Thursday, 2 January 2014


My plan was to head to Devon and Dorset and clear up a few of the good things down there but due to the continuing crappy weather and the fact I was still in bed at 10.30 meant that wasn't going to happen! I stared out of the living room window and the first bird of the year was a Red Kite. Just after noon I'd had enough and donned the waterproofs and headed for Hilfield Reservoir. This year I have chosen to do the Patchwork Challenge and luckily for me Hilfield scrapes in at just under the 3km square patch limit. Half way around to the hide I was beginning to think I should have stayed indoors as I shielded my eyes from the driving rain. I sat in the hide and for the last couple of hours of daylight scanned through all the birds and noted them down. An adult Great Black-Backed Gull was one of only five gulls on the water and was a patch first for me. 2 Black-Necked Grebe were a nice bird for the list. Soon after I was joined by Steve Murray and between us we tried to find the day before's Kittiwake but unfortunately it wasn't seen though Steve did find a nice 2nd Winter Mediterranean Gull just before it got too dark. The day ended on 35 species.

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