Sunday, 15 March 2015


Ely10Birding was a year old yesterday and there's been plenty to write about.  Firstly a roll call of rare and scarce birds seen in the Ely10 over the past year, here goes......

Great White Egret, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Slavonian Grebe, Red-throated Diver, Little Tern, Temminck's Stint, Crane, Black-winged Pratincole, Baikal Teal, Pectoral Sandpiper, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Wood Warbler, Quail, Taiga Bean Goose, Black Redstart, Tundra Bean Goose, Red-rumped Swallow, Great Grey Shrike, Little Auk, Barred Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Siberian Chiffchaff, Richard's Pipit, Snow Bunting, Spoonbill, Rough-legged Buzzard, Spotted Crake, Corncrake, American Wigeon, Iceland Gull, Glacous Gull and Black-winged Stilt.

Not bad eh ?? 

Hopefully the next year can live up to the last, if I could put in requests then I'd happily take another singing Bluethroat and River Warbler, Great Reed Warbler or a longer staying Savi's are all possible and would be awesome.  Montagu's Harrier has been almost annual and a lingering bird would be a treat but another Pallid wouldn't be out of the question.  Lesser Scaup and Ferruginous Duck are both on the cards and given an autumnal North Westerly gale Skuas and Gannet should pass over but will any of us connect with them?  A roosting migrant Nightjar or a way laid Red-backed Shrike in a Blackthorn blossomed hedgerow are high on the wish list.  Whatever the highlights over the next year, all will be against a backdrop of great birding spectacles and moments along the Washes and out on the Fen.

I'm hoping I can get a second chance to relive two of my favourite Ely10 birding moments, which took place within feet of one another but years apart. During the Ely Wildpace Bird Race last year a swirl of feeding hirundines, at eye level, along the low shrubs and treeline on the edge of pocket park was truly magical and should be possible to experience again given the right conditions.  At the same spot years earlier, during a breeding bird survey, a Firecrest sang his heart out and presented himself within a few feet.  I have found 2 others in Ely10, both drawing attention through their song and another one of those in the next few weeks would make my spring.