Thursday, 7 November 2013

Game over?

Bit early for writing the review of the vismig year but it's looking like time for the first draft. There should be, compared to previous years, quite a bit of life left in the season yet. One Mipit and one Siskin this morning in 30 minutes (and the Siskin might not even have been moving) though.

Highlights that I remember are the great run of Tree Pipits and Common Sandpipers early on, a long-anticipated Little Egret flyover, and a big day with UK record Mistle Thrushes, 6 Raven and a Hawfinch. Grey Wagtails were pretty good again, although I didn't capitalise by early enough starts - hourly rates held up from last year. I had a cracking 4 Kingfishers one evening, including 2 that shot past me overland into the quarry. One of the highlights of the year was the evening of 6th October - after recording 128 Alba Wags in the morning I watched as 418 went over me in the last hour of the day - stunning. Last Swallow of the year (so far?) was on 30th October - meaning I saw Swallows in 7 months of the year. I also managed to get Ringed Plover and Little Gull on my Divit list at last.

The season was partly blighted by prolonged easterly winds, despite which there was a notable absence of Skuas and other seabird-y interest. There was only one GS Woodpecker. Siskins were almost invisible until their small late run.I only remember one Crossbill.The species list is at this point 14 down on where it was last year, although that's probably more because last year was exceptional.

Of 111 species recorded during the year (including Grey Phalarope - yay) the lion's share - 103 - was recorded between the start of July and now, and next year I won't focus so much attention on the Divit as I am gearing up to my Cullaloe 500 species challenge (TM?), in which I will try to record 500 species of all kinds, from algae to mammals. My current total species there is 314, so it's going to be an interesting year!

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