Having joined with many others in the 'Foot-It' January Challenge, a friendly on-foot from home 'patch' birding' challenge for the first month of the year my New Year birding has been low key. Working on New Year's Day I amassed 21 species from the desk with a Common Buzzard the highlight. A further four that evening including a flyover Cormorant Pegswood CP rounded the day off at 25.
Yesterday a brief foray with the dog added four more common species around the village so I set out this morning for the first real serious attempt towards the 65 species target I set myself on entering. A warm morning started well with three flyover 'ticks' including 25-30 Pink-feet not one of the species that I had included in my target. Six Grey Partridge in fields just beyond the village were in the T65 but can be tricky so getting them early was a positive.
Bothal village added a further five new species including a singing Mistle Thrush and a pleasant surprise with a Grey Wagtail back 'on territory' at the stepping stones below the village.
Two Redwings flew west as I topped the bank on the way to Bothal Pond. The pond itself produced no surprises though I was pleased a Redshank was still in residence, making up for the current absence of both Pochard and Gadwall.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker at the rookery at Coopers Kennels and a couple of Curlew in the fields added further ticks, a grand total of 21 new for the year bringing up fifty on foot in three days.