Monday 31 January 2022

#LocalBigYear - January

Apart from work-related visits to the Axe patch and Kilmington WTW, the whole of January was #LocalBigYear birding. While I wasn't too fussed about chasing down tricky species I did make some effort for one or two. A generous tip-off gave me an easy Dipper, while Purple Sandpiper succumbed to sheer persistence. My first Lesser Scaup for 35 years was an unexpected rarity, and a local-tick Bearded Tit was an unexpected find. And that is pretty much how birding so often goes: some effort, some reward, a little gen, a little jam. My final outing of the month involved a couple of hours at West Bexington yesterday afternoon. Descending the slope to the bunting hedge I was thrilled to spot a jagged bunch of pointy feathers in twisty-turny pursuit of a Skylark high overhead. A female Merlin. I saw just one last year, a passage bird at West Bay on 2nd November, and it is a long time since I last watched a Merlin do that relentless, never-give-up pursuit thing. The protagonists eventually went out of view and I didn't get to witness the outcome. Merlin is my 89th species for 2022.

Shortly after the Merlin I got this instructive photo of a female Cirl Bunting with a female Yellowhammer...

Cirl on the left.

And just to complete the month's gallery...

Local Green Sandpiper on Saturday afternoon. One of two.

January was great. Here's to February...


  1. Nice Gavin. Some good little Brucie bonuses there. It always seems the way that when least expect it, something turns up. How you getting with your search for binoculars?

    Thanks Gav


    1. Cheers Tony, yes, some nice surprises. 😊
      I've found some bins, and will write a post about it in a few weeks time. No spoilers. 😉