So, after a fairly successful trip to Yorkshire and Devon visiting family, I managed to get to 159 species by the end of Feb. Since then Ive been back at work and back to building my extension, so not much birding time! Spring is definately on the way though and i finally got to 160 sp. with a Wheatear at St Gothian on Friday. Land's End was freezing this morning with nothing but Magpies in the way of birds so Mark and I headed back to Marazion where two Sand Martins (161)were over the marsh.
New birds 'aquired' in Yorkshire included a Smew, Lesser Redpoll and Bramblings at Hatfield Moors, my old patch, but i failed to connect with the RL Buzzard that was reported nearby. Nearby, Park Drain, gave me good views of Grey Partridge. Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve had over 70 Tree Sparrows and a pair of Marsh Harriers. A walk around Lakeside, Doncaster produced two Mealy Redpolls with the Lessers, but no Ruddy Duck. I also dipped on my Little Owls for the second year running.
A days birding in Devon began at Yarner Woods with Lesser Pecker and Marsh Tit soon added to the list. From there I drove to Bowling Green Marsh where I caught up with Avocets (loads!) and another Smew, but no Spotted Redshank. I then got directions to Aylesbeare Common where a Great-grey Shrike had been seen two days previously. Didnt take too long to find the place but I'd nearly given up on the bird when it finally showed in flight then briefly perched up. Cracking bird and my first for quite some time. Finally I spent the remainder of the day at Dawlish Warren where Surf Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Black-necked, Red-necked, Slav and Great-crested Grebes, Long-tailed Duck and Eider were all offshore. Great couple of days birding, the GG Shrike being the highlight. Bring on the spring goodies!
Oh and i caught up with the Rose-coloured Starling in Penzance too.