The academic yearlist

I’d fallen into a bit of a trap, whinging about lack of birding opportunities during the week. Well that’s rubbish, there are birds everywhere, and I’m lucky enough to work on the doorstep of some of Sheffield’s best urban greenspaces.

I’ve toyed with the idea before of turning Weston Park, Crookes Valley Park and Ponderosa a regular lunchtime patch, but never gave it much commitment. But I really should as it takes well under an hour to have a look round, they have a surprising amount of regular birds between them, and sometimes the unexpected can turn up. Mandarin, teal, lapwing, tawny owl, grey wagtail and fieldfare are among some of the more unusual birds I’ve found during lunchtime walks in the past, and I’m sure many more will turn up if I look regularly enough.

So instead of spending my lunch hours sat at my desk, usually looking at BirdGuides at the birds I’m missing, or pontificating on BirdForum while I should be out finding my own stuff, I’m going to get out and have a look what’s out there. And it’s a good time to start a list here – it’s the start of an academic yearlist!

Having a look today turned up a small posse of long-tailed tit, greeting me near the entrance to CVP, and a wren getting agitated over nothing in the bushes. In Ponderosa a coal tit was a fairly unusual bird near the entrance, and a chiffchaff sang from the bushes, the sunny weather tempting it into another quick burst of song before making the journey home. Other birds picked up on the quick trip today were mallard, woodpigeon, feral pigeon, blue tit, robin, magpie, carrion crow and blackbird.

Okay, nothing exciting there, and a pretty quiet day, but hopefully I can pick up some good stuff as the autumn continues and winter bites.


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My name is Pete

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