Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014: a year of Cuddesdon wildlife in pictures

In the beginning, there were floods:

And floods means birds:
 Gadwall are very rare local birds: 
A mad march Hare, hiding in the dew:
The first of three new species for the area this year, a 1st winter male Merlin on 1st March:

New species number two, a drake Mandarin - not even on the "completely unexpected" list: 
 Spring brought the first migrants, including this nice male Yellow Wagtail:
The best new species of 2014: new species number three, a reeling Grasshopper Warbler on a fabulous morning of spring migration that had already included a fly-through male Whinchat: 

A male Cuckoo was resident in late Spring:

The Hobby nest, complete with three young. The lone light of conservation for the year:

One of the young Hobbys in August, before departing for Africa for the winter: 

Late summer saw a number of Green Woodpecker fledglings: 

An autumn Whinchat... 
 ... with autumn Wheatears (that was about it for autumn migration):
And autumn became winter:

 Let's hope this is the only year when it takes 363 days to record a Lapwing
And the year finished in style, with a record total of 93 species and some fabulous sunrises:

Bird of The Year 2014? A tie, between the Merlin on 1st March and the Grasshopper Warbler on 21st April. Both represent quality local birds, both were new to the Cuddesdon area: 

2014 was a record year, in terms of the total number of species recorded; it contained the largest number of new species for many years (3 in total) and had one of the best days of spring migration that I have seen here. The best year yet.

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