Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The 120th and last full patch walk of the year was undertaken in bright and sunny conditions, with a hard frost once again.

It was a rather disappointing visit, with just 39 species being found in a little over four hours, but the likes of YELLOWHAMMER, that flew over, LITTLE OWL, that was at the Greenhouse Copse, and LAPWING, five of which were with 63 BLACK HEADED GULLS at Migrant Alley, would be very welcome for my new years list tomorrow! The COOT pair and immature MUTE SWAN will almost certainly be here tomorrow, both good January species for my patch, they were crammed into the small area of open water on the ornamental lake again this morning, along with 18 MALLARDS and 2 MOORHENS.

Not much else to note for this mornings walk, the KESTREL pair were again up hunting around the Greenhouse Grounds and a COMMON BUZZARD was hunting low over the Wet Woods again. LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH and this GOLDCREST were the best of the woodland species seen.

It was a shame I couldn't get a decent shutter speed in the shade of the Scrubby Woods

The images could be a bit sharper, but they are still quite nice to look at  :-)


So the last month of the year ends with 63 species, the 6th best December tally of 13, while the year list ends on 110, the same as last year, this is the second highest annual species tally of the 13 years, but I have put in more time this year than any other, this being my first full calendar year of not having to work!   It was particularly satisfying to have recorded an average of 70 species per month throughout this year, in fact it was 70.17 species, which is just a shade under the 70.25 species averaged in 2010, that's the target to beat in 2015!

Looking at the year overall, of the 110 species recorded, 43 of them bred successfully, with another 4 species possibly breeding, but no recent fledged young were found for them. 

20 of the 110 species were seen only as flyovers, and/or were just single birds seen on one occasion, the remaining 43 species were passage migrants and/or birds passing through.

16 species were seen on 100% of the 120 full patch walks undertaken, whilst another 3 were seen on 99% of visits. The biggest increase in sightings for any one species was for the Mute Swan, it was one of those seen on 99% of full patch walks, this was due to having a breeding pair here for the first time, it was previously just a flyover species, seen less than 5 times year. At the other end of the scale, the biggest decline in sightings for any one species goes to the Greenfinch, it has dropped to being found on just 63% of full patch walks, this from an average of 97% over the previous 12 years.

Just one species was added to the 13 year patch total, that was the Brent Goose, two flocks flew over on separate dates in October, taking the patch list to 140. I wonder if i'll add to that ?

A few more pics to end the year..........hopefully you'll all be following my exploits for 2015, who knows what will happen here!  Happy new year to you all anyway!  :-)    :-)

Kestrel, on its usual perch on the Greenhouses


Marc Heath said...

Happy New Year to you and I hope the birds turn up for you tomorrow. I'm already excited about tomorrow. Just love 1st Jan.

Warren Baker said...

Just a shame there is only a little over 8 hours daylight :-) LoL

Alan Pavey said...

Happy New Year Mate, if your photography keeps improving at the same rate it will be mind blowing :-) Some brilliant shots this year.

Warren Baker said...

Oh! Alan, I thought my photography was already mind blowing (HA HA HA!!!)

Thanks mate, hope you find plenty of birds next year :-)

Ken. said...

All the best to you and your family for the new year.
Here's hoping you get off to a flier tomorrow.I am sure we will see some of your lovely photo's to go with your posting. Good luck

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Happy New Year Warren and best of luck for 2015 I'm sure there'll be a surprise or two over the next 12 months.
Cracking goldcrests :-)



Warren Baker said...

Cheers Ken - Davyman, Good luck for your new year birding exploits too :-)