Sunday, 29 December 2013

The ones that got away

I'm sitting here contemplating a mad trip down to Devon where a White-billed Diver has decided to winter.
It's 250 miles away, a drive of some 4 hours or more and would easily break my two hour rule.
It would mean setting off around 5am to be in Devon for about 9am and hopefully the bird is there and shows itself to us for our trouble. The risk of course with any twitch is that the bird "does a bunk".

250 miles from A - B
Of course I also need to consider the cost as 500 miles will set me back at least £80 in diesel.
Anyway while I continue with this current dilemma I thought I'd take a minute to reflect on some of the other great birds I've missed this year mostly due to my two hour rule which keeps a check on both the time and money I spend on the hobby.

Top 20 missed in no particular order but all leave me with some regret whilst I'm hopeful that I may be lucky enough to catch up with them in the future.

1) Bridled Tern in Northumberland
2) Ivory Gull in Yorkshire
3) Bailkal Teal in Lancashire
4) Harlequin Duck in North Uist
5) Surf Scoter in Dorset
6) Mourning Dove on the Isle of Rum
7) Needle-tailed Swift on the Isle of Harris
8) Orphean Warbler in Wales
9) Sardinian Warbler up at St Abbs Head
10) Hermit Thrush in Cornwall
11) Thrush Nightingale in Hartlepool
12) Rock Thrush in Yorkshire
13) Pine Grosbeak on Shetland
14) Cape May Warbler on Shetland
15) Great Snipe in Yorkshire
16) Short-Toed Lark in Lincolnshire
17) Collared Flycatcher in Northumberland
18) Pied Wheatear in Nottinghamshire
19) Rustic Bunting in Yorkshire
20) Little Bunting at Houghton-le-spring

I dipped a Brown Shrike this year down in Hampshire and a Bea Eater on the south coast but otherwise my trips have been pretty kind to me this year but I do wish I had more money and more time that would allow me to make the trips above and connect with some of these  wonderful visitors to our shores but having said all that 2013 has been a good year and the birding has been fantastic again taking me to some great places along the way.

I've also looked at birds seen this year that I didn't see last year and likewise the birds I saw last year but didn't see this year, made for an interesting read. (well it did to me anyway)

Now can I really make the trip to Devon before I go back to work....I doubt it but never say never!

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