The Spring of 2015 was simply AMAZING!!! If someone had said to me I'd add SIX new birds to my British List, I'd have had their temperature taken. Yet, that's exactly what happened in a roller-coaster ride of travel, excitement, great company plus the tricky logistics of fitting work in as well.
GREAT BLUE HERON - 20th April, Bryher IOS
HUDSONIAN GODWIT - 26th April, Meare Heath NNR, Somerset
CITRIL FINCH - 10th May, Burnham Overy Dunes, Norfolk
SWAINSON'S THRUSH - 8th June, Skokholm, Wales
HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL - 12th June, Pagham Harbour, West Sussex. The pic is of the Scilly bird on Tresco
CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING - 15th June, Bardsey Island, Wales
I also connected with the one day "first for Britain"...
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER - 23rd Sept, Dungeness, Kent
Marvelous. Looking back, seeing 3 MEGAS in 8 days was incredible!!! I guess there's no cure?
It wasn't all roses however. I declined the MOLTONI'S SUBALPINE WARBLER on Blakeney Point due to lack of...er...belief. Plus the 6 miles on the shingle! There'll be another.
My loyalty to Scilly cost me dear again as I missed the WILSON'S WARBLER on Lewis (there might not be another). One year the BIG 1 WILL arrive on the Fortunate Isles. The THICK-BILLED WARBLER would have been mine if I'd been able to fulfil my booking on Shetland. That hurt!
I also declined the CHESNUT BUNTING which I may also pay dearly for...but that doesn't bother me, for reasons already stated at length.
Now I've reached the magic 500 I've become more philosophical about my twitching travels. I'm still keen, very keen but I try to see the bigger picture of my World Birding. I don't always succeed.
On the County scene I managed a couple of additions, namely Gull-billed Tern at Old Moor on the 16th June, the day after the CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING!!!. This was a superb grip-back after missing the Thorne Moors bird due to the fact I'd just had my ill-fated hip surgery.Very satisfying this one!! I also eventually connected with the Little Bittern at the same site. A massive county tick. This bird kept me waiting quite a while but eventually stayed for months. These two bring my County list to 380.
I added a surprising and pleasing number of species to my Patch list. Only Dotterel and Jay fitted into the "had" to be there category. One day soon a MEGA will fit into that category, hopefully next year.
American Golden Plover
Hoopoe - yes I know! Can't believe this was my first. I've probably not recorded some past sightings?
This brings my Patch total to 277.
272 of which have been seen in the recently expanded Spurn recording area. For the record the "missing" species are...
Great Northern Diver - another embarrassing omission to be put right next year.
I added Mute Swan and Pied Flycatcher to my Holmpton list which now stands at an extremely modest 143. Plenty to go at there.
It would be rude not to mention the old stomping ground in this review. It's now 3 years since I had a tick at NDC. I persevere with grilling the Teal for a Green-winged but I still can't find one! So I remain on a tantalising 149. Hopefully a stonker will turn up for my landmark 150?
An additional bonus at the end of 2015 is an armchair British tick. Not exactly edge of the seat stuff I admit. I do follow BOU decisions however, whether I agree with them or not, so NORTHERN HARRIER makes it's way onto my list which now stands at 501.
There we are then. Here's to a bird-filled 2016. Good Birding to you all and a Happy and Healthy New Year!