Thursday 22 September 2022


The post-before-last recounted my longest bike ride of the year to date which saw me cross the Hampshire border for the first time in 2022. A successful venture which made me feel like I had got my cycling mojo back after the frustrations of June. A few days after the Hampshire marathon my legs were still feeling it but a gentle stroll down to the patch was enough to add Yellow-legged Gull to the yearlist. Four adults were present on one of the scrapes which have been a reliable site for this species in recent late summers, and the number rose to 10 later in the week. 

Painted Lady, Tarrant Rushton 17 July

Painted Lady, Tarratn Rushton, 17th July

By the 24th of the month the legs had recovered enough to repeat another summer pilgrimage from last year: a ride to Portland to look for Balearic Shearwater - one of the rarest species in global terms to grace our shores. The journey down cycling into the wind starting at 0530 was challenging, but ultimately successful - a couple of distant 'probables' were followed by a few Balearics close enough to photograph, plus two Arctic Skua and half-a-dozen Manxies.

Corn Bunting, Tarrant Rushton, 17th July

Whitethroat, Tarrant Rushton, 17th July

When I started the 2021 non-motorised yearlist I decided to include 'heard only' species but in the end managed to see everything, including the normally elusive Quail. This year I adopted the same rule which made a visit to Tarrant Rushton airfield, a reliable site for hearing if not seeing Quail, a good option. After dipping on 17th I managed to hear at least 3 calling males at the second attempt on the evening of the 29th. The month saw 6 new species added to bring the yearlist to 192 (compared to 198 at the same point in 2021). 318 miles had been cycled, my second highest total for a month in 2022 after May.
Balearic Shearwater, Portland Bill, 24th July

Balearic Shearwater, Portland Bill, 24th July