Monday, 31 December 2007

2007 - the final countdown

It has been a record year for the study area, with a grand total of 113 species recorded - five more than last years' total, which was then the highest-ever total. On a personal aside, I got my best-ever total of 103 species for the year.

There were some real highlights, headed by Bar-tailed Godwit, which was a new species for the Park. Other notables included Little Egret, Osprey, Black-tailed Godwit and Grasshopper Warbler, all of which were recorded for the second time. Other non-regulars included Egyptian Goose, Common Goldeneye, Red-legged Partridge, Oystercatcher, Rook and Yellowhammer.

After absences of a few years, there were welcome returns for Wood Warbler, Firecrest and Pied Flycatcher. On the downside, only a single Reed Bunting was seen, there were just two records of Lapwing and only three of Bullfinch.

There were at least seven Goldcrest territories as well as three Nuthatch territories (two of these were no more than 50 yards apart), the best-ever year for these species and very promising for the future. Alas, there was no evidence that any Sparrowhawks nested, despite at least four birds being present during the breeding season.

Undoubtedly, the date that stands out the most during the year is 19th April, despite the previous days' Wood Warbler and Ring Ouzel not being present; as compensation, there was another Ring Ouzel, along with Pied Flycatcher, Osprey, Common Buzzard and Wheatear. The first two species were seen by quite a few observers and led to quite a 'twitch', which at one point got into double figures! The Ring Ouzel stayed for at least three days, attracting a number of people to the park.

All in all, 2007 was a very exciting and positive year - here's looking forward to another great year.