Friday 1 January 2021

2020 Highlights

 For me personally 2020 was a good year despite all of the problems. I have mostly stayed locally apart from a quick holiday in February before Covid 19 became a thing. At some point Adey Baker and I decided that we could make a book out of the Southwest Leicestershire List and so lockdown and a twisted ankle gave me time to get going. 268 pages later it looks like our Sunday morning pipe dreaming is becoming a reality. There is still a fair way to go and we are not able to offer an expected publishing date yet, but hopefully late 2021/2022.

Bird wise it has been a fantastic year and arguably the best for this area. Below is a list of my local highlights for 2020; I hope you saw some of these and thanks for sharing your finds and company.


The third-winter Kumlien's Gull and juvenile Glaucous Gull from December 2019 still at Shawell; a new sub-adult Kumlien's Gull at Shawell on the 3rd; an adult Glaucous Gull and a Merlin at Shawell on the 4th; 144 Snipe and 27 Jack Snipe at Kirkby Mallory; a first-winter Mediterranean Gull at Shawell on the 10th; a new second-winter Kumlien's Gull at Shawell on the 15th and four Goosanders at Stoney Cove on the 21st.


A new third-winter Iceland Gull at Shawell on the 7th and the third-winter Kumlien's Gull was still present.


Three Avocets at Shawell A5 Lagoons on the 14th.


Curlew singing near Tooley Spinney, Earl Shilton on the 3rd and a Hobby on the 26th.


A pair of Avocets at Brascote Pits on the 18th & 19th.


A pair of Avocets (one with a colour-ring) at Shawell A5 lagoons on the 8th; another pair of Avocets at Brascote Pits on the 13th and a Roseate Tern at Shawell Sandpit on the 20th.


Juvenile Mediterranean Gulls at both Brascote Pits and Shawell Sand Quarry on the 28th.


A Cuckoo at Brascote on the 1st and single Pied Flycatchers at Croft Hill on the 14th and the 30th & 31st. 


A Shag at Stoney Cove from September 2nd; Wryneck at Brascote Pits from the 5th; two redstarts at Brascote Pits on the 6th and a remarkable influx of Stonechats into the area began with a pair at Brascote Pits on September 25th; 


a Knot and a Red-breasted Merganser on the 4th; three Yellow-browed Warblers: one at Croft Hill on the 6th and singles at Brascote Pits on the 16th and 26th; a Rock Pipit over Croft Hill on the 6th; Crossbill over Croft Hill on the 11th; 1270 Redwings over Croft Hill on the 11th; Woodlark over Croft Hill on the 17th; Bramblings over Croft Hill on 18th & 19th and four Goosanders at Brascote Pits on the 31st.


Single Goosander on the 1st at Brascote Pits; a single male Brambling on the 21st heralded the start of a nice influx at Brascote; a Goosander flew low over Brascote on the 22nd; a Cetti's Warbler at Shawell GP on the 27th and eight Bewick's Swans low over Earl Shilton on the 28th.


22 Bramblings at Brascote Pits on the 1st; eight White-fronted Geese low over Brascote also on the 1st; a Merlin at Cotesbach landfill site on the 9th; a very good candidate for a Yellow-legged Gull of the form known as lusitanius at Cotesbach Landfill site also on the 9th a drake Goosander over Brascote Pits on the 14th and two Starling roosts in the area: one of c10,000 and another of c30,000.

Male Brambling Brascote

Starling Murmuration

Here's to an even better 2021!

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