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TonyQ Big Year 2018 (The Third)


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TonyQ

So an early start to 2018, as the 2017 Big Year was such fun.

All photos are likely to be taken with a Canon 70D and Canon 100-400ii. Pretty well all of them will be at 400mm!

 

New Year's Day had a couple of sunny hours, so we walked up to Swanshurst Park in Birmingham. The first bird in my previous Big Years have been common birds, so this year I will start with:

 

1. (UK.1). Mute Swan  Cygnus olor

   5a4e65002bc32_MuteSwan-1.jpg.1af5f86708205fb671aa9392db7585e6.jpg

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

 

One of the heaviest flying birds in the world, it takes some effort to get going.

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TonyQ

2. (UK.2). Coot  Fulica atra

   Coot-1.jpg.6e88ad6c23a6700b2ad81097f2991b09.jpg 

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

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TonyQ

3. (UK.3). Tufted Duck  Aythya fuligula

       5a4e65ad4ed32_TuftedDuck-1.jpg.290d69db7295079ca48ec5b9d44114b6.jpg

(m) Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

5a4e65b6e1bf1_TuftedDuck-2.jpg.f7b1576f2cc0761ccfc32a220f9e0b76.jpg

(f) Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

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TonyQ

4. (UK.4). Stock Dove  Columba oenas 

5a4e65e301b85_StockDove-1.jpg.f99035a7d5a9a99d16ce7b3c4b539af3.jpg

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

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TonyQ

5. (UK.5). Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus 

5a4e660f961e9_LesserBlack-backedGull-2.jpg.3e54bf94c21a0daaee80024357d339e3.jpg

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

5a4e6624ebaf4_LesserBlack-backedGull-1.jpg.74f9f2ef5d18a3377d23decbdb7b906b.jpg

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

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TonyQ

6. (UK.6). Jackdaw  Corvus monedula

Jackdaw-1.jpg.143e009f7f838a5e29bd2f455611f48c.jpg

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

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TonyQ

7. (UK.7). Pied wagtail  Motacilla alba 

5a4e6692e3e32_PiedWagtail-1.jpg.dffab626e0898208759301106a661f8e.jpg

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

5a4e669e9789e_PiedWagtail-2.jpg.178a47eedd6a6b47f1c5ce260ba618e3.jpg

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

 

They seemed to be a pair, but I find it difficult to work out which is the male and which is the female

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TonyQ

8. (UK.8). Iceland Gull  Larus glaucoides 

5a4e6706ab614_IcelandGull-1.jpg.6cf327bb3dd0352ca9c4c36f1c24bd80.jpg

Swanshurst Park, Birmingham            01.01.2018

 

This bird was one of the reasons we chose this park. They are quite unusual in the Midlands, but we saw one on this same lake early in 2017. This individual had been around for a week or so. We were pleased it decided to hang on until 2018!

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Peter Connan

Another thread I am really looking forward to!

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Dave Williams

The minute I saw the gull I knew what had got you out! Great start.

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michael-ibk

A ver productive first day and great photos - as to be expected! About the Stock Dove - are they confiding in the UK? Here they are among the shiest and most wary birds for whatever reason, completely different from Wood Pigeons for example. Regarding the Wagtail - I'd say the second is the male, they are blacker. Yours is a different subspecies from the one here in Austria btw.

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Treepol

@TonyQwhat a great start to your Big Year 2018, some lovely photos here.

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elefromoz

@TonyQ, looks like an endless Summer for you, lovely Birds to kickoff

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TonyQ

@Peter Connan @elefromoz @Treepol @xelas

Thank you for your encouragement

@Dave Williams

Thank you. We have learned that when a bird is about locally - go and see it. I suppose we have also learned when particular birds are likely to be about. When we started we didn't have a clue!

@michael-ibk

Thank you - and especially for the wagtail information.

Most of the Stock Doves we have seen are very shy - we have usually seen them at a distance. The ones in this park seem to be used to people - we saw some here in 2016 quite close, missed them last year but were pleased to get a close view this year. We were able to creep up quite close behind trees while they were feeding (there were three of them). The picture posted was actually at 300mm with minimal cropping. The light was fading so it was high ISO, but less of a problem when not cropping.

 

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PeterHG

What a good start, @TonyQ ! Good photos throughout and an Iceland Gull as a bonus,

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Galana
On 04/01/2018 at 7:39 PM, TonyQ said:

They seemed to be a pair, but I find it difficult to work out which is the male and which is the female

Just ask @Peter Connan!!:o

I would share the view that the male is the dark one. For none British birders the race in UK is hibernicus (typed without Field guide so check spelling.) Commonly called 'Pied' Wagtail as opposed to the correct "White Wagtail" of Europe.

A great start and the bar has been set high I note.

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Peter Connan

@Galana, my method of sexing depends on witnessing the act, which I unfortunately missed on this occasion...

 

:ph34r:

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  • 4 weeks later...

9. (UK.9). Dunnock  Prunella modularis

Dunnock-1.jpg.15463a9262735b8363d99392edadbb9c.jpg

Our Garden, Birmingham        10.01.2018

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10. (UK.10). Hawfinch   Coccothraustes coccothraustes

(New Bird)

Hawfinch-1.jpg.b129c210c92d28e7ba2458f992a54c6a.jpg

Belvide Reserve          07.01.2018

 

So we finally got to see one! Large numbers have come to the UK this winter. We have been out a few times in an attempt to see one, so were delighted- even though it is a distant heavy crop:)

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Great Hawfinch! Despite so many arriving I'll almost certainly miss them so great to see someone saw them

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Your Dunnock was very obliging; must have been fed well in your garden :)! Love the sparkling eye!

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Thank you @ImSA84 and @xelas

The Dunnock is well fed - it is looking towards the feeders. Originally they only fed on the ground, but they have learned to use the feeders, and have recently sat on top of suet blocks, pecking down into them. Versatile - and well fed!

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And now I will finally begin posting some birds from The Gambia (West Africa). We were recently there for 11 nights.  Our trip was inspired by trip reports of @ImSA84 and @Dave Williams, and we also thank them for advice given.

@Dave Williams has also shamed me today by posting photos from his trip, even though he was there after us:)

 

I thought about what order to use- date, random, by bird group, alphabetic.....

I settled on mostly alphabetic!

11. G1. Abyssinian Roller  Coracias abyssinicus                   

5a7b3bc14857d_AbyssinianRoller-1.jpg.d226de946549496ba7be999ab53d1653.jpg

Kartong           22.01.2018

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12 G2. African Darter  Anhinga rufa 

    5a7b3bfddba95_AfricanDarter-1.thumb.jpg.287bf438fc1ea8710c0ef22ce1873ce6.jpg

Mandina Lodge           21.01.2018

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