I kept my eye on the sky on the way home, hoping for a Lapwing to add to the December list, but no luck there either, so it seems the year and months list will end where they now sit, especially as the weather for the last day of the year looks to be wet and windy again :-(
This month has been particularly difficult given the very stormy conditions, and the tally of 63 species is only the fifth best December tally out of twelve, 10 species behind the record December total set back in 2008, with a further 5 new species needed for it to reach the fourth best position, it will certainly not move up the rankings now.
Time to look back briefly on the past year I think, and pick out some of the salient points of my birding exploits on my patch.
The number of successful breeding species on my patch, of which I found recently fledged young for, was down by 3 on the previous year, from 43 to 40, with a further 6 probably successfully breeding, but for which no recently fledged young were found for, so 46 species probably did breed, that compares with 48 in 2012.
The total species recorded over the year was 110, a very good total, the 2nd best out of the twelve years of recording here, and 3 behind the record of 113 found in 2010, that year had no less than 7 patch ticks, while 2013 didn't produce a single patch tick, the first of the twelve years not to do so.
Of the 110 species seen this year, 13 of them involved just single sightings of that species, or multiple sightings of the same single bird over several days, 7 of the 13 were flyovers, this shows that it takes a lot of luck and daily visits are a must, even to get to 100 species on my patch! Out of interest the 13 species were, Wigeon, Waxwing, Nightingale, Stonechat, Ring Ouzel and Sedge Warbler, the flyovers were of, Red Kite, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Golden plover, Curlew, Barn owl, and Great Black backed Gull.
|Stonechat, a species which the same single bird was present on several dates|
|Lesser Whitethroat - will a pair find a place to nest here next year ?|
|Clouded Yellow, 2013 was an exceptional year for these migrant butterlfies|
|Migrant Hawker Dragonflies were a common sight this year too.|