Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Year in Birds 2011

Inexplicably, this has been the first year that I've kept a year list of all the bird species I've seen. It's been a great year, I've seen 95 species (I had originally counted 98 but this had included recording one species twice and two unconfirmed species). I've seen a number of birds for the first time this year (tree sparrows near Cammo Country Park near Edinburgh; a shoveller at the Figgate Pond in Edinburgh and a greenshank at Cramond, Edinburgh). I've also seen a few species for the first time in many years (including wonderful sightings of spotted flycatchers at both Biggar in the Scottish Borders and in the beer garden outside the Arran Brewery on the Isle of Arran and lots of redpolls on the feeder in my parents' garden in Manchester.) I've also had some very special encounters with birds that perhaps I see quite often but not in such number - I was stunned this summer by the numbers of swallows and house martins flying over the River Esk in Musselburgh; also in Portobello and Dumfries.

One of the most notable features of my year list is that most of the birds have been seen in or very close to Edinburgh.

So, what have been your favourite bird sightings this year?

If you're in the UK, remember that the Big Garden Birdwatch is coming up soon, and I'll be blogging about that in early January.

As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.

12 comments:

Howard of Belvedere Mountain Express said...

Just the usual lack of any waxwings for me! But, funnily enough, I remember seeing tree sparrows and shovellers years and years ago, maybe because I was brought up in the south-east of England where [just checking distribution maps in a bird book] they are more prevalent.

The Weaver of Grass said...

My favourite bird of the year is the lowly tree creeper who visits our scots pines daily.

gabriellebryden said...

Well my birds are a lot different than your birds CGP. My favourite is the Red-tailed black cockatoo; followed by the Rainbow Lorikeet, the Magpie, the Butcher Bird, the Willy Wagtail - to name a few around here. I am in an email bird photography group and get sent photos everyday of the local birds - which is great - they also meet up and do excursions but I haven't been involved in that yet.

Dartford Warbler said...

It`s so difficult to choose just one. Of the birds who visit our feeders, I love to watch the goldfinches and siskins on the Niger seed . Perhaps my favourites are the long tailed tits who come down in small flocks from the pine trees.

Karen M said...

Well, I got buzzed by a Turkey Vulture earlier this year. It then landed on a nearby chimney, and stared at me for quite a long time, before another one flew by, and it took off after it. Very weird.

Kay said...

I really enjoyed the barn swallows this year. They swooped and played in the horse paddock early mornings this summer. The doves, magpies and scrub jays are wonderful along with the finches and robins and starlings..and this morning early I was out feeding the equines when a formation of geese honked at me as they flew over!!!

mansuetude said...

A lone kingfisher by the river here. A bluebird crying in a house rainspout till a loving person cleared the pine from its bottom drain to let it out.

madhat said...

Looking forward to the the Big Garden Birdwatch!

Glo said...

Wow, that's a tremendous number of sightings. I think my favorite this year was seeing my first Moutain Bluebird. I do love seeing any and all birds especially when they are so close to home.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful new year! (I just have to say whenever I see rabbits - knit, crocheted, toys, or real live ones, I think of you because I know you love them).

Rabbits' Guy said...

Are there really that many species?? ( =:) )

My greatest sighting is one that has not been yet - the Snowy Owl. I hope to see one yet this year - they are down this way in some numbers for a change - it is said.

Deb G said...

I think...hope it wasn't wishful thinking... that I did see a snowy owl yesterday. Just a glimpse out of the corner of my eye. It was big and white but wrong shape to be a seagull, which really would have been the only other option. :) I like the idea of keeping a list...think I will have to do that this year.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Howard - waxwings are so elusive...

Weaver - i love treecreepers too and have had a good year for them

Gabrielle - I'd love to see all those Australian birds...

Dartford Warbler - long tailed tits are one of my favourites too, they are such fun birds

Karen - that sounsd quite eerie...

mansuetude - I love kingfishers too! I'm glad the bluebird was rescued!

madhat - yes, it will be great I'm sure!

Glo - I'd love to see bluebirds! Thanks for thinking of me when you see rabbits!

Rabbit's Guy, Deb - oh I'd love to see a snowy owl, they sometimes come to Scotland but only the very far north islands...