Yearlisting at snail pace!
Gone are the days when I used to get up long before first light and arrive at some far-flung spot just to start my new yearlist with a bang. Years ago, it was the normal practise for me to go to bed early on New Year's Eve, ready to spring out of bed at some ungodly hour, to start yearlisting at a torturous pace. Previous New Year's Day listing has produced such gems as Little Bustard (was it really 21 years ago!), Red-breasted Goose (even further back in time!), Bufflehead and Dusky Warbler (both seen at first light in Devon!). Several January 1st's have seen me crack at least 90 species on that day alone! This morning, following a leisurely breakfast in bed, I finally emerged from my cocoon at 1100hrs, having got to bed about 20 to 2 earlier.
I spent most of my undressed hours peering somewhat hazily out of the windows, adding a few first yearticks to my notepad! First bird of the year was a Starling! This was closely followed by Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blackbird, Chaffinch and Goldcrest in that order. Before managing to find my clothes, I had cracking views of a first-winter male Blackcap out the back of my house. Eventually I wandered up the road and found myself up at Knappe Cross, this area producing a few Long-tailed Tits, and a Nuthatch. Further on, at Gorse Lane I saw another Blackcap, an adult male, and at the top of Marley Road, I saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Arriving back at Knappe Cross, I had very close views of a Green Woodpecker. With dinner not being ready until 1pm, I drifted down to Mudbank Lane just as the tide was dropping. The highlight here was the usual Greenshank, and a cracking male Kingfisher, sat on the usual low wall exposed by the dropping tide. After a sumptious dinner of roast beef, I eventually found myself at Shelly Beach. Here, the Red-necked Grebe performed superbly again, in the channel, just off the beach at low tide.
So here in order of appearance were my yearticks for today:
Starling, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Goldcrest, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Blackcap, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Robin, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Shelduck, Wigeon, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Pintail, Mallard, Common Redshank, Common Gull, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Kingfisher, Greenshank, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Pipit, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Cormorant, Goldeneye, Grey Wagtail, Red-breasted Merganser, Mute Swan, Red-necked Grebe and Shag.
49 species in all.