Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Summary of 2014

Well that's another year of birding almost over so it's time for an annual summary of highs and lows.

The life list moved on nicely to 351 with some sixteen new birds seen including......

Hume's Leaf Warbler at Dungeness Kent
Yellow-rumped Warbler in High Shincliffe Co.Durham
American Coot in Loch Flemington Scotland
Baikal Teal on the Ouse Washes Cambridgeshire (pending acceptance)
Red-rumped Swallow Thamesmead London
Blyth's Reed Warbler at Wanstead London
Spectacled Warbler at Burnham Overy Norfolk
Short-toed Eagle in the Ashdown Forest East Sussex
Great Knot at Breydon Water Norfolk
Collared Pratincole at Minsmere Suffolk
Bee-Eaters on the Isle of Wight
Masked Shrike in Kilnsea Yorkshire
Little Crake at Minsmere Suffolk
Southern Grey Shrike at Burnham Norton Norfolk
Surf Scoter at Holkham Bay Norfolk
Isabelline Wheatear at Seaton Snook Yorkshire

So I've included these 16 with the Baikal Teal being just a bit wobbly at this stage but I think it'll be accepted so it's on my pending list.

Best of this bunch has to be the Eagle which I managed to see on a few occasions and at good range.
The Bee-Eaters have long been on my want list so it was nice to finally nail them.
Our short Scotland break gave us the chance to connect with the long staying American Coot and work took me within striking distance of the Yellow-rumped Warbler, the Masked Shrike and the Isabelline Wheatear. We dipped Black Duck whilst in Scotland this year and also failed with Great Reed Warbler and Black-headed Bunting.

I missed some crackers this year with my self imposed two hour rule.
Birds such as Blyth's Pipit, Black Scoter, Pacific Diver, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, The returning Bridled Tern, Ross's Gull, Franklin's Gull, American Herring Gull, Great Spotted & Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-eyed Vireo, Short-toed Lark, Crag Martin, Eastern-crowned Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Collared Flycatcher, Siberian Stonechat, Citrine Wagtail, Tawny Pipit, Terek Sandpiper, Radde's Warbler, Isabelline Shrike and Ortolan Bunting. That's 26 lifers right there should time and money not be an obstacle in pursuit of this crazy hobby and there's a good few more if I look past the mainland.

The year list reached a modest 270 my lowest total for three years and I ended up 18th on the Bubo List of British year listers. Let's hope 2015 brings the birds and allows the time to find them.

A few of my favourite images from 2014

Desert Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear
Barred Warbler
Cattle Egret

Purple Sandpiper
Red-backed Shrike
Little Owl
Red Kite
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

And here's to a great 2015 with it all starting again on the 1st Jan.

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