Thursday, 7 January 2016

That Was The Year That Was continued....

It was a mixed breeding season with some summer migrants like Blackcap and Chiffchaff appearing to be commoner than usual. In fact mist netting showed the Chiffchaff to be the most numerous bird trapped in the Magic Garden.

I also saw more Spotted Flycatchers than usual although this was from a very low base.

Other migrants were much scarcer with both Whitethroat and Willow Warbler in particular being exceptionally scarce. But for all species the cold, wet conditions meant productivity was very low and there were depressingly few young birds seen.

Scarcer summer birds included an adult Yellow-legged Gull, found amongst hundreds of large gulls loafing by the Swale, and a surprise find, three Mandarin on the river, the first parish record.  

A day of torrential rain in late August dropped my first and second record respectively of Tree Pipit and Stonechat into the same field.

Later autumn birds of note included a 100 Pinkfooted Geese over Morton, a Peregrine in Ainderby, Osprey on a number of dates on the river, record numbers of Hobbies and a Reed Warbler trapped in the magic garden.

The second winter period was dominated by the floods and amongst the pick of the sightings was the first parish record of Shoveler, the second sighting of Gadwall, a winter Greenshank and a record count of Teal.  

What will 2016 bring?


  1. I enjoy reading your blog, Nick. I hope you plan to keep it up... my outlandish predictions for 2016 are green woodpecker, merlin and PIED FLY!

    I've decided to focus on the parish north of you this year so we won't be duplicating. I MIGHT even start to keep a blog, too.

    Kind Regards

  2. Thanks for that Chris, and yes I do intend to keep going...As for your predictions, Merlin's a definite possibility, I have had a couple of birds over the years. They tend to like big, muddy arable fields in winter. Green Woodpecker used to nest in the parish according to the Ainderby WI Golden Anniversary scrapbook from 1965 (copy in the reference library!) and they are still in Scruton but slim chance I think. Pied Fly is on my parish wanted list (along with Ring Ouzel)and surely a migrant might drop in one day...