Tuesday 30 December 2008

My goose is cooked - not yet!

Following my goose-bonanza, I went to the inlaws and had goose for lunch! Felt a bit bad about this, but it was darn tasty!

Today, I got a call from Colin to say there was an Egyptian Goose sitting with Greylags in the field just on the edge of Perry. I shot down there and to my delight, there it was. So, after much hard work, nappies and foreign trips, I beat my record, with this my 169th species for the year. I have missed several species, so without the other commitments, it could have been higher. Lowlights were dipping Raven (again) and Little Tern by literally seconds and missing the bird of the year, a Black Stork, which would have been viewable from the west end of Grafham back in the summer. Never mind!

So this, probably my last full year birding at GW was pretty good, I didn't continue my trend of finding a BB rarity, but did ok, with my best finds being Honey Buzzard, Ring-necked Parakeet, Manx Shearwater, Fulmar, Bonxie, Arctic Skua and Red-necked Grebe, plus a number of enjoyable patch ticks, such as Crane, Spoonbill (found by Mark Piercey), Water Pipit (found by Colin Addington), Firecrest (found by Ray Presley) and Storm Petrel (found by Colin Addington). Also, it has been a good year for birds at GW, particularly breeding waterbirds and wintering wildfowl, possibly linked to the maintenance of high water levels throughout the year. This has been a disaster for autumn wader migration, but good for aquatic plant growth, leading to the high duck numbers.

I hope all you birders reading this have had a good year too, and all the best for a bird-filled 2009. Maybe we will get a Tengmalm's...

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