Around the birds in eighty aves.

January 01, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I've come up with a game this year. A game for our eldest who (surprise surprise) is really starting to get into his wildlife and birds in particular.

So.The local barn owls and kingfishers all clubbed together  this year - and got him a wee pocket bird book for Christmas (the RSPB one as it happens which is EXCELLENT, by the way) and I've challenged him to try and spot 80 different species of birds this year.

Each time he spots a species, he puts a wee red numbered sticker on that page in his bird book (and so, "ticks it off" effectively).

The three rules are simple. 

1 - He (or I, if I'm with him) must be 100% sure of the ID of the species.

2 - it must be SEEN (rather than only heard).

3 - Just because he's ticked off a bird from the list of 80, that does NOT make that bird "boring" or "irrelevant" for the rest of the year. (For kerreist's sake don't you dare turn into a "twitcher" or "birder" because of this game!).

 

Look I'm NO "birder" (shudder) or even a "bird watcher" let alone a "twitcher". I don't know how many species of birds I've seen nor do I count them on a list of any kind.

But.

I do know a little about aves and I can help my eldest boy with his quest to get to 80 bird spp. this year (a total that I came up with which should be doable if we're not all confined to barracks by this dreadful government).

Now.

I'll not blog about every species we find but I thought I'd quickly post tonight on what we found today, to kick off his "Around the birds in 80 aves" quest.

If we get the odd surprise (as we did today) then I may also blog about that too.

For now though.

January 1st 2021. Target 80 spp.

34 species seen today (in order of seeing them):

1

Magpie

2

Woodpigeon

3

Carrion Crow

4

Jackdaw

5

Blackbird

6

Song Thrush

7

Robin

8

Barn Owl

9

Starling

10

Kestrel

11

Red Kite

12

Fieldfare

13

Cormorant

14

Jay

15

Mallard

16

Herring Gull

17

Buzzard

18

Canada Goose

19

Tufted Duck

20

Redwing

21

Black-headed Gull

22

House Sparrow

23

Feral Pigeon

24

Blue Tit

25

Great Tit

26

Grey Heron

27

Moorhen

28

Egyptian Goose

29

Pied Wagtail

30

Goldfinch

31

Stonechat

32

Wren

33

Collared Dove

34

Ring-necked Parakeet

Meaning we have 80-34  (46) species left to see in 364 days.

The nice surprise of the day (today) was watching a (young, female) stonechat on the edge of a new-build housing estate on my favourite local golf course (which is now, as I say, not a local golf course any more but a housing estate and a SANG instead). At first I thought it could have even been a black redstart (I don't think I've ever seen one of them) but the wee white wing patches, visible as it flew away from us, confirmed it as a stonechat - very unexpected mind and lovely to see.

Only two disappointments really today - no peregrines (we'll definitely see them within the month though, I'm sure) and no kingfisher either (ditto).

Anyway - a great start from a very local drive (30 mins) around Binfield and North Bracknell and also a 45 minute or so walk up and down a local river in the neighbourhood.

More soon I'm sure...

 

 

 


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