Monday, 21 December 2009

2009 Bird Roundup

So we nearly come to the end of 2009. On the 1st of January 2010 my year list starts all over again! Exciting stuff as I will be starting it off on Orkney!

As I end the year I am going to do my first ever round up listing some of the birds that where life ticks for me that I have seen in the UK and then say what my personal bird of the year and also maybe some stats. So here goes in no particular order:

Spoonbill – Cley Marshes, Norfolk – Life Tick

Garganey – Blacktoft Sands, Yorkshire – Life Tick

Goshawk – Wykeham Forest, Yorkshire – Life Tick

Common Crane – Lamesley, Gateshead – Life Tick

Temminck’s Stint – Houghton Gate, County Durham – Life Tick

Pectoral Sandpiper – Greatham Creek, Teesside – Life Tick
Also 1 at Castle Lake (DBC) the same day as above!

Glaucous Gull – Teesside – Life Tick

Sabine’s Gull – North Shields, Northumberland – Life Tick

Black Tern – Herrington Country Park, County Durham – Life Tick

Long-eared Owl – undisclosed site, County Durham – Life Tick

Bluethroat – Hartlepool Headland, County Durham – Life Tick

Marsh Warbler – Herrington Country Park, County Durham – Life Tick

Yellow-browed Warbler – Holy Island, Northumberland – Life Tick

Firecrest– Holy Island, Northumberland – Life Tick

Red-backed Shrike – Dorman’s Pool (TBC), Teesside – Life Tick

Great-white Egret – Saltholme RSPB, Teesside – Life Tick

Semipalmated Sandpiper – Cresswell beach, Northumberland – Life Tick

Lesser Yellowlegs (seen twice) – Aberlady Bay, Lothian – Life Tick

Hooded Merganser (escape??) – Calor Gas Pool, Teeside – Life Tick

Blue-winged Teal – Saltholme RSPB, Teesside – Life Tick

Buff Breasted Sandpiper – Saltholme RSPB, Teesside – Life Tick

Glossy Ibis – Druridge Bay, Northumberland – Life Tick

Eastern Crowned Warbler – Trow Quarry (SS), County Durham – Life tick

Richard’s Pipit – South Gare, Yorkshire – Life Tick

Snow Goose – Budle Bay, Northumberland – Life Tick

White Stork – Great Lumley, County Durham – Life Tick (self found)

Not a bad list for a whole year! Thanks to meeting my new friends from Durham Bird Club my life list has shot up. This is the first full year where I have been simply obsessed with birdwatching. I think there is a clear winner for me but I will drag this out a bit for my reader’s entertainment.

The Common Crane was absolutely fantastic and very close when I first saw it. This was a bird I mentioned for a while after it had gone. The male, (that’s right) male Bluethroat was absolutely fantastic and a very nice migrant to have and was the only Durham record of the year (I believe). The Semiplamated Sandpiper & Lesser Yellowlegs where both fantastic and I think they where both equal to me in terms of enjoyment when watching them. The Glossy Ibis was quite special as I dipped it the first time and thought that my only chance of seeing this fantastic rare wader had gone but thanfuly it remained for a week longer and I saw it. On the same day as the Glossy Ibis I added my first ever Yellow-browed Warbler x2 and my first ever Firecrest. Both birds showed really well especially the Firecrest. The Black Tern at Herrington Country Park was a fantastic bird to see and I picked it up almost immediately. A fantastic summer plumage bird this Black Tern was worth getting drowned wet for. The Red-backed Shrike showed really well all be it somewhat briefly although I saw it both sitting as well as in flight. Although probably an escape on Friday last gone (18th) I had a White Stork over my housing estate when I was walking for the bus! I missed the bus but didn’t care!!!! My first rare self found bird.

However………….the clear winner is













Eastern Crowned Warbler! This was only the 5th ever for Europe and the 1st ever UK record! It is the only European record of a bird staying longer than one day!!!!! Also it was in my own County!!!!!! I had fantastic views of the bird both in the scope as well as through my bins. This was also my first ever MEGA. What a mega!!!! I saw the Eastern Crowned Warbler and then when it disappeared briefly a Yellow-browed Warbler put in an appearance! Likely to never be in the UK again in my lifetime.

Glad I didn’t miss it!

(Eastern-crowned Warbler - Mark Newsome)


Here’s to the New Year and my Birthday (today: 18)

Andrew Kinghorn


  1. A good year then. Tis a good job I don't twitch or I would be jealous.;-) I do have three of them so don't now suggest the H Merganser might be an escape, as you had convinced me with a previous post that it was the genuine article. :-) Cheers Brian.