Friday, April 25, 2014

Brent Goose at Ferry Meadows CP

I was just rather pleased to find a nice flock of 15 Arctic Terns over Gunwade this lunchtime, when I noticed this dark-bellied fellow swimming by. I called out the news and the bird was looking nice and relaxed, when just before reinforcements arrived it took off and powered to the west. Interestingly, three dark-bellied Brents were reported at Eldernell this morning, so they must be moving on something of a front in this unpleasant (yet good for birding) weather (murky, rainy, north-easterlies).
Its wings were surprisingly manky. You need some new feathers, my friend.

Dotterel, Blackbush, Whittlesey

Duller of two females in a trip of three birds (the other was a wintery or first-wintery, male-ish bird) found this morning by Hugh Wright. Dotterel is a bird I have still never found in the Peterborough area; and these were my first since the Turves birds of May 2009, I think.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Marsh Harrier past Peterborough sunset

2014 end-of March update

Last week in March, 2008, I was on 125 (inc 17 'elites'). Year total: 189 (my record total)
Last week in March, 2009, I was on 131 (inc 22 'elites'). Year total: 187
Last week in March, 2010, I was on 126 (inc 15 'elites'). Year total: 177
Last week in March, 2011, I was on 130 (inc 18 'elites'). Year total: 182
Last week in March, 2012, I was on 134 (inc 21*(22) 'elites'). Year total: 183
Last week in March, 2013, I was on 128 (inc 20*(21) 'elites'). Year total: 187
Last week in March, 2014, I am on 124 (inc 17*(18) 'elites'). Year total: ???
 * () Modern counting with Smew as an 'elite'

Here is the traditional state of my personal PBC (Peterborough Bird Club area) year list summary, as of the end March.
It has been a funny year so far. Some very rare local birds hung on since last year, including Hooded Crow, Great Grey Shrike and Glossy Ibis, but apart from finding a Great Northern Diver (and then refinding another), there have been few find highlights or new 'elites' in. Main 'elite' absences are Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, and white-wnged gulls, as well as Rock Pipit, and i've only seen one elite wader (Curlew). A Great White Egret on 31 March was a nice treat, though. Also, the total so far is a bit down on previous years. This was partly caused by the appalling weather on New Year's Day stopping me from mopping up many 'common' species. So far I haven't ticked Woodcock, Red-crested Pochard, Hen Harrier, Brambling, Swallow, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, or Tree Sparrow (off the top of my head)... So there is plenty of potential for developing this list, and I'm not panicking yet.