December 2019

A lot happened in 2019: getting married, selling my house that I lived in for 18 years, and buying a house in Cornwall being memorable. It was a quiet year on the birding front, with only 2 new birds for my British list - the elusive brown booby and a western Bonelli's warbler during an excellent weekend's birding in Cornwall. I only saw 160 species in the year, with some embarrassing omissions! The holiday on Mull was exceptional, one of my favourite holidays anywhere. A broken ankle deserved more rest in September, and the end of the year was exhausting and miserably wet.

31st. Female blackcap, Lelant.

23rd. Ham Wall - the starling roost was distant, but fairly impressive. I also saw a marsh harrier, and a flock of >50 cattle egrets was in a field near Westhay.

15th-18th. St Ives. 2 great northern divers from the house. Two great northern divers, 1 black-throated diver and 2 common scoter at Porthkidney on 16th. At least 2 firecrest next to St Uny's Church, Lelant.


Beautiful weather on 17th (it's been a dire end to the year with persistent rain). Photographed starlings, turnstones and a kestrel in town and on the Island.






7th. St Ives, with Jens Rydell. saw 5 great northern divers from the house, and 3 common scoter. There was a female-type black redstart on the Island, and several harbour porpoises in the bay. The old mines at Bottalack were spectacular.


2nd. Slimbridge WWT. A beautiful day, sunny and still. The autumn has been one of the worst in memory, with rain and grey skies on most days since September. We had good views of a bittern from the Zeiss Hide.



About 6-8 common cranes were present, including at least one unringed bird.

common cranes

The white-fronted goose flock was in close to the Kingfisher Hide. About 40 albifrons white-fronts were present, with their pink bills, together with two juvenile Greenland white-fronts (subspecies flavirostris) with orange bills.

Russian white-fronted goose

Greenland whitefronted goose

white-fronted geese

Brown rats feed on seeds under the feeders without leaving their burrows.

brown rat

The rooks looked splendid in the winter sun.


There were three water rails viewable from the small hide opposite the Robbie Garnett Hide. A pheasant here too, and pintails from the Robbie Garnett Hide..

water rail



The new Estuary Tower Hide allows great views over the Tack piece and the Severn. Where there were once huge flocks of white-fronted geese, there are now masses of Canada and barnacle geese.

Estuary Tower Hide

from Estuary Tower Hide

About 48 Bewick's swans are now back - great to see them in their new family groups.

Bewick's swns

Bewick's swans

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