Friday 11 March 2022

BIKING BIRDER VI 2022 With Mum & Dad - part 2


          So after taking the bike to the repair shop and having a quote of over £200 for what needs to be done (ouch!), I walk back to Mum & Dad's.

          My only birdwatching will be in the garden. Mum & Dad live in a village called Romsley in North Worcestershire. It is atop a hill around 900 feet above sea level, which is always great to set off from but a pain in the posterior over getting back to.

          Dad is 90 years old and Mum 89 so there garden is not a large one. It does however back onto a large predominently Oak woodland. The birdlife reflects this. No House Sparrows, though there are some on the other side of the housing estate, there are mostly finches, Chaffinch being the most common but they have had Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, as well as Siskin and Lesser Redpoll.

          This week there have been a couple of Bramblings, quite rare here.

          As well as finches, there are always good numbers of titmice present, mainly Blue Tits but also Great and Coal with occasional passing flocks of Long-tailed Tits.

          Nuthatch, two of them, are regular too.

          as are Blackbird, Dunnocks, Robin, Wren, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

          Wood Pigeons and Stock Doves have been seen most days this week.

          And a Buzzard came down when some out of date meat was put out.

          Now the bike will be back tomorrow, which also happens to be Mum & Dad's 67th wedding anniversary, another reason to be with them this weekend, yet I have a problem over which way to go next.

          Before today I had planned to go to the Wyre Forest west of here and try to see Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. I was then going to set off for Lincolnshire via Middleton Lakes RSPB Reserve and Eyebrook Reservoir in Leicestershire. The long-staying White-tailed Plover has moved to another RSPB reserve, Frampton.

          Tonight though, a long-standing member of The Birding Clams, a Facebook birding group originally set up for ex-students of mine who were members of a YOC/Bird Club I ran in the 1970-80s, Jason Oliver messaged me to say that the flaming Belted Kingfisher is back!

          I had tried for this bird in January and it had disappeared just before I reached its location.

          Then it had reappeared again as I headied south to Somerset then promptly disappeared again. It was rumoured to have been seen near Burton-on-Trent which would have been a lot closer than the original location.

          Now it has been seen once more at that original location near to Preston, Lancashire.

           So, should I head north once more for a bird that regularly disappears but is one that would only be an amazing one to get for my Green Bird list but would also be a personal British lifer? Or should I stick with the plan worked out before this news and head east for the White-tailed Plover?

          Part of the fun of doing a BIGBY, a Big Green Big Year is having these considerations and planning accordingly. Dilemmas add to it.

          Final thought for the evening is over the seemingly hotting up race for the European BIGBY year list record, my aim for this year. At the moment, from what I can find out via various Green Birding listing webpages, I am fifth. Two Spaniards are ahead of me, including my nemesis, Ponc Feliu Latorre. He is on 166 birds for the year and is second to Jose Luis Anguita, who is on 172.

EcoBigYearEspana 2022

          In France both Corentin Movan and Maxene Pevot are ahead of me but not by much, being on 140 and 138.

Year List 'verte' Zero Carbon

          What more motivation do I need than to beat both the French and the Spanish?

Be seeing you!

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