Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 - could do better

It's traditional at this time of year to write a review of the highlights of the past year but, as this blog mostly details my birding exploits at Topsham Recreation Ground, this year there won't be one. Frankly, it's been a poor year at Topsham Rec. Sure, Topsham and the surrounding area had a fair selection of quality birds in 2015 (Penduline Tits, Gull-billed Tern and American Golden Plover for example) but for some reason none of them showed up at the Rec (the Pendulines did drop by briefly but that was in December 2014). So while 2014's notables included Ross's Gull and Kumlien's Gull, this year's competition for 'Topsham Rec Bird of the Year' has been a toss up between Little Gull and Yellow-legged Gull. They both gave a lot of personal satisfaction but neither are even Devon rarities.

So I'll wind up 2015 with the customary, but still genuine, wish that you all have a splendid 2016.

Finally here's a few photos of a Grey Phalarope I bumped into earlier in the week in South Wales (didn't find it myself, just out for a walk when told by a passing birder). As usual, tame as anything and always nice to see up close. Not immediately obvious what age it is but the tertials look rather faded and worn so presumably retained juvenile feathers - adults should have replaced all these by now. There's a lot of dark feathering on the crown and around the eye, perhaps that also indicates a first winter bird.

Grey Phalarope - 28/12/2015, Sker Pool, Glamorgan

Grey Phalarope - 28/12/2015, Sker Pool, Glamorgan

Grey Phalarope - 28/12/2015, Sker Pool, Glamorgan

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