Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year To All 124,303 Of You!

The last day of 2011 was given over to planning where to go tomorrow, on what will be a New Year's Day Twitch, while also reflecting on yet another interesting, varied and satisfying year personally. I foresee birding on the home front taking something of a back-seat in 2012, certainly in the earlier months if my ideas come to fruition, so to that end I will set myself something of an ambitious target. Rather than concentrating on a Year List it may be better to focus on just January before I know how the later months will pan out. This January saw the highest number of species recorded, 176, since I started keeping records in 1973, so the figure to reach will be set at 200 and I'll keep you up to date all the way.

As for reminiscing, I have notched up a total of 267 birds for the year in UK, 222 of those having been recorded in my home county of Dorset, but neither are record breaking as 298 species were seen nationwide during 2002 while year 2000 saw my best Dorset count of 225.

Travel has also been successful and rewarding with 15 countries visited including England (of course), Scotland, Spain, France, Mexico, the USA, Canada, Australia, Italy, San Marino, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Belgium, including the last 3 of the 50 US States and the last 5 countries of Europe.

The Top 3 Best Memories have to be - (1) Visiting Sydney, Australia and seeing my 2 daughters and 3 grandsons all in one room, not knowing if that will happen again? (2) Meeting my shipmate Michael (Huck) Hutley again after 35 years absence. (3) Recording both Yellow-footed Gull and Red-legged Kittiwake necessitating travelling from California Baja, Mexico to the Pribilof Islands in The Bearing Sea, leaving me just on more species (Relict Gull) on earth to record. Blog Stats to follow.

Today was again sunny after some heavy overnight rain, a little breezy but again with mild temperatures. At least there were some Pink-footed Geese overhead, making for the feeding grounds, but what was needed were a few on the deck at close quarters. Not exactly a day to go down in the annuls, starting when I arrived at Holkham, about 16 miles from the B&B, to find I had not taken the flash card from the reader and replaced in the camera after down-loading.

Things perked up a bit when a Rough-legged Buzzard was found, not unexpectedly, in the roost bush (can you see it yet? centre picture) probably the same 2 favoured last year.

This 'cropped' image gives a slightly better idea.

I don't remember the name or location of this unusual looking church, there were too many birds on my mind, however a call into

Titchwell again produced the Coues' Arctic Redpoll, but again no photos, and 2 Marsh Harrier quartering the reed-beds on arrival.

This male Shoveler was too close to the hide to be ignored, but just about everything else kept its distance.



female Pintail and

Little Grebe had all been sighted before, but Common Snipe, Sanderling and a last minute Hen Harrier were all added to the Trip List.

A short drive towards Fakenham found this small mixed gaggle of Pink-footed and Greylag Geese in a stubble field, but again at distance,

while this Hall with no detail sadly looked like it was falling into ruin! Once again no Partridge were seen, in days gone by you would have run over a brace covering this distance, but the prospect of

was also soon to turn to disappointment.

A beautiful and well managed little reserve, Sculthorpe was literally carved out of the undergrowth and scrub of what was once considered 'waste ground', but not any more.

Here, my sights were set on all the common woodland birds but more particularly the small but healthy colony of Willow Tit that have made home here.

That was to be the first and biggest disappointment as the locals told me that they are hardly ever seen these day, what has happened?? Blackbirds in their dozens along with Chaffinch were predominant, but as for Woodpeckers, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Bullfinch and many more they were all absent!

Long-tailed, Coal & Marsh Tit were visiting the feeders, but where once there were 'tens' of these, only ones and twos are now present.

Of some bonus value was the short appearance of this Water Rail and an over flying Grey Heron, but what would normally be a 2 to 3 hour stay was reduced dramatically.

As for Statistics, on this very day 2 new people have joined as 'followers' making the total 81, while no fewer than 124,303 separate and individual readers have 'been tuned in' since the Blog began - incredible!

As some data has been lost as a result of the Log Size being too small, below is the figure since we upgraded from 25,500 capacity to the current log size of 50,500 that now has 29,414 entries, an increase of 3,000 readers in just 3 weeks.

160 Nations or Regions now read this Blog, the latest being El Salvador, while over the last year we have had an average monthly readership of 7212.

Num Perc. Country Name

drill down2224875.64%United KingdomUnited Kingdom
drill down18306.22%United StatesUnited States
drill down3751.27%CanadaCanada
drill down3211.09%GermanyGermany
drill down3001.02%EstoniaEstonia
drill down2710.92%FranceFrance
drill down2560.87%AustraliaAustralia
drill down2150.73%New ZealandNew Zealand
drill down2110.72%ItalyItaly
drill down2090.71%NetherlandsNetherlands
drill down2020.69%SpainSpain
drill down1860.63%IndiaIndia
drill down1690.57%BrazilBrazil
drill down1360.46%JapanJapan
drill down1320.45%SwedenSweden
drill down1140.39%BelgiumBelgium
drill down1080.37%Russian FederationRussian Federation
drill down900.31%SwitzerlandSwitzerland
drill down790.27%PolandPoland
drill down760.26%PeruPeru
drill down680.23%MexicoMexico
drill down670.23%TaiwanTaiwan
drill down650.22%RomaniaRomania
drill down640.22%Korea, Republic OfKorea, Republic Of
drill down600.20%IndonesiaIndonesia
drill down600.20%South AfricaSouth Africa
drill down530.18%PakistanPakistan
drill down510.17%IrelandIreland
drill down490.17%PhilippinesPhilippines
drill down490.17%PortugalPortugal
drill down490.17%NorwayNorway
drill down480.16%FinlandFinland
drill down470.16%GreeceGreece
drill down450.15%ChileChile
drill down440.15%Hong KongHong Kong
drill down420.14%UkraineUkraine
drill down420.14%Anonymous ProxyAnonymous Proxy
drill down410.14%Czech RepublicCzech Republic
drill down400.14%DenmarkDenmark
drill down390.13%Sri LankaSri Lanka
drill down380.13%ThailandThailand
drill down380.13%TurkeyTurkey
drill down350.12%ColombiaColombia
drill down350.12%SingaporeSingapore
drill down350.12%VietnamVietnam
drill down340.12%MalaysiaMalaysia
drill down320.11%ArgentinaArgentina
drill down320.11%HungaryHungary
drill down280.10%IsraelIsrael
drill down270.09%BulgariaBulgaria
drill down250.08%EgyptEgypt
drill down250.08%SlovakiaSlovakia
drill down230.08%CroatiaCroatia
drill down220.07%SerbiaSerbia
drill down200.07%VenezuelaVenezuela
drill down200.07%Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia
drill down190.06%United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates
drill down180.06%GuatemalaGuatemala
drill down170.06%Asia/pacific RegionAsia/pacific Region
drill down170.06%OmanOman
drill down170.06%LuxembourgLuxembourg
drill down170.06%Costa RicaCosta Rica
drill down160.05%AustriaAustria
drill down150.05%MaltaMalta
drill down130.04%Palestinian TerritoryPalestinian Territory
drill down130.04%LebanonLebanon
drill down120.04%LithuaniaLithuania
drill down120.04%BangladeshBangladesh
drill down120.04%EcuadorEcuador
drill down100.03%MadagascarMadagascar
drill down90.03%QatarQatar
drill down80.03%BelarusBelarus
drill down80.03%GuernseyGuernsey
drill down80.03%EuropeEurope
drill down80.03%YemenYemen
drill down70.02%IraqIraq
drill down60.02%GeorgiaGeorgia
drill down60.02%LatviaLatvia
drill down60.02%Isle Of ManIsle Of Man
drill down50.02%CyprusCyprus
drill down40.01%MongoliaMongolia
drill down40.01%SloveniaSlovenia
drill down40.01%Trinidad And TobagoTrinidad And Tobago
drill down40.01%BelizeBelize
drill down40.01%NamibiaNamibia
drill down40.01%Virgin Island, U.s.Virgin Island, U.s.
drill down40.01%JamaicaJamaica
drill down40.01%MontenegroMontenegro
drill down30.01%Puerto RicoPuerto Rico
drill down30.01%MacedoniaMacedonia
drill down30.01%Bosnia And HerzegovinaBosnia And Herzegovina
drill down30.01%AzerbaijanAzerbaijan
drill down30.01%EthiopiaEthiopia
drill down30.01%BahrainBahrain
drill down30.01%ChinaChina
drill down30.01%GibraltarGibraltar
drill down30.01%KuwaitKuwait
drill down30.01%AlgeriaAlgeria
drill down30.01%BermudaBermuda
drill down30.01%Netherlands AntillesNetherlands Antilles
drill down20.01%El SalvadorEl Salvador
drill down20.01%PanamaPanama
drill down20.01%ArmeniaArmenia
drill down20.01%Satellite ProviderSatellite Provider
drill down20.01%Tanzania, United Republic OfTanzania, United Republic Of
drill down20.01%CambodiaCambodia
drill down20.01%IcelandIceland
drill down20.01%UruguayUruguay
drill down20.01%ZimbabweZimbabwe
drill down20.01%JordanJordan
drill down20.01%AndorraAndorra
drill down20.01%Dominican RepublicDominican Republic
drill down20.01%BahamasBahamas
drill down20.01%GabonGabon
drill down20.01%KenyaKenya
drill down20.01%GrenadaGrenada
drill down20.01%UgandaUganda
drill down10.00%GhanaGhana
drill down10.00%SurinameSuriname
drill down10.00%CameroonCameroon
drill down10.00%FijiFiji
drill down10.00%AlbaniaAlbania
drill down10.00%JerseyJersey
drill down10.00%GuyanaGuyana
drill down10.00%NigeriaNigeria
drill down10.00%MacaoMacao
drill down10.00%ArubaAruba
drill down10.00%Turks And Caicos IslandsTurks And Caicos Islands
drill down10.00%MaldivesMaldives
drill down10.00%MoroccoMorocco

I have to thank both Paul Harris for help in every direction from Birds to Wine and Moths to Music, and Martin Cade, Warden of the Portland Bird Observatory for lending his weight and Web Site to increasing the readership dramatically.

If you would like to fulfil my New Year Wish - Wherever You Are In The World - please click onto your E-Mail, copy this link The Bagsy Blog and send to ALL adressees.