About Two Owls

Saturday 8 January 2022

Push to the end of the Year.

Jackie and I would like to wish you all a healthy and bird filled 2022.

To be honest it wasn't too much of a push as with probably everyone we were getting ready for Christmas, those last minute presents and seeing family and friends. So we didn't get much birding done but we did make the effort to see the Upton Tundra Bean Geese on the 21st December .

Two adults and one juvenile Tundra Bean Goose Upton CP. © Nick Hull

Then on the 22nd, whilst having a walk with the grand children around Poole Park, we had a flight of White-fronted Geese fly over towards the north-east which was a bit of a surprise.  On the 28th we had a trip out to Portland and Weymouth in an attempt to see the Iceland Gull and catchup on Black Redstart which was missing from our year list.  Unfortunately they were still missing from our year list at the end of the day.  Though we did drop by Charminster and see the 5 White-fronted Geese in the water meadows though they were very distant as you can see from the photograph.

4 of 5 (Russian) White-fronted Goose Charminster Water Meadows © Nick Hull

We ended our year on 219 species plus 3 subspecies which gives us a total of 222 species in 2021 which isn't our best year but that's not surprising as we were locked down for a good part of the start of the year.

It also reminded me that back in September 2020 I wrote here that we were going to set ourselves a challenge of trying to see at least a 100 species a month throughout the year.  I just realised that we have gone 15 months since I wrote this. Looking back over those 15 months we didn't manage the hundred for 6 of them, but when I calculated the average for the period it came out at 101.44 species per month. Interestingly the months we didn't quite make the hundred were all in 2021 February, May, July, August, September and December.

Looking back over the year from a birding perspective, once you have seen over 400 species in the UK it becomes harder to add new species to your British list. Saying this Jackie and I have had one of our best years for seeing scarce and rare species for a very long time. Not being big twitchers who stick mainly to Dorset and Hampshire though we choose carefully where we take our holidays to give us our best chances to add species we cannot see locally.  

Our personal highlights in 2021 have been:-
Tundra Bean Geese - Upton CP
White-fronted Geese - Poole Park
Garganey - Poole Park
White-tailed Plover - British tick - Blacktoft Sands RSPB
Long-toed Stint - Life & British tick - St Aidens RSPB
Pectoral Sandpiper - Lytchett Fields RSPB
Jack Snipe - Spurn Obs
Whiskered Tern - Longham Lakes
Little Auk - Weymouth Hbr.
Night Heron - Poole Harbour
Hoopoe - Upton Allotments
Red-footed Falcon - Langford Lakes
Chough - Great Orme Llandudno
Willow Tit - St Aidan's RSPB
Western Bonelli's Warbler - British tick - Flamborough Head South Landing
Yellow-browed Warbler - Bempton RSPB & Flamborough Obs
Aquatic Warbler - Lytchett Bay
Melodious Warbler - Middlebere
River Warbler - British tick - Ham Wall
Rose-coloured/Rosy Starling - Martin Down
Red-breasted Flycatcher - Flamborough Obs
Taiga Flycatcher - British tick - Flamborough Head Fog Station
Desert Wheatear - Dorset tick - Lodmoor RSPB
Common Rosefinch - Portland Bird Obs
Snow Bunting - Bempton and Jerry's Point Poole Hbr.

Photo highlights of 2021 © Nick Hull