Lade - 0800hrs - mild, cloudy, s 5 - With rain and gale force winds due to hit us around noon we decided to defer our NYD bird count until tomorrow. As a result the year list got off to a very steady start with 43 species noted during the circuit of the local patch, the highlights being the resident Red-crested Pochard, 4 Goldeneye, 2 Marsh Harrier and 6 species of shorebirds on a wind swept bay.
During last nights gathering at Plovers the Greatstone Joker mooted the idea of some NY forecasting. It was a long, wet afternoon today, so here goes:
February - UK twitching in turmoil as the BOU savage the British Bird List: crossbill, redpoll, gulls, warblers, geese and many others get the lumping treatment - as a result grown men across the land are reduced to tears, and the UK400 Club is renamed the UK300 Club.
March - Rumours circulate Dungeness that a stranger was seen wandering around Hookers in summer clothing muttering, " now, where`s that Squacco Heron", even though there was still snow on the ground and before the first Garganey of the spring...
April - At Dungeness Bird Observatory seawatchers were puzzled when they sighted an incoming black bird with a red crown bounding towards them over the waves. It announced its arrival on British soil with a machine gun-like rattle on the wooden hide before disappearing into the Trapping Area never to be seen again, despite the attentions of 10,000 twitchers. To add insult to injury Britain`s potential first Black Woodpecker record was firmly rejected by BBRC on the grounds that, "a Rook with a head wound could not be ruled out".
May - Turtle Dove officially declared extinct in southern England.
June - Birders come from far and wide to see a fledged Lapwing at Dungeness.
July - England left back Ashley Coaltit, commenting on the national sides` early exit from the World Cup said, "what do you expect when we`re playing in a rain forest, every couple of minutes a lifer flew over".
August - For the third year running local birders confuse an American peep with an adult Little Stint in winter plumage - many say that the `two bird theory` is to blame...
September - Following the recent multi-million pound Ruddy Duck pogrom DEFRA announce, "job done" and call a cessation to hostilities - the following day a flock of 500 Ruddy Ducks emerged from the reed-swamp at Lade Pits quacking, "Yankee Doodle Dandy".
October - Following intense lobbying by the CLA Common Buzzard is added to the `vermin list` and a cull commences.
November - A Black Lark is found on the Midrips finally laying to rest the ghost of the `Hastings Rarities` past.
December - Nuthatch seen at Dungeness proves to be `bird of the year`.