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Zim Girl's 4th Big Year 2021


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PeterHG

Good find, thanks to the Avocet!

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I have two brand new birds for me, from another flying visit to Leighton Moss at the weekend. But the first one is going to replace bird no 103, which I had as a Pied Flycatcher. @Galanahas since

Walking along the Lancaster Canal gave us a cooperative Goosander pair.   39.  Goosander Female Male Lancaster Canal  -  06/03/21  

Thanks to a very nice chap pointing this bird out to me among the group of Redshanks, I have another lifer.   120.  Spotted Redshank RSPB Leighton Moss  -  14/08/21

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Zim Girl

I have two brand new birds for me, from another flying visit to Leighton Moss at the weekend.

But the first one is going to replace bird no 103, which I had as a Pied Flycatcher. @Galanahas since thrown doubt upon that ID and to be fair I think I agree with him, so it is going!

 

Instead I have a Ruff which is another lifer and hopefully a correct ID this time.

 

Replacement for 103.  Ruff

P1400392c.jpg.f51543e8c2758e97b51e3eaab5dcafc9.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  14/08/21

 

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Zim Girl

Thanks to a very nice chap pointing this bird out to me among the group of Redshanks, I have another lifer.

 

120.  Spotted Redshank

P1400277c.jpg.f6438eeaea909c5ddfa138eb892b87d4.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  14/08/21

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Zim Girl

Last time we were there the Snipe were doing their best to hide from us.  This time they were feeding right out in the open so I couldn't resist another picture.

 

Duplicate.  Common Snipe

P1400431c.jpg.ed28d86440cff34d90b152ab5802a876.jpg

 

 

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TonyQ

A lovely Snipe, and well done with your lifer!

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Dave Williams

The Spotted Redshank is very difficult to ID in that plumage. Bill a bit longer and that's about it. There was one at our local reserve but to distinguish in a flock and at great distance is virtually impossible.

Ruff are such plain looking birds out of breeding plumage but one of the best lookers going in Spring!

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  • 3 weeks later...
elefromoz

Great report from Mull. Heck, I'd be ducking too with a great Skua coming at me. I love the Snow Bunting, worth the hike up. Congrats passing 100 and getting 19 lifers! 

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michael-ibk

Great Snipe, and the Wren sequence is precious. I'm surprised Ruff is a lifer for you. They are among the most common migrants in Middle Europe, is that not the case in the UK? 

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Zim Girl
15 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

Great Snipe, and the Wren sequence is precious. I'm surprised Ruff is a lifer for you. They are among the most common migrants in Middle Europe, is that not the case in the UK? 

Thanks, the baby wrens were hilarious, running around squawking at each other.

Ruff  - certainly not as common as others I don't think.  Personally I seem to have noticed more listed sightings of them locally this year than the last couple of years.  It is highly possible I have seen them in the past but too far away to ID them from any of the many other similar waders. It would be nice to see them in breeding plumage one day.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Zim Girl

Last few to post before we go away.  Should have been flying to Zambia today :(.  Instead we are driving back up to Scotland on Friday, this time to Dumfries and Galloway.  We are staying near RSPB Ken-Dee Marshes and hoping for the odd bird or two, as well as walking in the hills and along the coast.  Weather forecast not looking that great but fingers crossed.

 

Unlikely to see this bird again so one from earlier in the year when I was still hoping for better.

 

121.  Sedge Warbler

P1370214c.jpg.721babab1e3c2328d198b5921e04c428.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  22/05/21

 

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Zim Girl

Same with this one.  The adults have finished breeding and have dispersed with their young now.  The occasional bird is still seen but much harder to find now.

 

122.  Western Marsh Harrier

P1390752c.jpg.5073fc28b10062f87eaf12630063a85a.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  03/07/21

 

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Zim Girl

A more recent find.  We stopped by hoping for Greenshank and we found them!

 

123.  Common Greenshank

P1400637c.jpg.217651faf5b7730e9d45023cfdeab5ed.jpg

 

P1400666c.jpg.aaf9d7d07dcf086ad15fa3846d1b4672.jpg

RSPB Leighton Moss  -  18/09/21

 

We also went last weekend to find Bearded Tit.  We were lucky to find them straight away but the light was really bad so I am not happy with the pictures.  Will try again when we come back from Scotland.

 

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Galana
4 hours ago, Zim Girl said:

and hoping for the odd bird or two,

I think you will do somewhat better than that.

Have a great trip.

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TonyQ

Have a great time in Dumfries and Galloway!

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Dave Williams

It was a bit wet last week! Enjoy no matter.

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Kitsafari

Love the reflections of the greenshank. 

have a great time in Scotland. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
elefromoz

hope you're finding some new Birds and some sunshine and enjoying great hiking

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Zim Girl

 

On 10/9/2021 at 10:52 PM, elefromoz said:

hope you're finding some new Birds and some sunshine and enjoying great hiking

 

Came back from D&G with a very small handful of birds.  Sadly the Barnacle Geese hadn't made it back while we were there so we missed out on them.  They have since returned in big numbers in the last couple of days.  We still had a great time though, weather was mixed but not too bad, and we found a great place to see red squirrels up close.

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Good to see you did get some birds and squirrels so the trip was not wasted.

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Zim Girl

We have recently come back from Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland.  It is actually not very far up the motorway from us (around 2 and a half hrs) but we had never been before.  So we decided to have a weeks holiday to round off a very Scottish year along with our trips to Mull and the Cairngorms earlier in June.

We stayed in a very nice self-catering cottage close to Loch Ken, just north of Laurieston.

I wasn't expecting too many new birds, Red Kites were pretty much guaranteed seeing as we were based slap bang in the middle of the Galloway Kite Trail but I thought Barnacle geese would also be easy.  As it turns out none of the migratory Barnacles came back while we were there.  We didn't see a single one at either RSPB Mersehead or WWT Caerlaverock and both places said they were late turning up.  Of course, they have all arrived since we left!!

 

Never mind, I have managed to scrape together this motley bunch to add to my score.

 

On the way to the cottage we passed by the Bellymack Hill Farm Kite feeding station, timed just right for the 2pm feed.  Already the birds were gathering in the sky in big numbers. This is a shot of just some of them.

P1410043.JPG.ed5a9b3b88f86f746e093088850d411a.JPG

 

Even though the birds were so close it was quite tricky to get decent shots, but here are a few of my efforts.

 

124.  Red KIte

P1400969c.jpg.7b31ce94fb20d70d85a59a0d73325923.jpg

 

P1410001c.jpg.94e0b8a801fa004e6937d359c1233c2c.jpg

 

P1410061c.jpg.113bc313ca5182fede918239b78eef4f.jpg

 

P1410104c.jpg.ac39681093f2eb5c8746d5cd3e15a63d.jpg

 

This one has some food in it's talons.

P1410128c.jpg.4c8e7fd3fc10435c7fc317c0f7538d56.jpg

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Zim Girl

We took a coastal walk from the Isle of Whithorn to Burrow Head.  The village has a pretty harbour and Burrow Head is where the final scenes of the 1973 film, 'The Wicker Man' was filmed. We found the spot where Edward Woodward's character was burned alive.  Anyway, back to the birds!!

Out at sea we had seen a couple of Gannets, but too far away for pictures.  Back near the harbour there was another one fishing which was a bit closer.

 

125.  Northern Gannet

P1410426c.jpg.e49b1db6e04d630c693968e601504876.jpg

 

P1410459c.jpg.c81fa7855a5b3c60395352cd1c071756.jpg

 

 

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Zim Girl

Our favourite places were definitely the forests. Galloway Forest is the UK's largest forest park and it's first designated Dark Sky area.

The coast and the sea are fine but I love to be in the countryside and the forests, I mean, who can resist walking around this??

P1410256.JPG.2f6e42b7b8af06102586ced4d022b91f.JPG

 

P1410257.JPG.6908638c2d1070bb858a284f13b644cf.JPG

 

P1410258.JPG.923e2a2052c5c6d63a631a7b4666c4f2.JPG

 

To be fair, there weren't many birds around so we started fungi spotting instead.

P1410759.JPG.0486008adad33216339c52cdf3aed3f1.JPG

Half expected to find the elves and fairies as well!

 

We had been looking around for Willow Tits and thought we had found one but it turned out to be a Blackcap feeding on berries.

 

126.  Blackcap

P1410233c.jpg.01ba4c187081d3cccf9cec158a5c5505.jpg

Kirroughtree Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zim Girl

Another very picturesque area of woodland was the RSPB managed Wood of Cree, north of Newton Stewart.  A beautiful place full of ancient oaks, streams and waterfalls overlooking the River Cree. We were looking for non-existent otters at the 'Otter Platform'.  Instead we saw 4 Jays flying back and forth between the trees collecting acorns. My camera really doesn't do flying birds but for a laugh I had a go.  I was a bit surprised to get anything identifiable.

 

127.  Eurasian Jay

P1410741c.jpg.df229656d2daed539e9e94cbe303df5f.jpg

 

A surprise after we got home was to find 3 Jays in our back garden.  We have never seen a Jay here so that is a new one for the garden list.

P1410871c.jpg.8a9aa0e82981d22cc217fdabeedca5fb.jpg

 

 

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Zim Girl

We had also been looking out for Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the various woods and did eventually find one close enough to photograph.  I am also including the one we had been seeing in the garden during the summer.

 

128.  Great Spotted Woodpecker

P1410657c.jpg.034e377a514357a86389c790c456ca59.jpg

Barhill Wood, Kirkcudbright

 

P1400475c.jpg.883a41984869974447e0a9ce35f531a5.jpg

Back garden

 

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Zim Girl

Barhill Wood is also the place where we had our best sightings of Red Squirrels.  There is a hide in the wood especially designed to photograph the squirrels from.  It is closed at the moment due to Covid but it didn't matter.  Apparently, most days the 'squirrel man' comes and puts food out for the squirrels and birds around 8.30am.  We found this out by accident on our first visit speaking to a local couple.  We got there around 8.45am and the squirrels were already running around eating the seeds and taking the nuts from the feeders.  We stood near the hide and watched, they were not bothered by us in the slightest and ran quite close past us.  We saw at least 4 different ones, possibly 5.  We spent over an hour and a half watching them until we got too cold, it was very wet and windy.  Definitely the closest I have ever been to Red squirrels and all to ourselves!

 

A few pictures, (just pretend they are fluffy birds :ph34r:).

P1410566c.jpg.3872787282bb17291722fccfcead3c76.jpg

 

P1410584c.jpg.090890a873289e9d123d1ddc37b2f700.jpg

 

P1410604c.jpg.1730f77faf0195358abf27d188d8cdc2.jpg

 

P1410649c.jpg.26f41db5b413517ea2abe1dc8ebeb8a7.jpg

 

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