TonyQ

TonyQ Big Year 2017 (A second attempt)

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The BIg Year 2016 was such a positive experience, that I must give it another go in 2017. We have learned a lot about birds in the past year, but are still very much beginners. We don't have any African trips planned, so I expect my overall total to be lower than last year. However I look forward to seeing a few new birds in the UK and hope to get close to last year's UK total. We will have fun trying!

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1. (UK.1). Blackbird Turdus merula

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(M) Chaddesly Corbett, Worcestershire 02.01.2017

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(F) Chaddesly Corbett, Worcestershire 02.01.2017

I thought I would start with one of our most common birds in the January sun (not quite so common!)

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Glad you are taking part again, Tony. Really like the colours in the first one - beautiful. Any other trips planned for this year?

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lovely pictures @@TonyQ we have those berries in our garden i think they are cotoneaster berries-and every 2 years we have an invasion of fieldfares and Redwings-up to about 30 birds-this year is quieter-perhaps about 5-10 fieldfares. do you have new plans for this years exploits such as going to different places?

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What a beautiful start @@TonyQ!

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An excellent choice @@TonyQ if you don't mind me saying so Mull is my favourite place for Birds of prey and Scottish Wildlife in general otters puffins basking sharks and of course both Eagles.Forgive me if you have been before and know all this but depending on the time you go there are some very good places to spot and photograph iconic wildlife!We have been going there most years for the last 20 years ! Happy to suggest a few good spots if you have not been before Good luck for your 2017 year

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@@Towlersonsafari

Thank you - I remember that you mentioned Mull in last year's thread. I have not been before - we are going at the end of May/beginning of June. We will be there for a week, and will visit Iona for 2 nights as well. Any suggestions welcome!

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Have a great time! I can get quite boring on the subject though so i will confine my comments to a few ideas. there is a fine little book-birdwatching on Mull and Iona by Dave Sexton which is well worth getting-little maps of all the island and what is usually good for certain areas.Also, because nature tourism is such a big thing there, several operators do day long "safarii" and we found that when we first started going a day out with such an operator really helped especially with Eagles.We have always gone with Dave Woodhouse who also does a dairy on his website so you can get a flavour of him-he is very passionate about Mull and wildlife. Glen more-the road down to iona-is the most well known golden Eagle hotspot-the road goes through 3 territories , and you may well see Hen Harriers and short eared owls there as well as White Tailed Eagles. The trip to the Treshnish islands to see fingals cave but then to see the sea bird colonies-and to sit within 4 feet of puffins, is great fun and the beauty of Mull is that the roads mostly follow the coast so you never know when an otter may appear! The trick is to keep still and quiet until thy move and then creep a little closer when they are under! Our favourite more out of the way areas are Croggan-a lovely spot at the end of the road loking across to the mouth of the sea loch and over some hills-we have always found it good for ottoers and both eagles-and indeed goats.there is a ruined cottage near the entrace which we always use as our look out point! And a walk along Loch Ba- good for redstart and for both eagles-sometimes flying over head.If you like walking the website WALK Highlnds has a dedicated Mull section, and there is a lot to be said for getting the little boat to Ulva for a potter about. Iona is your best bet for staring at a handkerchief sized filed and hearing corncrakes whilst not seeing them and you will know about Eagle watch and the MullBirds website.you will also know about Avon cosmetics "skin so soft" which is good against midges. Oh and the Gribun rocks are probably the best bet for peregrines .Loch scridan perhaps best for reliable otters but it is popular

sorry Got carried away. we are off to Skye in June.you will certainly get some great shots for your BIG YEAR

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@@Towlersonsafari

Thank you for that - it is really helpful. We will follow the links and check the places on the map. Have a great time in Skye!

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'TonyQ and sorry to add these two links but Mullcharters do trips where they provide fish for a local pair of sea eagles which swoop down very close-never been on their trip myself but have done a similar trip on Skye and it is spectacular!-although MY photo's were still rubbish-just too excited! and the www.whaledolphintrust.co.uk have a recent sightings section on their site which gives some clues as to what may be about.Depending on wetaher, end of May early June may be a little early for regular sightings of basking shark but we have seen a minke whale from land and dolphin and porpoise at that time of year-so much to do and look for, so little time! Best plan go and explore and you will wnat to go back again and again-bit like africa!

i really will stop now

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2. (UK.2). House Sparrow Passer domesticus

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(m) Just up the road, Birmingham 05.01.2017

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(f) Just up the road, Birmingham 05.01.2017

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3. (UK.3). Fieldfare Turdus pilaris

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Lapworth, Warwickshire 04.01.2017

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Lapworth, Warwickshire 04.01.2017

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4 .(UK.4). Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto

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Lapworth, Warwickshire 04.01.2017

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5. (UK.5). Pintail Anas acuta

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Sandwell Valley 11.01.2017

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6. (UK.6). Jackdaw Corvus monedula

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Sandwell Valley 11.01.2017

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7. (UK.7). Coot Fulica atra

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Swanshurst Park, Birmingham 13.01.2017

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8. (UK.8). Marsh Tit Poecile palustris

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Wooten Wawen, Warwickshire 05.01.2017

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Wooten Wawen, Warwickshire 05.01.2017

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9.(UK.9). Goldcrest Regulus regulus

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Wooten Wawen, Warwickshire 05.01.2017

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Wooten Wawen, Warwickshire 05.01.2017

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Lovely Goldcrests. :)

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10. (UK.10). Redwing Turdus iliacus

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Chaddesly Corbett, Worcestershire 02.01.2017

This Redwing was on the same tree as the Blackbird in the post above

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Just up the road, Birmingham 05.01.2017

These Redwings were in trees just 250m from our house.

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Just up the road, Birmingham 05.01.2017

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Just up the road, Birmingham 05.01.2017

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Just up the road, Birmingham 05.01.2017

Last year I only saw one Redwing. This year we have already seen hundreds of them.

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Started strong in 2017, @@TonyQ ! Looking forward to see what Mull has to offer; I do remember seeing some big birds back in 2012.

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Great to see the Goldcrest, Fieldfare and Redwings. You never seem to see these birds in London

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Lovely Goldcrests. :)

 

+1 but tricky little blighters too!

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@@xelas

Thank you - I see you are visiting Mull also!

@@lmSA84

@@Dave Williams

Thank you

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