29th - I saw the SOCIABLE LAPWING at Bude Marshes, the same bird that was in west Cornwall earlier in the winter. The species is from central Asia, and is now Critically Endangered.
On 28th a strong NW wind was blowing. I saw 3 bonxies off the Island at St Ives, and a black redstart was in town near Olive's Cafe. I drove to Drift Reservoir and eventually found the drake ring-necked duck. A black-necked grebe was on Longrock pool. I spent some time during the late afternoon at St Erth looking for the dusky warbler in cold, windy and rainy conditions and didn't see it. It was seen a few days later. I saw a couple of chiffchaffs.
At the end of December there was a brief time when Bristol and Cornwall were in Tier 2, and I was able to get to Cornwall. I saw some great birds: Two adult CASPIAN GULLS on the Hayle Estuary (27th) at Lelant Saltings (the first definite identifications for me in the UK), an adult ring-billed gull, 5 yellow-legged gulls, a Mediterranean gull and a yellow-browed warbler here too. I also saw 2 knot, golden and grey plover, bar-tailed godwits, kingfisher, and 10 goosander. A male sparrowhawk hid in the trees.
20th. Best views I've had on a blackcap. Two males feeding on fuchsia fruits immediately outside the home office. We've also had two greenfinches (rare nowadays around here) in the garden, and I'm pretty sure I heard a yellow-browed warbler while attending to another call of nature. One was seen and heard in Patchway the next day.
19th. Treecreeper, 2 marsh harriers at Stratford, Chew Valley lake.
13th. Dipper at Warmley.
12th. Kingfisher on River Frome upstream of Snuff Mills.
10th. Green woodpecker female in the garden next door. Photo by Hetty.
9th. The garden is alive with birds now, a wonderful distraction from work and being stuck in Tier 3. Today we had a blackcap, a jay, 4 long-tailed tits, up to 20 goldfinches (some roost in an evergreen oak) and this female greater spotted woodpecker, photographed through the window from my desk.
Had to blow my savings before Brexit fallout risks- first new binoculars in 30 years - the old Trinovids served me well, though these new Swarovski NLs are incredible - great to hold, crisp, bright and a fantastic field of view.
6th. Marshfield: merlin, 2 red-legged partridges, ca. 35 corn buntings, ca. 10 yellowhammers.
5th. Firecrest (male) near Blaise Castle.