1st January 2013 – Solway, Sun & Shorties

Had a great day out on the Solway today to get the new year list up and running, we didn’t find anything rare but it was an enjoyable few hours birding – in fact the biggest rarity we saw was the sun which actually made a couple of welcome appearances! The most notable bird was a Common Sandpiper, which totally surprised us, I’ve never seen one in mid-winter before, but then I remembered I saw a bird in late autumn and I think it was still reported there in November. Anyway, try as we might we couldn’t string into a Spot Sand, the most obvious thing about it was the very attenuated appearance, it’s long tail projecting well beyond the wing-tips, and it also had dullish greyish-green, rather than yellowish legs. Still, a good January tick, shame about my digiscoping though, apologies for these seriously dodgy record shots…

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This is what you call a crap record shot - but at least you can see how long the tail is...

This is what you call a really crap record shot – but at least you can see how long the tail is…

It was more of a leisurely mootch about rather than full-on day listing, but we ended up with 72 species which we didn’t think was too bad, especially as we missed loads of easy stuff – Pheasant for example! Other bits n bobs included Willow Tit, Ruff, Merlin, Rock Pipit and Barn Owl – and then 3 of these beauties were seen hunting in the late afternoon sunshine…

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You know you’ve had a good winters day when the sun comes out just as you’re watching a Short-eared Owl…

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One Response to 1st January 2013 – Solway, Sun & Shorties

  1. Carl Baggott says:

    Short-eared Owls and sunshine, what more can you ask for? Sounds like you had as good a day as we did over in Norfolk. Cheers, Carl.

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