The morning of 3rd January 2013 dawned to reveal Morgan's Hill resplendent in the glory of murk, low cloud and light rain. It was not what I had been hoping for, but I was fairly certain that this was what I was going to get. Most winter days on the Downs are like this. Everyone knows that birding on the Downs during winter is hit and miss, however, I wasn't going to let a little light murk put pay to proceedings. Off I went to explore my favourite nooks and crannies, confident that I could turn up some good birds despite the weather.
This year I will be concentrating on the farmland bird '10 most wanted' (as I do every year); grey partridge; lapwing; tree sparrow; corn bunting; yellowhammer; linnet; turtle dove; yellow wagtail; skylark and reed bunting. To be honest I'm not worried about finding rare birds and I've never, ever, been twitching. I rarely go birding outside of Wiltshire and that's the way I like it. I guess I just love my home to much.
Anyways, on to the birds. I have also made a patch visit on 7th January and between the first two visits I totaled 41 species for 42 points. I am reasonably happy with this given the awful weather. The two point bird was a female merlin, which was pleasing. All the others were 'common' but included some that made me personally happy. I made the first 2013 sightings of tree sparrow, grey partridge, corn bunting, skylark, linnet and yellowhammer. The latter being quite numerous. I also struck a little piece of #patchgold, but before I name the species I would like to refer back to a previous post where someone said that they had seen golden eagle and hen harrier, but hadn't seen anything unusual and that they were going to look for an elusive blue tit. It just goes to show how different places have such different birds and the amazing diversity of our great country.
I expect that you are itching to know my #patchgold species? Ok, here goes........................li
And last year I spotted a cormorant. How amazing is that?