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Peter B's Second Big Year 2023


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Nice Jay Peter!

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A raw and cold morning with some dusting of snow : a short walk to Neerpede where I last went on the 2nd of January


32° Ring-billed Gull ( Larus delawarensis - Ringsnavelmeeuw) Anderlecht Neerpede 19th of January 2023 : not the most common one ! 


  33° Herring Gull ( Larus argentatus- Zilvermeeuw ) Anderlecht Neerpede 19th of January 2023: 




34° Great Crested Grebe ( Podiceps cristatus-Fuut) Anderlecht Neerpede 19th of January 2023 : 






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That Ring-billed Gull is a very special sighting! I don’t think I would have been able to tell it from the Common Gull.

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Well Peter, I have to be honest I hesitated ( and rightly so as I have been sometimes to quick)  but all the field characteristics are there I think even if the color of the eyes given the distance from where the picture was taken is not well visible ; in Belgium sightings are more and more frequent but if some would consider it to be the "Larus canus" it is still a new sighting ;) this year 

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14 minutes ago, BRACQUENE said:

but if some would consider it to be the "Larus canus" it is still a new sighting ;) this year 

Sorry. I think I would be amongst those voting for canus, especially as there are two of them.

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Winter has returned as I could experience last Friday returning home at 00 19 and finding out that my Ring-billed Gull was in fact a Common one but for my

daily walks it is a blessing after all the rain ... 


Since I saw them first on the 13th of January the Long-tailed Tits have been regular sightings for instance on the 17th 


And also today the 21th : 


As it was a lovely frosty morning with great sunshine and light it was a pleasure to take pictures













But more rewarding of course to find new ones for this year ...


35° Redwing ( Turdus iliacus - Koperwiek ) Dilbeek Westrand 21th of January 2023: 




I saw them in my garden last December at the end of my first BY 

36° Wood Nuthatch ( Sitta europaea - Boomklever ) Dilbeek Westrand 21th of January 2023  



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You've got a flying start - more than one bird a day for the first 21 days of the year!


are we starting to count domesticated birds? For myself, i will avoid counting it, even if I still continue to count the rock (feral) pigeon. :lol: 

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Thanks a lot @Kitsafari it is so rewarding to combine walking and birding at the start of the year ; I walk less in distance but enjoy it even more than before :)

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8 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

are we starting to count domesticated birds?

There seem to be no rules but.....<_<. I must call in at my local farmyard next time I am out.

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On Monday I usually visit my mother who will be 90 next month and still lives alone in our family house in a small village close to the town of Geraardsbergen ,

famous amongst cyclists for "de Muur" or "the Wall " which is a very steep hill with a Chapel on top. 

Today I decided to have a walk ten minutes from there in a Nature Reserve called " Rietbeemd" ( in French "Les Prés Rosières" ) which is on the border between

Flanders and Wallonia and my former teacher who is in his eighties is a guide and conservator there since 1987 when it was founded : 






" Freedom also for the birds " says the commemoration on the wall dedicated to Roger Arnhem who did a lot for the protection of the birds in Belgium 


















I didn't have much time today but it is a place I will return to soon to look for the special birds ( Reed Bunting , Golden Oriole , Grasshopper Warbler and

Honey-buzzard amongst others) and do the interesting walk of course !



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This morning under a gray sky I visited the Rouge Cloître (French) or Rood-Klooster (Dutch) , a former Augustinian Priory, founded in 1367. It is located in Oudergem ,

in south-eastern Brussels on the edge of the Sonian forest, surrounded by lakes , but  I was at the same time looking for some birds as you an imagine ...CBC18529-DEA4-4904-96DE-ABC9D13E42D8_1_201_a.jpeg.644fe837fa803fcc79ca1128ce5ecb6a.jpeg





The usuals were present : 












And some recent sightings now from close by  : the Wood Nuthatch to start with ..








And my fourth sighting this year of an old friend : we will call it the month of the Jay 


And the new ones ...


37° Mute Swan ( Cygnus olor - Knobbelzwaan) Rood Klooster Oudergem Brussels 24th of January 2023 :




38° Mandarin Duck ( Aix galericulata - Mandarijneend ) Rood Klooster Oudergem Brussels 24th of January 2023 : 




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Good to see that you efforts for Big Year is also providing you with some exercise.

That last shot of the Mandarins is quite beautiful.

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Thanks Fred ! Speaking of exercise 22 400 steps or 17 km this morning ;) so birding is a healthy thing to do

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Wow Peter!

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What a beautiful group of Mandarin Ducks! 

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On 1/22/2023 at 4:37 AM, Kitsafari said:

are we starting to count domesticated birds?


Have you read "The Birds of East Africa"? (The novel - a really charming one btw.) Could be a decisive factor! :)


Good going Peter, I also like the Mandarins.

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Under the same grey sky as on Tuesday I returned to the Sonian Forest , commonly named as the green lung of Brussels : to find some new species I will have

to return there quite often I think even if this means taking the underground because flying ... is not yet an option :D






39° Marsh Tit ( Parus palustris- Glanskop ) - Zoniënwoud Oudergem Brussel 27th of January 2023 : 





I didn't see the Mandarine Ducks but instead ... 

40° Little Grebe ( Tachybaptus ruficollis- Dodaars) Rood Klooster Oudergem Brussel 27th of January 2023 : 


Some others seen in the first weeks of 2023 : 






And then returning to the metro in a small Park there was love in the air : 











41° Monk Parakeet ( Myiopsitta monachus - Monniksparkiet ) Oudergem Brussels 27th of January 2023 : 


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:lol: Peter

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Lovely spot and photos, Peter! I would have thought Monk parakeets take a vow of celibacy, but times have changed, apparently…;)

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1 hour ago, PeterHG said:

Monk parakeets take a vow of celibacy,

From what I have have heard about the goings on in monasteries in days gone by, I don't think that was ever true.

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I stayed close to home this weekend ,  it was cold and overcast and I honestly didn't expect to see much " new" .... 








42° Hedge Accentor ( Prunella modularis- Heggenmus ) Anderlecht Neerpede 28th of January 2023 : 


43 Song Trush (Turdus philomelos - Zanglijster) Wilderbos Berchem Brussels 28th of January 2023 : 




And found an old one from the 10th of January which I think are Crane ...


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You make some lovely walks, Peter! I think your cranes maybe geese. The crane's legs should be much longer.

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I agree with @PeterHGon the Geese. I also have misgivings about your Hedge Accentor. Surely they are more streaked below? It looks too 'round'. Have you another view of it?

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It was taken from a long distance Fred and in bad light but this is a new try as I have no other picture but I am still convinced it is a Dunnock with that grey collar and

pointed bill  ;)



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4 hours ago, BRACQUENE said:

I am still convinced it is a Dunnock with that grey collar and

pointed bill  ;)

It's your thread and bird so your call.

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