1st January 2012
2011 was an interesting Birding year which could and should have been so much better. Locally it was below average in terms of quantity of species seen and quality. Only 1 new species was added to my County list, the Earlswood Night Heron. My first 'Self found' County list ended up with a meagre 122. There were several notable birds missed; Turtle Dove, Black Redstart, Slavonian Grebe and Corn Bunting to name a few. A reflection of my lack of effort and the increasingly scarce status of these species in the County. A total of 155 species seen in the county over the year. Only 7 species better than the worst ever total in 1998. On a more positive note 3 birds were added to my Midlands list; Rufous Turtle Dove, Pied Wheatear and Desert Wheatear.
Nationally despite adding 4 new birds to the UK list and a couple of new sub species it was a tale of what might have been if I'd made a decision at the right time. Letting so many good birds slip through your fingers is annoying but I only have myself to blame.
A couple of Birding trips; one to the Shetland Isles and one to Kuwait were very different but both very rewarding in terms of birds seen, different experiences and friendships. Talking of friends, many thanks to all those who have offered information or lifts or both and made it such a great birding year. Have a great 2012 one and all.