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A New Year Near Miss for my 'Pecker?

Posted by birdbeards2010 on January 7, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Traditionally, on New Year's Eve at around midnight I reach the 7th stage of drunkeness, become maudlin and insist that everything and everyone is shite. So this year's sober affair made a refreshing change. A curry, a drop of nice champagne, a bit of crap telly and I was in bed by half ten.


BirdBeard Jr was eager to crack into 2013 and surfaced at his usual time of just after 4.00am. Once the sun had risen above the Cornish horizon, my first bird of the new year was a wind buffeted Herring Gull from the landing window of my sister Bib's house. By 9 o'clock it felt like I had already been up fro half of January and Nye needed a hand in nodding off. A stroll in the stiff Newquay air was in order and so we headed 'en perambulateur' towards the boating pond (brief home of a Lesser Scaup earlier in the year). By the zoo entrance a nice tit flock, including Longies, Blues & Greats were playfully flitting around the roadside copse. The high pitched cheeping of a Goldcrest was soon accompanied by its image, feeding on the ivy.


Further up the road, just past the viaduct I stopped to check out the tall cedars across the road. A few Chaffinches bounced about before the short sharp single 'choo' of a woodpecker caught my attention. It soon made itself seen, hopping and creeping from branch to branch, up and down the thick trunk. Having worked out this was definitely a pecker, I suddenly thought how small it looked. The sun made detection of plumage details difficult and without my binoculars, it really was a hard judgement to call. Working my best to get some kind of size comparison from the boughs and foliage, I definitely thought this could be a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - one of the mighty 2013 THIRTEEN! Surely not, on the first day of the year??!! Just then, it made its exit in an undulating flight, its fanned taill and shortish wings reminiscant of a large finch. Lesser or was it just me wanting it to be one? Could not make the call and didn't manage to get back there before we left for Bristol. A definite buzz to the start of the year though, added to by a cliffside Fulmar and a town centre hunting Peregrine. Tidy.

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