Monday, 2 January 2012

Bubo listing Lothian 2011 and 2012

Well, the year has drawn to a close with the Iceland Gull at Alnwickhill being one of the highlights of 2011 for me. A small twitch even developed at the site last week, although I think that most visitors left disappointed as the gulls often do not stay put there for long. Nevertheless, two Iceland Gulls and three Mediterranean Gulls at Alnwickhill this year have given me tremendous satisfaction. It shouldn't be that much of a surprise, I suppose, since Alnwickhill has a much larger area of water than St Margaret's Loch. My main target species at the site for 2011, Yellow-legged Gull, has sadly been conspicuous by its absence. Since the site will soon be drained, there is not much time left...

My own Lothian list ended up a mid-table 165, which was far below the figure I had hoped for at the beginning of the year, but 2011 has been extremely successful in a variety of non-birding ways, so I am not really complaining. The best months for listing in Lothian in 2011 for me were, rather predictably, January, May and October. The rest of the year saw a sprinkling of good birds with seven new additions to my county list: Mealy Redpoll (Jan), Bean Goose (Feb), Osprey (April), Temminck's Stint (June), Quail (June), White-rumped Sandpiper (Oct) and Richard's Pipit (Oct). Bird of the year for me in Lothian was the Grey-headed Wagtail in May.

Thanks to all the other Lothian Bubo listers of 2011 for making this year the biggest field yet. As with last year, Mike H is the one to beat.

So for 2012, I'll be keeping a Bubo list once again and I hope that others will do the same. My personal target for 2012 is 174 and a self-found list of over 160, which would better my 2010 totals. My birding will be restricted to termly holidays most probably, but I will manage some trips to the Western and Northern Isles as well as some travel further afield later in the year. I am hoping to move my World list on a little higher than the 2 species gained in 2011 (White-billed Diver, Indian Silverbill)...

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