Same story will no doubt be my mantra for 2018, less patching time, but targeted and more frequent pre work visits becoming the key slots.
Since the Brent Goose, which could still be present, I picked up 2 more year ticks last Sunday, 2 Oystercatcher heading toward LFGP, then 2 Skylark over the landfill. Funny how the latter appears out of nowhere and it can be either January, or February, but always a bright day suddenly up singing.
As I've said many times, there isn't much to distinguish a big year list by at this early stage in the year, but one certainly needs to take every uncommon bonus species you can, so Goosander and the Brent Goose qualify for sure. Jack's Jack Snipe is also a good candidate and I am certain it is still around, just hiding in a new favoured spot.
What next then, over the last 6 years we have had the following species by this time in Feb;
Great White Egret, Little Owl, Golden Plover, Merlin, Ruff, Red Crested Pochard, Pintail, Curlew, Dunlin, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Caspian Gull & Kittiwake.
We can add Med Gull to that and Redshank will follow and whilst it's a good indicator, we must all remain vigilant for other species too.
So far we have both months in 3rd place, Jan on 86 = with 2012, 16 & 17, Feb on 89 a new 3rd place, knocking 2008 by 1. And that is without Pintail, Golden Plover, Little Owl and Red Crested Pochard....the most frequent occurring in recent February's.
If we add those 4 this month, a new 3rd place for the year total is on and equal first place for February species count, which seems plausible to me. I've certainly put in 3-4 hours of Golden Plover attempts so far. Yesterday morning a rakish raptor approached from the North, but was just a Kestrel, odd how unusual that is these days.
Sighting of the week for me was the 5 Hawfinch on the 10th, I'm going to miss them so much when they appear no more.