As March drew to a close my Lothian Year List sat at 110 species, up thirteen species on last month. In terms of self-finds pride of place would go to Northern-type Eider on the 3rd (BBRC-listed although the identification of this form is under debate - my photos certainly won't help) and patch tick Iceland Gull on the 24th. Other good finds included Kingfisher, Waxwing and Snow Bunting.
Other observers have seen considerably more species in the county so far this year. TO'C is topping the Bubo listings with 133 species, out of a total of 149. Luckily I still have plenty of species to bump into over the next few months. For example, the species recorded by most other listers that I have yet to see this year in the county include Golden Plover, Sanderling, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Jay and Green-winged Teal. Only the latter should prove to be a difficult task.
I should mention that I managed to add not only a county tick but a Scottish tick to the list this week - a Bewick's Swan that has been hanging around near Tyninghame for the last week or so (i.e. long enough for a slow-off-the-mark twitcher like me to have a chance to see it). To be honest, I am pretty certain that I have seen this species elsewhere in Scotland before, if not within the county. However, for some reason, large wildfowl do not really really make me tick (pun intended) and do not seem to register for long in the memory bank.
The Bewick's Swan is named after Thomas Bewick, an eighteenth and nineteenth century engraver famed for the accuracy and precision of his work. I wish the same could be said for my photos of the bird. My excuse is that every time I photograph a bird named after Bewick the result is blurry... Here is another attempt, taken at Slimbridge in December 2009. Admittedly it was almost dark when this shot was taken, but if I can't take a decent shot of a Bewick's Swan at Slimbridge then there is little hope for me...
Here is my final blurry Bewick - a Bewick's Wren photographed in California a year ago. Now in this case I can't blame the light quality, and the bird was close at hand for a decent period of time. So what is the reason for such a blurry shot, err... well, in this case I do know... it was a life-tick wren and therefore an ultimate little brown job, so the blur is pure excitement!