A brief, dryish interlude this morning lasted around 90 minutes, allowing me to carry out some sort of patch visit for the final day of the year, before the wind and rain set in proper for the remainder of the day, an all too familiar story for December :-(
Most of the visit was centered around the lakes, where I was pleased to see a female GOOSANDER on the Main Lake, always a treat to see one of these here, but another treat was in store for me in the shape of a COOT (64), another scarce visitor to these lakes, although a pair has bred here for the last two springs they never hang about for long. At least 2 pairs of MANDARIN DUCK were also picked out in the overhanging branches of the main lake, plus a CORMORANT was sitting on a muddy island on the Ornamental lake, the MUTE SWANS were also present, as were at least 30 MALLARD and 6 MOORHEN spread between the 3 water bodies. If I can get this lot for tomorrows new year walk I'll be well happy!!
Not much else to report from the final visit of the year, a MEADOW PIPIT flew up from the Ashes lane Field as I walked across it in driving rain, and the male KESTREL was hunting around the nearby old shack.
So that's that then! Goodbye to 2013! If 2014 gives me as many bird species to see I will be happy enough, 110 species is the 2nd best year out of the 12, as I said in yesterdays post, 3 behind the record year of 2010. Looking at the mean average species count for each of the past 12 months, it shows an average tally of 69.83 species were found per month, this is also the second best figure, behind the year of 2010 which had an average of 70.25 species per month, 2010 is turning out to be the year to beat!
I set record monthly totals in February (70) and April (79), I also equaled the existing record totals for January and July, but I think most of the months have now reached their peak as far as species numbers are concerned. Looking at the full 12 years of recording it tells me I can expect to see on average 65 species in any given month, enough to convince me to carry for another year :-)
Happy new year to all ! Enjoy your birding in 2014 :-)