Saturday, 8 January 2011

Surprise, Surprise!

Stonechat. David Cookson

On just about every birding day I've had over the years there's always been a surprise ranging from small to huge and I suppose the one to take me out of 2010 was the Stonechat I found at Conder Green on 29 December, a bird I didn't ever expect to see - following the harsh weather of the previous weeks - before March this year when the passage of this species begins.

Blackbird. Pete Woodruff. 

Another record which surprised me a little towards the end of 2010 was the 'at least' 90 Blackbirds counted on a coastal birding walk on 17 December.

Whooper Swans. David Cookson

Well I've only got two birding days in so far this New Year of 2011 but it was welcomed in on Tuesday 4 January by the amazing sight of what had started with just seven Whooper Swans in a stubble field on Fluke Hall Lane in the Pilling area with a nice flood at the back for the birds, and which - in the space of about fifteen minutes I spent there- developed into 282 of them all coming over my head from the south and sounding like every single one of them 'trumpeting' as they came to join the initial seven, amazing....magical....and memorable.

Twite. Phil Slade.

A sighting picked out at random from 11 April 2005 which surprised me greatly was the two Twite I found just north of Loyne Bridge at Gressingham. This record was a rare inland sighting for me, but I had seen inland Twite one summers day a few years earlier with my good friend and mentor John Leedal in the area of Pen-y-Ghent in the Yorkshire Dales. By way of a bonus one of the Lune Valley birds was ringed and information passed to the ringers/experts in the field of Twite confirmed it to have been a Pennine bred bird, one of thirty two ringed two years earlier in July 2003 at Cant Clough. 

And finally....

Bewick's Swan. Colin Bushell

Another of those kind of photographs I find hard to resist seeing and showing on Birds2blog, the Bewick's Swan at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. Just take a close look at the plumage of this bird....snow white and contrasting with the extreme black of the Coots - and isn't that a Moorhen facing the swan? - in the picture, and ponder where it may well have been during the summer/breeding season in Siberia.

Thanks to DC/PS/CB for the photographs.


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. At least you have two more birding days than yours truly this year!!....What a way to kick off the New Year with 282 Whooper Swans a great start indeed .
I will be coming out of "hibernation" soon !!!

Take care.

Pete Woodruff said...

Look forward to your coming out of the 'sleep' Brian. Meanwhile I'll settle for some more of your 'looking back' images....please!