Most of my thoughts today have been for the people of Chile and more particularly those in Concepcion. To think that just a few short days ago I could have been stood within the shock zone, having been as near to the epicenter as 300Km. I know I put a hex on that taxi driver in Santiago, who saw me off for a fiver, but never meant it to be that severe.
Still champing at the bit to get my first bout of UK birding in, the early morning seemed to dog my chances because of heavy rain. However, this subsided and turned into bright sunshine soon after 08-00 so first made my way to the Longcroft Cemetery and then onward to Radipole nature Reserve. What I don't think I mentioned that in my desperation to get at least one species on the new Year List, I smuggled a sarnie off the flight on Thursday to entice a Feral Pigeon into the log at the Central Coach Station. No such sly tactics needed today, but the birds were a bit thin on the ground, but returned home with a total of 41. Bird of the day had to be a fine Jay at the first location and looking back through my records find it's the first there for 6 years. It was also good to see the Hooded Merganser, in fine plumage, still on site but a little bewildering to see neither Robin or Grey Heron. It is my intent to include some British Bird photographs, hopefully on a daily basis, as requested by quite a number of people on my travels.
A visitor from America (or Whipsnade Zoo depending on your point of view) a fine male Hooded Merganser at Radipole Lake.
and finally, some good news on the Glaucous-winged Gull front. Since finding it I have been asking those far better placed for their opinion on identity. Grahame Walbridge through Paul Harris has sort the view of Steve Howell (someone I don't know) as an authority on Larids and he returned a positive verdict. The record has now been submitted to Cotinga the Ecuadorian records group, the feeling being if it's good enough for Howell there will be little if any argument.
2010 Great Britain Year List Total - 41