Thursday, 29 December 2016

Review of the year 2016

Looking back on 2016 it's been one of the best since I started birding and listing. Rarities have just kept on coming all year.

Black Duck at Strontian
My year list reached a reasonable 280 only five short of my best ever.
I crossed paths with a respectable 14 lifers (15 if Birt gets accepted) taking the life list to 381/2

Hooded Merganser  27th February in Wiltshire
Black Duck  27th April in Strontian Scotland
Iberian Chiffchaff 30th April in Telford
Rufous Turtle Dove  1st May in Otford Kent
Western Bonelli's Warbler 8th May on Gibraltar Point Lincs
Franklin's Gull  13th May at Abberton in Essex
Great-spotted Cuckoo 15th May at Portland in Dorset
Great Reed Warbler 17th May at Paxton in Cambs.
Western Swamphen 23rd September in Alkborough, Lincs
Radde's Warbler  9th October at Holkham in Norfolk
Siberian Accentor  16th October at Easington in Yorkshire
Cliff Swallow 5th November at Minsmere in Suffolk
Forster's Tern 19th November at Mistley in Essex
Blyth's Pipit 20th December at Blagdon in Somerset
The Blue Rock Thrush firmly on the pending list with fingers crossed for it.

Great Spotted Cuckoo
Blue Rock Thrush
The star bird was obviously the Siberian Accentor and the biggest dip was the Alpine Accentor at Gibraltar but we did pick up a Western Bonelli's on that day so all was not lost.

Siberian Accentor
I visited Scotland for a week in April and finally found the Black Duck
A day trip to Skomer was memorable and a winter break in Norfolk was a nice end to the year.

Puffin on Skomer
Snow Bunting at Salthouse
Close encounters included Hobby at Dungeness, Jack Snipe at Elmley, Baird's Sandpiper at Reculver, Black Guillemot at Oban, Great-spotted Cuckoo in Portland, Hoopoe in Hinksford, Cirl Bunting in Devon and of course the Snow Buntings in Norfolk.

Hobby at Dunge
Jack Snipe at Elmley
Best twitch would be the Cuckoo I think, nice place good crowd and a great bird and the worst this year would have to be the Turtle Dove, something about the urban twitch just isn't right but when you need to you need to as with the Blue Rock Thrush.

I missed a few easy yearticks again namely Nightjar, Quail, Ruddy Duck, Honey Buzzard, Grey Phalarope, Pom and Long-tailed Skua, Iceland Gull, and Common Redpoll. All birds I could and should have added. (would have given me my biggest year yet at 290) not to mention a few others I could have gone for. I hope the Pelican doesn't become a regret and the biggest miss was the Tawny Pipit at Dunge which I really should have seen.

Still no trip to Scilly so still missing the big three Shearwaters and the Wilsons Petrel.
maybe 2017...who knows?

I went for and dipped the White-crowned Sparrow in Cheshire missing it by minutes on-route home from Scotland and think that was the only dip of 2016 but I may be guilty of selective memory there?

Favourite pic is one of my notables from Birdguides...the Firecrest again taken at Dunge.

Firecrest at Dunge
Will I be year listing again in bet!
It takes you to places in search of year ticks but in the process you stumble on some great photo ops and like the Black Duck occasionally it delivers a lifer without the twitch and you just never know what you might encounter on the day. I'd like to get the 19 lifers I need for the 400 but guess I'll come up a bit short in all honesty and it may still be a couple of years away.

Time and money will as always play there part in my exploits but I look forward to starting again on what looks like a very wet January 1st....see you at Titchwell!

Thanks for reading my continued scribbles and best of luck to you and yours in 2017

1 comment:

  1. Nice end of year blog and well done on your lifers I had 7 this year the best being the Great Spotted Cuckoo, Black Winged Stilt, Glossy Ibis and a Lesser Yellowlegs with a Green-winged Teal.