Friday, 4 February 2011


Im hopefully heading down to Snettisham for some monitoring work soon and I have every intention in the course of 3 days nailing Golden Pheasant at Wolferton. Obviously I will have a dabble at the Northern Harrier and anything else that I can get to grips with.


I didnt notice that I deleted this paragraph - doh. Basically it waffled on about Golden Pheasant being one of 10 or so easyish birds still for me to get for my British list and explained I was going to have a babble about these over the coming paragraphs.


Other targets include the obvious Stone Curlew (got a few sites with more successful hit ratios) & Firecrest (god knows what I'm going to do for this - anyone got any summer sites. Actually no - dont post those... My absolute nemesis). My only outstanding 'British' seabird is Long-tailed Skua - I must deserve this. The two surveys I missed scored this year.Beyond that we are talking Wilson's Petrel and unless I'm uber lucky that isnt happening this year. In terms of coastal birds Surf Scoter and White-billed Diver continue to elude me. The diver especially galls as I see many, many great northerns and check each and every one.

I dont think I need any of the other regular breeders - scarce breeders Spotted CrakePurple Heron & Little Bittern shout out. Icterine Warbler & Bluethroat are the passage birds that I haven't connected with and then I'm struggling.

I decided to hit Bubo up and see what it could tell me beyond these 11 species. Checking this it re-inforced that Firecrest and Stone Curlew are my next 2. Surprisingly Black-winged Stilt is my 'next' bird I need although I guess this is skewed by Sammy who died 6 months before my first visit to Titchwell. Another of my forgottern birds is Snow Goose which unless a twitchable one turns up in Norfolk when I happen to visit remains difficult to envisage. Same with Red-breasted Goose although perhaps I should drag my sorry carcase to Lancashire to see their 1st winter. A couple of obvious ones escaped my memory - Sabine's Gull and Quail. Again Sab's should fall eventually with my survey work. Quail needs some attention although it breeds locally. Beyond these lay those birds that need to turn up in my path to see - twitches that are limited to about 15-20 miles such as Long-billed Dowitcher, Rosy Starling etc.

So plenty to go at BUT I'm starting to look at effort to secure ticks. Ho-hum...

In terms of Yorkshire my 'easiest' target are Spot Crake, Marsh Warbler and then Icterine Warbler so nothing easy left here...

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How brains and birds become mutually exclusive