Tuesday 31st January 2017

A quiet first month to 2017, I headed out first on 3rd Jan to cover the Hommet to Rousse patch and had a very successful morning. At Pulias I saw the wintering Black Redstart, but a bonus bird was the Kingfisher perched on a rock by the pond giving great views. I tried to get my camera out but was thwarted by a dog walker - just for a change! Moving on down the coast, a Black-throated Diver swam very close in at Cobo, again giving great views albeit just beyond camera range. There seems to be just as many of these as there is G N Diver this winter.

Moving down to the Richmond end of Vazon, I thought I'd pop in to see if the Whitethroat was still present. Tony B had the same idea but we could not see it. I went to look for Water Pipit round the corner - but again failed - when Tony called me back to say the Whitethroat had just appeared, so we had more great views of this exceptional mid-winter bird. There were lots of Brent Geese in the bay, more than 70, and also a female Red-breasted Merganser swimming just off the rocks. It was such a pleasant, sunny morning to be out in the field.

Back to work on 5th Jan, I had two different divers on the way home - a Great Northern Diver at Grandes Rocques and a Black-throated Diver off Rousse, probably the same one as I photographed a few weeks ago.

I didn't really do much else until I had a walk round the Grand Pre on 21st Jan. This was hopefully to discover some rare wintering passerines but I saw very little. I get the impression that there seems to be very few wintering land birds in general this year. Highlights of the walk were a really nice Water Rail perched up in the lower branches of a small tree, and a Woodcock flushed from the side of the marsh along the southern path, a place where I have recorded the species before.

The final sighting of the month was a Lapwing seen at school on 27th Jan which landed in the field with the Guineafowl, which I found most amusing. Is this a new carrier species for Lapwing?

 Stonechat, Ft Hommet, 23 Jan 17

Stonechat, Ft Hommet, 23 Jan 17

 Kestrel, Pulias, 24 Jan 17

Kestrel, Pulias, 24 Jan 17