This is my second year of keeping a list of bird species that I see around New Hythe lakes. I'm not an avid lister generally but as I spend most of my boots and bins time there it seemed like a good idea and somebody said to me before I started that it was a good way to motivate yourself to get out, especially on days when the weather and common sense indicate that a day at home would be the sensible option, and he was right. It's not all about a new tick though, I get a lot of pleasure from watching the more common birds and wildlife in the area and will continue to do so, however, there's no denying the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of finding that elusive new species is undeniable.
To date my total of 107 species for 2009 looks like staying that way unless I can turn something up in the next few days and that's the thing about birds, you just never know, it doesn't matter how much or how little I think I'm going to see, it seems there's always the unexpected waiting to surprise me. As was the case on 11th May when standing between Brooklands lake and the sunken marsh I happened to look up and saw a common crane drifting high over head, i'm unlikely to get that tick in 2010.......but you never know. Equally unexpected and certainly more exciting for me was stumbling across this sparrowhawks nest at New Hythe in early july with four or five youngsters almost ready to fledge, a first for me anywhere but even better for being local.
There were lots of other good finds over the year, not just birds but other wildlife ranging from stag beetle, lizards, slow worms, newts, grassnakes, stoats, weasels, water voles and a common seal! Not to mention all the damselfly, dragonfly and butterfly species that all add to the interest. For anyone interested I have added my New Hythe list so far for 2009 to the side bar.............roll on 2010!!