Wednesday, 3 June 2020

End of May review

So as per my previous post we know I had 63 birds on the list at the end of May last year that aren't on the list this year but I thought in my obsessive way I'd break this down a little to see if it was all Covid related and again excuse my thinking out loud here.

June 2019 was a good month for me but I doubt we'll see scenes like this again for a while.
So the obvious birds missing I could have got this year without lockdown include....

Wheatear
Grasshopper and Dartford Warbler
Garganey
Wood Sandpiper
Arctic, Black and Sandwich Tern
Whimbrel
Arctic and Great Skua
Little Ringed Plover
Little Gull
Yellow Wagtail

Then there's the family breaks I would have taken which would have bagged most of the sixteen birds I saw last year whilst in Scotland.

Add the twitchable birds I may gone for like.....

Iberian Chiffchaff at Ponders End (no doubt I would have gone for this but it came a bit too soon after lockdown for my liking so I left it alone)
Squacco and Purple Herons would have had my attention for sure without lockdown
Whiskered Tern would have had me jumping in the car for sure and then there's Temminck's Stint and numerous twitchable Red-footed Falcons or perhaps one of the passage Dotterel would have attracted my attention.

I tried before lockdown for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Long-eared Owl and failed but would have tried again I'm sure but for the restrictions we faced. So probably I'd still have a few of the 63 missing but even without Covid birds like Great Spotted Cuckoo, Great Reed Warbler, Baikal Teal, Ortolan Bunting, and White-winged Scoter would still not have given themselves up again this year for me even if I could get out to see them but we can also add the birds I would have twitched if it were not for the restrictions.

Collared Pratincole only a couple of hours from home
Any one of numerous Red-backed Shrikes around
The Chew Valley lake Laughing Gull and I may have been tempted by the Ross's Gull back in March when I was isolating
I would have tried to connect with the Short Toed Treecreeper at Dunge but again I was isolating and this one hurts most as I've never seen one before.

So I'm now left to consider which of the 63 I might still connect with....
Obviously some are here all summer so I may get the chance to find them
If we're allowed to visit Scotland I may yet add a dozen or so from that trip
I'd like to think a couple of days in Cornwall is still possible and that might connect me with a few birds later in the autumn but I have to concede that this year will be a low list year and I'll just make the most of the days out as they come.

I may still twitch if a suitable bird comes along but where I usually have considerations of time, money, chances of connecting etc I now need to add the risk assessment attached to the current Covid situation. Anyway I'm sure the year will still give some good birding and I look forward to autumn passage more than ever before and amazingly I still have the excitement of my first Wheatear to come.

Happy birding guys and stay safe out there.






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