Back on Jan 1st I only needed 5 UK ticks to hit reach 400 BOU species mark, and as of today, 28th April, 118 days later, I still need 5 new birds to reach 400! No new birds seen so far this year! In the last few years I would have had 3 or 4 new birds by mid April but not this year.
The only ticks on offer hve been a Grosbeak in the arctic circle (too far); 2 ducks, one, that would have taken about 30 hours in travelling time to get to (Harlequin - again too far), which is still up there today, and another duck (Baikal Teal) that stayed one (working) day and by the sounds of it is unlikely to be accepted anyway and finally last week's Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush at Spurn that quite predictably done the Friday night bunk. I am just glad it was a rather dowdy 1st year female and not an adult male as I would have been significantly more disappointed to have missed that.
Birding though is not ALL about ticks (although I'd welcome one soon, please!). I've seen some good birds far this year including Penduline Tit, Great Grey Shrike, Hawfinch, Pied Billed Grebe, Pallas' Warbler, Green Winged Teal, Black Bellied Dipper and 50 billion Waxwings, including some in my road and the great local Slav Grebe and Black Redstarts.
So if there is a birding god up there I would very much welcome a nice shiny new tick soon. Something smart, rare,
do-able in a day and something we all need so the lads can all enjoy a fruitful day out!
Watch this space!