I’ve only just found time to write up the first few days of the year. I’ve done 3 Foot It walks and had 1 trip out by car.
The biggest Foot It walk was on Jan 1st when like a fool I walked from home to Adel Dams, taking in Eccup Reservoir and Eccup Whin along the way. I was originally only going to the reservoir but got carried away. Total mileage for the day in the order of 9 miles, with no snacks or drinks, pillock that I am.
The reservoir did the trick getting the list off to a flying start, 3 gull species, 3 ducks and goosander along with meadow pipit and redwing in stubble on the way down to the water’s edge. Couldn’t find willow tit here though, which was annoying, I had this area down as my best bet for them.
Eccup Whin delivered both buzzard and red kite, along with pheasant and fieldfare whilst the corvids were also much in evidence.
Adel Dams was reached just as a shower of rain came over, thankfully the hide wasn’t too full. Birds here included kingfisher (both sexes), nuthatch, sparrowhawk and great spotted woodpecker. The latter two giving me my best photo op yet.
The woodpecker kept itself flattened against the bough the whole time the sparrowhawk was around, the minute the hawk flew so did the woodpecker, but in the opposite direction.
The 2nd of Jan. saw Ken and I driving down to Calder Wetlands to grab the scaup and the long-tailed duck for our respective year lists, along the way adding more waterfowl. We didn’t visit Pugney’s, which was a mistake as a glaucous gull was reported not long after we left the wetlands.
We then moved on the Fairburn Ings and a stroll around the boardwalk by the visitor centre allowed us to add tree sparrow, willow tit and siskin to the haul. We also managed a covey of red-legged partridge from the Ledsham Road, Newton Lane being flooded close by the fishing pool.
9th of Jan and my second Foot It wander, this time a bit closer to home, the Gorge and Upper Lake at Roundhay Park. Managed to find more nuthatches, at least 4 birds along with some of the finches that I didn’t see on the 1st, namely green, gold and chaff. Upper Lake had the usual mallard and tufted duck, along with a family party of mute swans. A movement in a conifer got me on to the second jay of the year, the first seen from the car driving back from Birmingham on the 6th. I skirted the northern edge of Waterloo Lake and was amazed to find a great crested grebe back on the lake, much the earliest record I have for the park.
13th of Jan and my second trip to Roundhay Park, this time in the company of Sheila, my wife. The usual suspects were seen in the normal places, this time though I managed to add Canada goose and pied wagtail to the Foot It list, there were also 3 great crested grebes on the lake. The Gorge area was largely bird free, just a few robins and blue tits. Still lacking collared dove and long-tailed tit for the Foot It challenge.
Later in the day I found a lesser black-backed gull by sitting watching the gulls flying over our house on the way to roost at Eccup Reservoir , and a late afternoon amble across the Allerton Fields allowed me to catch up with another flock of fieldfares and also find some rooks, much closer to home than I expected.
The Foot It challenge species list now stands at 49 species. Leaving me to find 11 more to hit my target