Happy New Year, or somesuch... No news since the last visit in December, excepting a Grey Wagtail in Kelk, and a Little Owl at Harpham.
I'm planning to make my January visit this coming weekend, but before that a quick recap of 2008.
A total of 117 species were recorded during the year including first records for Black-tailed Godwit (a juvenile flying E in Sep) and Common Crossbill (a party of 6 at Harpham in August). Other local rarities were the 2nd record of Goshawk (a juvenile in August) and 3rd records for both Spotted Redshank (on flooded field near Kelk Beck, August) and Kittiwake (flying E over Kelk Beck, November).
Some various personal highlights include; a party of 6 Whooper Swan, Gadwall proven breeding for the first time, 2 Pintail, the summer presence of both Marsh Harrier and Hobby, a Water Rail at Barf Hill, the party of 10 Ringed Plover that circled a flood near Harpham for several minutes before heading south (only the second record), 2 Dunlin, 2 Jack Snipe, at least 10 Greenshank, 1 Turtle Dove, 2 late Swift in mid-September, a Grey Wagtail at Lowthorpe in summer (first such record there), 3 Wheatear, a day total of over 50 Mistle Thrush in autumn including a party of 36 together at Lowthorpe, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Jay, a classic 'Scandinavian' Jackdaw - posing the question of how regular these birds are, 2 Brambling, 4 Lesser Redpoll, a roost of 10 Bullfinch, and a probable breeding record of Corn Bunting.
Not bad for just one weekend a month. It's going to be a stiff challenge to reach 117 this year but one can but try and it's all the excuse I need to spend more time in the field.