Tag Archives: birds

Ep 8: Year in Review



00:00 Intro to updates – reviews of 2016
04:35 Top successful wildlife quests of the year
09:04 Unexpected wildlife win of the year
12:16 Mammal of the year
14:12 Bird of the year
18:20 Plant of the year
20:00 Wild Place of the year
24:50 Topic: 99 reasons why 2016 was a good year
40:30 Looking forward to 2017

Links & Pics We Promised:

Ep 6: Pizza, Values and Winter



00:42 Charlene’s F-Quest results!
05:24 Leigh talks about the trip to Falmouth
11:10 Morgan talks about Congress Avenue bats in Austin
16:32 Leigh’s bird ringing expedition
25:09 Why do we not choose to protect the planet more?
42:23 What do ecologists do in winter?
47:27 What are we reading: Daughter of Eden by Chris Beckett

Wild Places:

Links & Pics We Promised:

What are you Reading (Reviews):

The 100

Just a quick update on how my bird list is going – I’ve managed, over the last few weeks, to break the 100 barrier (phew!) and now have my sights on 120 as my next goal. A bit of a whirlwind trip to Rutland Water firmly put me into the next century, with an amazing life tick – a nightingale! You can hear a bit more about the Rutland Water adventure in the 2nd and 3rd episodes of the Darwin’s Dolls podcast (in the column to the left, or on iTunes and Stitcher).


98. Pochard
99. Garden Warbler
100. Egyptian Goose
101. Greenshank
102. Ringed Plover
103. Dunlin
104. Sanderling
105. Greater Black Blacked Gull


106. Cetti’s Warbler
107. Nightingale
108. Osprey


In the couple of weeks since, my focus has mainly been on bats, with the start of Batlas survey season for BrumBats, and the beginning of mist netting season (blog post coming up!), however I did get three birds whilst working away doing newt surveys and other stuff for work:

109. Whitethroat
110. Red Legged Partridge
111. Barn Owl

So there you go – 111 birds so far, and there are still a few relatively common ones that I haven’t yet seen (kingfisher, some common ducks, etc.) but I can imagine the wheels really grinding to a halt unless I start planning some more excursions! I’d really like to reach 150 this year, and to bring my life list up closer to 200, which would be a great achievement!

Ep 3: Specialise or Generalise



00:15 Updates on our Bird Listing & Wildlife Sightings
16:48 Moth Trapping
31:35 Specialising or Generalising in ecology
45:25 What Are You Reading (Recommendations)

Wild Places:

Recording Schemes:

Kit & Other Stuff:


The green one is more complete with greater detail on distribution, ecology, etc, but the orange is a concise version. We recommend getting the orange spiral bound one! But they are the same book with the same number of species in them.

Links & Pics We Promised:

Chinese Water Deer!! OMG! #mammals

A post shared by Morgan Hughes (@thereremouse) on

  • TED talk about being a polymath:

What are you Reading (Reviews):

  • Apple app – Collins Bird Guide (double check if on Android?).


Wiki on Egyptian Geese:

This is a largely terrestrial species, which will also perch readily on trees and buildings. ….

This species will nest in a large variety of situations, especially in holes in mature trees in parkland.

The female builds the nest from reeds, leaves and grass, and both parents take turns incubating

eggs. [8] Egyptian geese usually pair for life. Both the male and female care for the offspring until they

are old enough to care for themselves. [13]

Email darwinsdolls@thereremouse.com

Listing (Part 2: Birds 79-97)

So things are starting to get a little harder. Once you hit around 75, it’s like someone’s slammed on your birding brakes and each new bird is that little bit more work. I decided to get in a weekend of serious birding. (Well, serious for ME anyway…) First off was getting up early for Black Grouse lekking in Wales. On the moors was where I saw birds 79-82:

Black Grouse
Black Grouse

79. Cuckoo
80. Black Grouse
81. Hen Harrier
82. Raven

Listening to the Black Grouse calling at 6am in such a remote location (covered in hail and snow as you can see!) was pretty spectacular. I did a video on my phone in which you can hear the sounds and get a feel for the spooky atmosphere:

Then we embarked on a 2-hour drive to Anglesey, where birds 83-90 were all seen at South Stack RSPB (with a cheeky Black Guillemot in Holyhead harbour!)

83. Fulmar
84. Razorbill
85. Guillemot
86. Puffin

Sea bird colony at South Stack
Sea bird colony at South Stack

87. Chough
88. Meadow Pipit
89. Linnet
90. Black Guillemot

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

Then, on the way back to our campsite at Pistyll Rheadr, we stopped at RSPB Conwy, but only managed to add:

91. Yellow Wagtail
92. Whimbrel

Birds 92 – 94 were all seen in and around Lake Vyrnwy, Wales:

93. Pied Flycatcher
94. Grey Wagtail
95. Dipper

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher

And I entirely accidentally came across two more birds this week. The first on a bush near a railway station, and the second on a roundabout, both in Milton Keynes:

96. Whitethroat
97. Red-Legged Partridge

So, with 5 to go, Charlene and I have decided that a trip to Rutland Water is in order, and we’re heading off this morning, before heading back to record our next podcast, so hopefully you’ll find out what bird number 100 is when it’s uploaded tomorrow… To be continued…

Listing (Part 1: Birds 1-78)

So for those of you who read my recent blog about listing, I thought I’d post a bit of an update on my 2016 year bird list (which I started a bit belatedly in late March). I also briefly mentioned this in the pilot episode of the Darwin’s Dolls Podcast into which we’re going to go into more detail in Episode 2! (If you haven’t listened to it yet, use the player on the left hand side, or you can find it on Stitcher, PlayerFM, Buzzsprout and shortly on iTunes- and let us know what you think! Show notes are in the tabs above.)

But for the time being, here’s the rundown on my first 78 birds – I’m actually up to 95 but that is in Part 2 – which will be posted this weekend (when I pass 100!) So in no particular order, the first 60 were added through work, commuting or general pottering around:

  1. Blue Tit
  2. Great Tit
  3. Long Tailed Tit
  4. Coal Tit
  5. Chaffinch
  6. Bullfinch
  7. Greenfinch
  8. Goldfinch
  9. Black Swan
  10. Mute Swan
  11. Canada Goose
  12. Greylag Goose
  13. Carrion Crow
  14. Jackdaw
  15. Rook
  16. Jay
  17. Magpie
  18. Pied/White Wagtail
  19. Blackbird
  20. Song Thrush
  21. Swallow
  22. Herring Gull
  23. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
  24. Black Headed Gull
  25. Red Kite
  26. Peregrine Falcon
  27. Kestrel
  28. Sparrowhawk
  29. Buzzard
  30. Collared Dove
  31. Wood Pigeon
  32. Rock Pigeon / Feral Pigeon
  33. Stock Dove
  34. Moorhen
  35. Coot
  36. Pheasant
  37. Chiff Chaff
  38. Willow Warbler
  39. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  40. Green Woodpecker
  41. Shelduck
  42. Mallard
  43. Gadwall
  44. Shoveler
  45. Tufted Duck
  46. Skylark
  47. Starling
  48. Snipe
  49. Dunnock
  50. Robin
  51. Stonechat
  52. Goldcrest
  53. Cormorant
  54. Great Crested Grebe
  55. Grey Heron
  56. House Sparrow
  57. Wren
  58. Nuthatch
  59. Lapwing
  60. Reed Bunting

I thought I could do with something spectacular, and so I went to a spot where I know there is a pair of Little Owls nesting for an easy, yet spectacular bird…

61. Little Owl
62. Yellowhammer

Little Owl
Little Owl – can you see him?

…followed by two trips to Middleton Lakes RSPB

63. Swift
64. Little Egret
65. Mediterranean Gull

Mediterranean Gulls
Mediterranean Gulls

66. Little Ringed Plover
67. Redshank
68. Avocet
69. Sedge Warbler
70. Teal
71. Common Sandpiper
72. Blackcap
73. Mistle Thrush
74. Treecreeper
75. House Martin
76. Goosander
77. Sand Martin
78. Common Tern

After getting to this point, my efforts needed to shift a gear. Find out more this weekend! (With lots more photos.) – or you can check out my recent bird photos on instagram or twitter (@TheReremouse)…