January 1st – Happy New Year   Leave a comment

Happy New Year to all readers of my blog!

I have decided that this year I will try for a big British year list. As I enter all my bird sightings on the computer I by default keep a year list. Most years I try to see most of the birds that I can in Dorset and west Hampshire, but this year I’m really going to push the boat out and try to see over 300 species in the UK in the year, far more than I have even seen before.

I started the New Year with a quick visit to Longham lakes, I was particularly interested in seeing the Blue-winged Teal again, which after an hour or so of searching revealed itself. It was too far away to be photographed but I had reasonable views and even saw the blue forewing.  An immature male Scaup was also on the lakes along with lots of commoner species, but the Smew that was there yesterday seems to have gone.



I returned about 10 and picked up Margaret. We headed to Poole Quay where we joined lots of other local birders for Mark and Mo Constantine’s New Year bird boat. Year after year they very kindly hire one of the Browensea ferries for a trip around Poole Harbour for the benefit of local birders. It is great social event, they provide good food and we (usually) see good birds.

The Quay was packed, as an annual raft race takes place at about the same time as we were to depart. The raft race participants seem prepared to get soaked in their makeshift rafts irregardless of the weather.


Are they here to see us off or to watch the raft race?



... rather them than me!


Unfortunately the weather wasn’t kind to us and soon it tipped down. Some persevered on deck but many retired to the cabin. Good birds were seen, a Great Northern Diver, 14 Spoonbills on Brownsea lagoon and a distant Red-necked Grebe but it was in the main (a very enjoyable) social event. I wish to give my thanks to Mark and Mo for their generosity.



We gathered on deck or birding and a chat ......



.... but soon the upper deck was abandoned due to the weather.



Down below, Justin from Lyme Regis provided some lovely cheeses and Storms restaurant provided the tasty soup.



17 month old Kimberley Elborne was the youngest participant.



Plans for birding post boat trip were abandoned and Nick Urch and Trevor Warren returned to our house in order to make plans for our bird race on January 14th.

Posted January 1, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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