Friday, 4 January 2013

The Birding Year 2012

As ever Birding in 2012 caused a variety of emotions over the year ranging from frustration and disappointment to pleasure and even elation. As usual with me there were missed opportunities, I almost missed the one UK tick I did get by being on holiday but the Yellowthroat did the decent thing and hung around for me to get down even if it did keep me waiting most of the day. That was the only genuine tick but I did see the Thayer's Gull and Hooded Merg for the 'or just maybe' list. The worst 'daylate dip' was undoubtedly the Orphean warbler resigned to the 'if only' list.
On a more positive note 2 species were added to the Warwickshire list; Nightjar and Goshawk.
The West Midlands year list was quite literally a wash out. Things started well enough with Water pipit, Common Crane, Yellow browed warbler, Bluethroat and Black Redstart but as it became clear there would be no wader passge to speak of enthusiasm waned. Even the White rumped Sandpiper couldn't resuscitate the list, the list was dead, it had ceased to be.
The Western Palearctic list fared a good deal better with two trips to Eygpt producing a mind blowing variety of species and memorable views of Bridled Tern, Crab plover and 3 Banded Plover to name a few.Other memorable moments closer to home included the sight of waves of Redwing and Fieldfare flying west over Hartshill, North Warks. totalling over a thousand birds this autumn and the sight of 20 or so Fieldfares feeding on apples in the snow in my own garden early in the year.
The most unusual birding experience came when I did an interview on local radio whilst watching the Cream coloured Courser on top of a hill near the Welsh border.
So a range of birding experiences throughout the seasons and if the West Mids continues to produce the quality birds it has in the first few days of 2013 we can all look foward to an exciting years Birding ahead. Lets hope so.

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