The penultimate full patch walk of the year took place this morning in dreadful conditions, low cloud and constant rain, heavy at times plagued me all the way round, the camera stayed indoors - speaking of which - thanks for all the input on my last post about lenses and cameras, it seems i'll just have to keep what ive got!
The species total for the day reached just 40, well down on recent visits, but in the conditions it was a reasonable tally, another 3 species were added this afternoon, when SISKIN, NUTHATCH and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER visited my garden feeders.
There were some highlights to todays walk to be had though, 3 REED BUNTING that flew from a grassy area in the Tree Nursery were the first seen this month, I was actually trying to flush up a Snipe! More interestingly, for my patch at least, was the sighting of a flock of 33 GOLDEN PLOVER that flew over Migrant Alley. 33! I normally get excited at just the odd stray bird that goes over. This species now brings the December total to 67, still 6 behind last Decembers record, which will stand for a long time yet I think.
Another highlight for the morning was a KINGFISHER, seen at one of the small ponds in the College Grounds, I saw one here on the 12th as well, the only other Kingfisher sighting i've had this month. So despite the dreadful weather, it wasn't a bad trip out really.
As its nearly the end of the year I though I'd put a few of the years stats up for you to ponder, i'll put some more up tomorow as well.
My monthly targets have been a feature on my posts and I have succeeded in bettering the species total in 6 of the months, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May and Sept. I equalled the target in a futher two months Aug, and Oct. Last year I exceeded all the months targets except one, so It shows how challenging its going to be year on year, but I look forward to it!
The worst species total was achieved in Nov. with 63, the best was achieved in Sept with 78, which is the best ever month in the 8 years of recording. The average number of species that I recorded each month for this year is 68.6, the best average yet, in 2002 when I started recording, it was only 57.6, that shows how getting to know an area well, increases the chance of finding the birds. The overall monthly average for the 8 years is 62.2.
Looking at the 8 year cumulative totals for for each month, the best months are unsurprisingly the months where migration takes place, April has the best 8 year total with 97 species seen, Sept is in second place with 88 species, in last place is, and this surprises me, the month of Aug. with only 77 species seen, one behind the Jan, Feb and Nov. totals.
Well, thats enough figures for tonight, i'll put the more important ones up tomorrow, the final year list, and new patch ticks etc.