Monday 31 December 2018

A last minute addition to the year list

Setting off at 6.30am this morning we found ourselves in North Walsham for first light and very quickly found the wintering Black-bellied Dipper no more than ten feet from the car. It spent most of the time in a very dark part of the river and was happy swimming, diving and feeding but it did give a very quick flight under the bridge allowing a record shot before it flew back down the river.
Whilst here I found a Kingfisher sitting on a boat and as I approached it flew to sit on the Fishing sign allowing a very quick record in very poor light but it made for a nice image all the same.

Black-bellied Dipper North Walsham
Kingfisher at North Walsham
Waxwing in Norwich
On the drive back we stopped in Norwich to collect a very late year tick in the form of four Waxwings which even in the gloom still gave some good opportunity with the camera.

Here's to tomorrow and the start of yet another year list.
Here's to the places it will take me and to the memories it will create.
Happy New Year and may it bring you health and happiness.

Colour ringed Waxwing

Wednesday 26 December 2018

Review of the year 2018

2018 saw my youngest get married with family visiting from the states and Australia which kept us busy and was a great catch up. My eldest had a baby my first grandchild and what a treasure little George is. Birding has suffered a bit as we try to help the new parents through the first months of parenthood but it's still been a good year.

I have picked up a few lifers with the Ross's Gull at Radipole in February being the first of the year followed by the two in April being the American Bittern and the Green Heron. I then had to wait until October to bag my next lifer but the Wanstead Rustic Bunting was quickly followed by Grey Catbird and Stegneger's Stonechat. A November week in Norfolk landed me in the right place to bag a Pallid Swift and I also have the Dungeness American Black Tern (if they split it),  Some memorable twitches among this lot from a trip to Lands End to an MP's garden in Wales.

The life list stands at 399 with a still pending Cackling Goose and an American Lark waiting in the wings too so 2019 should see me break that 400 mark which will be good.

There's been some good trips but sadly no real birding holidays.
The best bird was probably the Pom Skua in Cleveland and the best twitch had to be the Catbird.

The year list was not so memorable with just 253 seen despite my best ever day one count. I put this down to the birth of my grandson George and an excessive commitment to work which I plan to address in 2019.

Here's to a better total in 2019 and a few images to reflect the year just gone.

The Pom
Wild Boar
Bittern at Dunge
Cattle Egret at Elmley
Swallow at Minsmere
Cuckoo at Thursley
Arctic Redpoll
Green Heron
Penduline Tit
Snowy Owl at Snettisham
Spotted Sandpiper
And George!
Footnote..year list finished on 254 with the Waxwings in Norwich on 31st December.
Better late than never.