I will just mention that we spent a day at Landguard in Felixstowe yesterday (30th) with some friends, and we went for a walk round Landguard Nature Reserve. It was the first time I'd ever been round this place, and considering we weren't birding, just keeping an eye out while we walked our friends dogs - Peter, Brian and Benny - we saw a good number of Mediterranean Gulls....
Mediterranean Gulls at Landguard
Well, we started off the year with a Ring-necked Duck at Ranworth Broad in January, this being a lifer. Then Cranes, White-fronted Geese and a Merlin at Stubb Mill. Moving on to February, a Black-necked Grebe at Minsmere, with 7 Smew, a Goosander and a Greater Flamingo skating on ice. Very amusing. Late February was a trip to Lynford Arboretum showing good numbers of Hawfinch...
Hawfinch at Lynford Arboretum
I then had my French Trip with the school, which turned out to be a great Birding Vacation! Black Redstart, White Wagtail, Black Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Cirl Bunting, Great-Grey Shrike, Serin, Short-toed Treecreeper and Osprey were the hightlights...
We then went to Thetford Area on the 13th April, and we were surprised to see a Cuckoo so early in the year, the earliest ever for me! Also a pair of Mandarin flew up river and into trees which was nice. Then, another Minsmere visit on the 7th May produced Wryneck, a pair of Black-winged Stilt and a Ring Ouzel...
And Ring Ouzel
I managed to pick out a Roseate Tern on the scrape on the 18th at Minsmere, before departing back out to sea. That was also a lifer! Then, Lakenheath Fen. Golden Oriole, a pair of Garganey with a Grasshopper Warbler. Bliss. Then, the Isle of Mull. Eagles, Auks, Passerines and Otters. Puffin, Manx Shearwaters, a Corncrake and a Dipper being the lifers of the trip.
Puffins on the Treshnish Isles
Late June provided a 10pm start for Nightjars with a Stone-Curlew chucked in with it!
In mid July, Cley produced a Curlew Sandpiper plus the regular Spoonbills, the Sandpiper being a lifer. I was also pleased to see that there were 2 families of Little-ringed Plover with chicks on the reserve. Moving on to August, and Minsmere provided us with 2 lifers, Ferruginous Duck and a Pectoral Sandpiper...
And Pectoral Sandpiper
In September we had our Norfolk trip - 3 day stay at Sea Palling - seeing Common Scoter, Grey Plover, Purple Sandpiper, Arctic Skua and Yellow-legged Gull all new for the year.
Purple Sandpiper at Titchwell
Then in October, we had Little Auk and White-rumped Sandpiper between Cley and Salthouse, both lifers.
Pathetic picture I know, it's the Sandpiper for gods sake!
Then, the 1st December provided a Richardson's Canada Goose at Salthouse with several other Geese. That was a day to remember, because obviously it was a lifer, but it was just because it was raining and we got wet, that was the good thing about it! (I don't know why really it's just an excuse). Then the Waxwings came into Stowmarket....
Waxwing in Stowmarket
That leads me into the next part because on Boxing Day, we saw another flock of probably the same birds with just a few more a bit further down the road towards Tesco...
Well, another year gone, and an incredible total of 205 birds seen in Britain this year, with 216 including the French Sightings. I wish you a Happy New year, with a bird filled 2013. Tomorrow we are hopefully going to North Warren to get some of them wild geese, and maybe a visit to Minsmere to see the Smew? Happy New Year.