My aim is to see 200 different species of birds in Britain in 2018 but will I succeed?

1 January 2018, out my window, Penarth

1 Herring gull and 2 Lesser Black-backed

  1. Herring gull
  2. Lesser black-backed gull
    My first birds of 2018, on the roof of the church hall across the road from my flat.


  1. Crow
    The two crows on the left were on the weathervane on top of the steeple of the church opposite my flat. Later, near the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay, I spotted a leucistic crow that I’ve seen before near the Lockkeeper’s Café.
  2. Feral pigeon

1 January 2018 continued, a walk around Cardiff Bay

5 blackbird

  1. Blackbird
    This blackbird was enjoying a feast of Cabbage tree (Coryline australis) berries in the front garden of a house at Penarth Marina.
  2. House sparrow
  3. Magpie
  4. Woodpigeon
  5. Starling
  6. Robin
  7. Black-headed gull
  8. Pied wagtail
  9. Mute swan
  10. Mallard
  11. Great crested grebe
  12. Coot
  13. Little grebe
  14. Cormorant

19 turnstone and BHG

  1. Turnstone
    Always a favourite of mine, three little turnstones were foraging along the Ely embankment and a Black-headed gull was wanting a piece of the action.
  2. Raven
  3. Jackdaw
  4. Chaffinch
  5. Great tit
  6. Blue tit
  7. Moorhen

26 Tufted duck

  1. Tufted duck
    Six tufted ducks were in the pond at the Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve and paddled over to see if I had any food for them … but no.
  2. Wren
  3. Kingfisher
  4. Goldfinch
  5. Long-tailed tit

31 Mistle thrush

  1. Mistle thrush
    Posing very nicely on the grassy playing fields of Hamadryad Park.

3 January 2018, Penarth

  1. Dunnock
    A sweet little dunnock sang me a pretty tune as I passed by its bush on my way to the train this morning.

4 January 2018, Penarth and Cosmeston

33 Collared dove

  1. Collared dove
    Birding out the back window, in winds of 40-50mph.
  2. Bullfinch

35 Canada goose

  1. Canada goose
  2. Pochard
  3. Wigeon

5 January 2018, Cardiff parks and cemeteries

  1. Greylag goose


  1. Goldcrest (above left, cleaning up the gravestones)
  2. Green woodpecker (above right, perching on a gravestone)
  3. Jay

42 Tawny owl

  1. Tawny owl
    Lovely to see this beauty again, though two Jays were screeching at it, presumably to try to scare it away.

6 January 2018, Bute Park, River Taff and Cardiff City centre

  1. Goosander

44 Grey heron

  1. Grey heron
  2. Song thrush
  3. Redwing
  4. Treecreeper


  1. Peregrine falcon
    Peregrine falcons have been making their home – and breeding – on the Cardiff City Hall clock tower for several years. I’ve looked for them up there many times but today was the first time I actually saw one!

7 January 2018, Cosmeston

  1. Coal tit
  2. Nuthatch
  3. Buzzard
  4. Shoveler
  5. Gadwall
  6. Teal

8 January 2018, Cosmeston (again, as I was following up on the sighting of an Iceland gull yesterday but it wasn’t seen today)


  1. Reed bunting
  2. Yellow-legged gull (2nd winter)

11 January 2018, Ely embankment

  1. Grey wagtail (in fact, 4 Grey wagtails!)

58 redshank

  1. Redshank
    In fact, 4 Redshanks, including this ringed bird I have seen a couple of times before and blogged about back in March 2017: see ‘Tracking Mr Redshank’.
  2. Rock pipit

14 January, coastal path from Penarth to Lavernock, and at Lavernock Nature Reserve
 60 shelduck

  1. Shelduck
    These two shelducks went flying past east-west as I was walking the coastal path from Penarth to Lavernock today and then, when I got to Lavernock Reserve, there was a flotilla of about 20 floating just offshore from the point where the pillbox sits, by St Mary’s Well Bay.
  2. Oystercatcher

62 kestrel

  1. Kestrel
    This Kestrel was trying to see off the much larger Buzzard that was invading its hunting territory.

17 January, Sully and Cosmeston

63 Curlew

  1. Curlew

64 Common gull

  1. Common gull

18 January, Bute Park, Cardiff

65 Firecrest

  1. Firecrest

19 January, River Taff

  1. Dipper

23 January, Cosmeston

67 Marsh tit

  1. Marsh tit

29 January, Penarth beach

68 Med gull

  1. Mediterranean gull

30 January, Barry old harbour

69 Little egret

  1. Little egret

2 February, Lavernock

  1. Sparrowhawk
    Hunting over the fields – too fast for a photo, unfortunately.

4 February, Cosmeston

71 Lesser redpoll

  1. Lesser redpoll (really chuffed with this one – not easy to find)

5 February, Sully and St Mary’s Well Bay

  1. Pheasant

180206 Sully stroll (6)

  1. Little ringed plover
  2. Grey plover
    Pictured here with 3 Turnstones, the Little ringed plover is the small bird facing the camera, on the left, and the Grey plover, the bird on the right.
  3. Fieldfare

6 February, Ogmore and Kenfig

76 Goldeneye

  1. Goldeneye
  2. Great black-backed gull
  3. Red kite
  4. Stonechat
  5. Rook

81 Slavonian grebe

  1. Slavonian grebe
    A life first for me (oh, and in case you’re wondering, it’s the small black-and-white bird on the left … small and distant, unfortunately.)
  2. Golden plover
  3. Lapwing
  4. Short-eared owl
    Another lifer for me, and we saw two of these owls hunting over the dunes at Kenfig National Nature Reserve. Magic!
  5. Greenfinch

14 February, Rye Harbour

86 brent goose

  1. Brent goose

87 egyptian goose

  1. Egyptian goose

17 February, Cuckmere Haven


  1. Skylark
    It was a glorious day at Cuckmere, with a definite feel of spring in the air, which was reinforced by the frequent song flights of skylarks all around as we walked along the bank of the Cuckmere River to the seashore. These two were ‘chasing’ each other, a behaviour that may be males disputing territory or a form of courtship display.
  2. Meadow pipit

18 February, Rye Harbour (top part of the reserve)

  1. Cetti’s warbler

20 February, Penarth Marina

91 Black redstart

  1. Black redstart
    So glad this immature female stayed around till I returned from my week in Sussex. A pretty little bird, dotting around the rooftops of the houses at the marina, and a lifer for me!

22 February, Bute Park

  1. Great spotted woodpecker
    ’Tis the season when I try to follow the drumming of the woodpecker to get a photo and the bird inevitably flies off just as I get close.

25 February, Dryslwyn, Cilsan Bridge and Tregaron Marsh (a long day and very cold but with spectacular scenery in mid Wales, especially the Tywi Valley)

  1. Whooper swan
  2. Bar-headed goose
    A bit controversial adding this as it’s not on the official British bird list but, hey, it was living with wild birds in the wilds of mid Wales so I’m having it.

95 Great white egret

  1. Great white egret
  2. Pink-footed goose

97 Green sandpiper

  1. Green sandpiper
  2. Snipe
  3. Hen harrier
    This was the bird we’d gone to Tregaron to see and, though we had to wait till late afternoon to finally spot one, having our 12 pairs of eyes constantly scanning across the marshes in bitterly cold winds did eventually pay off. It was stunning to watch.

7 March, Forest of Dean

  1. Siskin

101 Mandarin duck

  1. Mandarin duck
    Originally brought to Britain from their Asian homeland as ornamental birds for parks and zoos, escapees have established themselves in the wild, and the Mandarin duck is now an official British species – and perhaps the most exotic-looking bird on the British list. As usual with bird species, the male (shown here) is the most showy.

102 Great grey shrike

  1. Great grey shrike
    Despite its ‘great’ name, it’s a small bird with a nasty streak, known for impaling its prey (of insects, lizards, and even small birds) on a handy twig or thorn. Though difficult to see, my photo shows a lizard we watched the bird catch and hang up.
  2. Hawfinch

11 March, Cosmeston

104 Scaup

  1. Scaup

13 March, Forest Farm

  1. Chiffchaff
    Heard, not seen, but there’s no mistaking that call, and it’s wonderful to know the birds are making landfall after their spring migration.

14 March, Ely embankment

106 Linnet

  1. Linnet
    Spotted four Linnets on the Ely embankment this af’noon, possibly the same family I saw from time to time in the autumn, but I can’t be sure. Nice to see them though.



5 thoughts on “BIRDING 2018”

  1. Absolutely love this. Will keep watching as I’m sure you’ll get to 200, you’re onto a roll already. 🙂 Makes me wish I’d had such a good start to birding in 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for that vote of confidence! I’m not doing as well as some of my more experienced birding friends (who are already at the 120/130 mark) but, to be fair, they have been on birdwatching holidays to up their totals. Good luck with your sightings! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not a bad start to 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

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