Blog

Mon 9th January 2012

Posted on January 11, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Happy New Year folks! I have taken a break from updating this diary over the Christmas and New Year period. Mainly because the year ended with rather a whimper bird-wise, but also because I have been working on some other future projects during the free time I have had. The first part of the Christmas holidays was very dreary and Santa must've found it very difficult finding a few clear windows for his deliveries.

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Christmas Eve, leaving the necessary nourishment for Santa and the reindeer. I have it on good authority that he enjoyed his Raspberry milk-shake and Wagon Wheel - traditional Christmas fair for the big man.

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Modelling my Christmas Day presents.

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So there were no good birds around during the holidays - I had a couple of searches but it was all very predictable everywhere. At the end of last year there was all sorts happening, with Cattle Egret, Waxwings and Long-tailed Duck all turning up within a few days - but the end of 2011 was a disappointment.

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So hopefully 2012 will start a bit better and during the last week or so there has been more interest. The first bird on the year-list was a Mallard quacking at 2am as I strolled home in the rain from a New Years Eve party where, incidentally, people were certainly not following the firework code since a rocket whizzed past my ear and hit the wall behind me! [Remember kids, alcohol and fireworks should never go together].

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It wasn't until I had been back at work a few days that the first good birds turned up, with both Iceland and Glaucous Gull appearing on the same day on Friday. I couldn't find them after school but there were 2 Great Northern Divers and a Slavonian Grebe in Grandes Havres that evening. I went out for another search on Saturday morning and the Iceland Gull was resting on rocks at Chouet, then I discovered the Glaucous Gull briefly feeding on the nearby tip a few minutes later - easy-peasy! I also saw the latter this afternoon swimming by itself in the middle of Grandes Havres. There is a good chance of us getting a few more white-wingers judging from the influx that has happened up North.

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first-winter Iceland Gull - Chouet, 7th Jan 2012

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3rd-winter Glaucous Gull - Grandes Havres, 9 Jan 2012

On Wednesday, as I drove home from work past Cobo, I could see a few GBB Gulls clustering together on the beach, pecking at something. There appeared to be some kind of creature on the waterline and scanning from the roadside, I could see it was a dolphin. I parked up and ran down the shore just in case it was still alive, but alas it was well dead and had just been washed up by the tide.

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dead dolphin, presumed Common Dolphin - Cobo, 4 Jan 2012

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One thing that I did spend along time doing during the holidays was practicing with my new drawing tablet. I made the two pictures below with it. Sir Lala is my 'tag' for an online game that me and some of the guys play against each other - so this is a self-portrait as the brave knight Sir Lala! The other one is my mate "Disco Dave" re-living his youth as a monk.

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Categories: 2011-2012 Winter