I thought I'd better do a quick intro first, so that the regulars know who this interloper is. I'm the one you see around Broom GPs with the 2 Spaniels, usually asking you guys daft questions about the birds you are watching. I don't really consider myself to be a birder but have somehow found myself becoming a Beds Bird Club member, owning a scope etc, "popping down" (not twitching) to see smart birds such as the Lesser Grey Shrike and Penduline Tit and putting most of my sightings onto BirdTrack. I put all of this down to the patience and kindness shown by you lot, so it's your own fault that I've now turned up here.
Anyway, I do occasionally trip across the odd decent bird, so thought I'd take up Richard on his offer for more people to join in with the 2015 SFYL.
My first submission concerns today's ramblings, which centred around the Sandy Smith NR / Chicksands area, where I was hoping to pick up a couple of year ticks (remember I'm not a birder but I go out to do stuff like this and blame it entirely on BirdTrack, which becomes a bit addictive after a while). I was hoping for Stonechat, which seemed to be everywhere up until 31 Dec but I haven't seen one since and of course GGS, which I'm sure is (or are - but that's another story) still about in the general area. As always seems to be the case when you actually go looking for anything I didn't see any of these but didn't come away feeling disappointed at all, as I managed a fairly decent haul of 37 species, with a hunting male Merlin and a Woodcock being the best of the lot. I've had glimpses of what I thought was a Merlin in this area before but have never been 100% sure until today, so feel happy to put it out there now.
You'll be relieved to know that future posts will be much shorter and hopefully with pictures.