Dipping A Toe Into 2022 Birding

As Bryony and Sabine were both visiting today my first birding of 2022 was low key. I volunteered at Fleetwood parkrun first thing, where the New Years Day dip in the Irish Sea was in full swing. Birdwise the highlight was four Goldeneye on the marine lake behind my marshalling point.

Year ticks large and small

Like a lot of birders I am looking to reduce my carbon footprint from what is essentially a hobby. Birdwatch have launched a local birding ‘event’ for this year, and whilst I normally get fed up of the blatant bending of rules on these kinds of things the guidance on this one is pretty fluid anyway in that you define your own local so I’m getting involved.

I was going to to restrict myself to SD33, the 10km square my house is in. When I reflected on this I regularly volunteer at two parkrun in SD34, and it felt perverse to then drive somewhere to go birding within SD33 for a local carbon reducing challenge! So I am including SD33 and SD34 as below:

Today I visited a couple of sites on the way home from the parkrun. Fleetwood Nature Park was first up. I was hoping for a Pochard but there was no joy, as ever here though some of the birds are so approachable you can get reasonable pictures with just a mobile phone.

On the drive up the A585 at first light geese were coming onto the fields from the roosts. I parked up in the lay-by and had a look through c1000 Pink-feet. There was nothing obvious among them, but I didn’t leave the car as they were so close I would have flushed them so I wasn’t able to check every bird.

Phone shot of geese from the car
Reinforcements incoming
First Magpie of 2022 through the sunroof…

I have three more days before I am back in work so will hopefully have more bird news. In the meantime some more 1 January musings:

First bird of 2022 – Herring Gull, very Blackpool appropriate

Initial birding experiences of 2022 not to take for granted:

  • Starlings heading away from the roost over the house
  • Skeins of Pinkfeet dropping into fields, whiffling being the lovely word for this
  • A Sparrowhawk flying up the road in front of the car, appearing and disappearing in the dawn light as it shifted
  • Turnstones chuntering at each other as they squabbled over territory on the marine lake adge
  • Ducks in their ‘spring’ finery at Fleetwood Marsh

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