31 December 2009

2009 total.

2009 was the first year I kept a bird list. I actually kept a list of what I saw each day, but to be honest that was rather tedious after a while, so for 2010 I'm just gonna note when and where I see each new bird.

I saw 147 different species in 2009, the firsts for me being Short-eared Owl, Great Grey Shrike, Bullfinch (amazing to have missed this gem for so long), Ruddy Duck, Firecrest, Pied Flycatcher, Little Stint, Great Reed Warbler, Red-throated Pipit, Lapland Bunting, Red-rumped Swallow, Nightjar (awesome close encounter), Woodcock, Cattle Egret, Pomarine Skua, Whooper Swan and the aforementioned Great Northern Diver.

Hope for more next year!

Obliging Divers.

Thought I'd start on the last day of the current year. Gives impetus to continue into the new... at least, I suspect it will.

Three days ago I acquired a secondhand Swarovski ATS 65HD plus zoom for an excellent price (my first spotting scope). It's in great condition, and I'm totally smug not having paid full price for any of it. Feel that I'm well equipped now. 10x42 Bins are great, but it's great to finally scratch the itch for closer views.

Today was the first test run after two frustrating days of rain and very poor light.

Anyway, the two juvenile Great Northern Divers at Cotswold Water Park (Pit 125) were very obliging indeed, and a first for me. They were both fishing along the nearside of the pit a short distance from the car park. Very good given the cold conditions. Went down to the waters edge at one point (near the two large buildings of what I presume is Bowmoor Sailing Club) and one popped up within twenty yards of me. Didn't need the scope then!

Came away with a great bird to end the year, cold fingers, and three semi-acceptable pics.