesser white fronted and a handbrake tern ;-) on the A165. However, I think what we will do next year is have a few LAFFS :-)

For now, looking back at 2013, I definitely need to up my game for next year. And below is an image from each month of last year.

January 2013, New Years Day: Grey Heron

February 2013: Bullfinch

March 2013: Waxwing

April 2013: Ring-necked Parakeet

May 2013: Black-necked Grebe

June 2013: Swallow

July 2013: Ringed Plover

August 2013: White-tailed Eagle

September 2013: Kingfisher

October 2013: Kestrel

November 2013: Bearded Reedling

And finally, December 2013: Long-eared Owl