Looking back over the year just passed has produced a variety of great Birding memories and quite a few disappointments. Luckily the blog is there to remind me of an eventful year. I've travelled to a few far away places but one, if not the, best bird of the year was a Grey Phalarope in full summer plummage just down the road at Brandon Marsh Nature reserve.
Grey Phalarope, Brandon Marsh, Warks.
Other localish birds included:
White winged Black Tern
Red footed Falcon, Tunstall,Staffs
...as well as the Crag Martin at Chesterfield.
Nationally it was very much a mixed year. Notable 'misses' were the Great Blue Heron and the Citril Finch but 'new' birds came in the form of Cretzschmar's Bunting, Hudsonian Godwit and Chestnut Bunting.
Chestnut Bunting, Papa Westray, Orkney
Other highlights included the recent influx of local Short eared Owls in North Warwickshire and the invasion of Yellow browed warblers on the Shetland Isles.
Yellow browed Warbler, a garden bird in Lerwick, Shetland Isles
I've been very lucky to have the opportunity to do some Western Palearctic birding with trips to Cyprus, Tenerife, Estonia and Georgia. All were great adventures in their own way but the trip to Georgia provided a good many new and very interesting birds. Great Rosefinch and Wallcreeper were particularly Photogenic
Great Rosefinch, Georgia
Scops Owl, Cyprus
White backed Woodpecker, Estonia
Lesser short toed Lark, Tenerife
Purple Heron, Cyprus
So just a sample of the species I've been privileged to see over a year's Birding. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank and wish Happy New Year to all those friends and fellow Birders that I've met over the year, particularly those who have offered me lifts to the far flung corners of the U.K.and those whose good humour and knowledge has been much appreciated, even the Clams!