Monday 31 December 2012

Well what an anticlimax to the year!  :-(  I had intentions of going out on my patch and giving it my all to find that one new species for the year needed to attain my 2012 target of 109 species. Alas the weather ( once again!!!)  made a mockery of all that, I was out for just 2 hours in some horrible wet and windy conditions and quickly realised I was not going to see much, let alone a new year species  :-(.

In the two hours I was out I managed to check the lakes, Scrubby Woods, Wet Woods and Tree Nursery, but in a howling wind and at times driving rain, the best birds I found were the KESTREL pair and a hunting SPARROWHAWK, although whilst sheltering in the Wet woods I did come across an entertaining flock of LONG TAILED TITS, with 2 GOLDCREST, a NUTHATCH, a TREECREEPER and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER.

So the years list ended on 108, ( see list in the side bar on the right), which puts it in joint 3rd place out of the 11 years of watching my patch, the same tally as last year, but 5 behind the record year of 2010. If pushed to say what was my most pleasurable sighting of 2012, it would have to go to the female HEN HARRIER that passed through in June  :-)

Looking back at my monthly totals, only February stood out, the 68 species found was a record February tally, all the other months were well off their respective record tallies, none getting within more than 3 species of it.

The average number of species seen per month this year reached 67.9, which is the lowest since 2008 with 67.4.  Last year the average reached 69 species, but the best year was 2010 when an average 70.25 species were seen per month.

Checking out the 11 year combined monthly totals, April is easily the best month to be out on my patch, with a combined tally of 103 species seen, which shows just how poor this Aprils haul of just 69 species was, in fact it was the first April that 70 or over species were not found since 2005! October is the next best month with a combined total of 95 species recorded, and September is in third place, with a total of 91 species found.

The overall patch list moved up two species, with RAVEN and YELLOW LEGGED GULL being added in 2012, of all those species 43 were confirmed breeding here, with a further 5 probably breeding but no young were found, they were ; Turtle dove, Stock Dove, Cuckoo, Tawny Owl and Pheasant. Coot was a first time breeder for my patch last year, as was the KESTREL.

Of the 108 species seen this year, 11 were recorded on just one of the 121 full patch walks made, and  at the other end of the scale 17 species were seen on every visit.

I'll leave the stats there for now  :-)

All that's left now is to wish everyone a Happy New year, and hopefully you'll all have some great wildlife experiences for 2013 !
Oh and of course some more Green Woodpecker photo's ( with a long tailed tit thrown in) these were taken yesterday in my garden  ;-)
Male Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker
Long Tailed Tit
Long Tailed Tit


Phil said...

A very happy new year to you Warren.

Pete Woodruff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete Woodruff said...

The Long-tailed Tit has been well caught hanging by one leg....excellent.

HAPPY NEW YEAR Warren, weatherwise it can only be better....can't it?

Ken. said...

You and your family have a very happy new year. I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be your year

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Looking forward to your record breaking exploits already Warren

All the very best to you and yours for 2013


(New ID for '13)

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you too Warren. Hope it`s a good one :)

Alan Pavey said...

108 was a really good total mate nice to finish off with that Jack Snipe the other day. Happy New Year mate :-)