Now I have to admit the latter part of the year has not been great for me getting out around the patch. With several work issues causing a great deal of stress plus getting ill and not being able to shake it for weeks, i've just been too exhausted and lacking in enthusiasm for much of anything by the time the weekend rolls around. In fact my yearly birding total is the lowest it's been in years as i've not been out much of anywhere really.
I didn't give up on my 45 minute walk to work each day, this covers a fair bit of the patch and was much needed prior to being stuck in an office for several hours. This walk means I get to see how the patch alters over the months and how the birds come and go. Its's when I see most of my flyover birds too - Lapwing, Heron, Cormorant, Red Kite. Buzzard.
Some of the highlights from the year, Skylarks singing over the Pit Hills and being able to hear them from work too, seeing Geese in the farm field for the first time, ducklings in the woods.
It's been a good year for young birds, with a family of Blackcaps in the woods being another highlight. The garden was full of fledglings even a young Coal Tit, which was a garden first, Starlings and Sparrows had a bumper year with the young greatly outnumbering the adults, it's the most i've counted since moving in over ten years ago.
Butterflies and Moths have been out in abundance, in fact I don't think we've ever had so many moths, they loved the Budleia flowers and hoards of them appeared every night. Mason Bees started building nests in the old holes in the wall so we put up a Bee hotel and they filled in another 8 holes, i'm looking forward to seeing them hatch in the spring.
So all in all despite the latter part of the year it's been good all round for the wildlife on my little patch!
I have been out a few days over the Christmas holiday poking about the town centre hoping for Waxwings, so far i've been out of luck but there has been an influx of Redwings around Morrisons and Scatcherd Park. One day I counted around 40, there are plenty of Mistle Thrush too and the odd Song Thrush.
Spot the Redwing!
My husband has built me a new bench so when the weather gets better i'll be out with my cuppa and camera! (The Magpies have kindly decorated it with moss from the gutters!)
Things have got better at work now (meaning my mood has also ha!) so hopefully this year will be a big improvement and i'll be back to patrolling round the patch on a more regular basis!
Happy New Year to you all!