Thursday, 31 December 2015

Review of 2015


After a very slow start in January, I had my first rarity of the year mid-way through the month: the BONAPARTE'S GULL at Dawlish Warren.

BONAPARTE'S GULL - Dawlish Warren

This was quickly followed by the much more obliging Little Bunting at Forest Farm, Cardiff, which gave views down to just a few meters.

 Little Bunting - Forest Farm


On my 4th attempt, I had good views of 2 of the PENDULINE TITS at Darts Farm.


Also seen this month was the Yellow-Browed Warbler at Branscombe, and also had much better views of the BONAPARTE'S GULL at Radipole.



Travelled up to Norfolk at the start of the month to visit relatives. Had good views of an Iceland Gull and 2 male Lapland Buntings.

Iceland Gull - Weybourne

Lapland Buntings - Weybourne

Also in Norfolk, we had views of the Great Grey Shrike from the car window at Grime's Graves.

Great Grey Shrike - Grime's Graves

I also had good but distant views of the Green-Winged Teal at Greylake along with many others this month.

Green-Winged Teal - Greylake

Undoubted highlight of my year though was the adult female HUDSONIAN GODWIT that graced Shapwick Heath on the 25th, the 3rd ever British record.



Had to return to Shapwick heath to get some better shots of the HUDSONIAN GODWIT:


We had distant views of the American Golden Plover at Exminster Marshes as well.

American Golden Plover - Exminster Marshes

Also, I eventually got a chance to take a look at the GREATER YELLOWLEGS in Hampshire and the RED-FOOTED FALCON in Dorset.




Went over the West Sussex for the Pagham HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL. A good bird but didn't have anything else of note this month.



Had the distant views of the LESSER SCAUP at Blagdon Lake from the bottom end mid-month.


Went back up to Norfolk this month where we had good views of the Icterine Warbler atBurnham Dunes:

Icterine Warbler -Burnham Overy

A week in Scotland produced relatively little, but the undoubted highlight was the BLACK STORK at Loch of Strathbeg which showed at really close range:

 BLACK STORK - Loch of Strathbeg

Also got to add the Long-Eared Owl which also showed incredibly well that day:

Long-Eared Owl - Loch of Strathbeg

 On our first day on Mull, we managed 3 (1 ad, 2 juv) White-Tailed Eagles between Dervaig and Calgary:

 White-Tailed Eagle - Dervaig


Refound the Cattle Egret on Noah's Lake at Shapwick Heath this month.

Cattle Egret - Shapwick Heath

Had distant views of the Black Brant from Mudbank Road in Exmouth. Also saw the cackling goose though it was probably an escaped bird.

Also saw the Buff-Breasted Sandpiper at White Nothe.

Buff-Breasted Sandpiper - White Nothe


Had rubbish views of the Pallas's Warbler at Brean Down towards the end of the month.

Also had rubbish views of the Serin in Exmouth at the end of the month.

Serin - Exmouth


Had very close views of the Glossy Ibis at Pilning Wetlands this month, though I got soaked in the process!

Glossy Ibis - Pilning Wetlands

Also drove over to Andover where we had good views of the 2 1st winter female Ring-Necked Ducks at Rooksbury Mills:

Ring-Necked Duck - Rooksbury Mills


On the 16th, I found 2 very showy Yellow-Browed Warblers at Yeovil Openspace. It wasn't until the 23rd that I managed a half decent picture:

Yellow-Browed Warbler - Yeovil Openspace

After 2 attempts, we had poor views of the American Wigeon at Exminster Marshes.

American Wigeon - Exminster Marshes

Went up to Norfolk this month to visit relatives at Christmas and managed a couple days birding while I was up there. On the 26th I had distant views of the PALLID HARRIER at Flitcham and close views of the Iceland Gull in King's Lynn:

Iceland Gull - King's Lynn

On the 28th, I had distant views of one of the Rough-Legged Buzzards at Choosley Drying Barns, close views of the 3 Shore Larks at Holme Dunes and also the 3 Tundra race Bean Geese and a Black Brant at Cley Marshes.

Rough-Legged Buzzard - Choosley Drying Barns

Shore Lark - Holme Dunes

Tundra Bean Geese - Cley Marshes

Black Brant - Cley Marshes

On the last day of the year, I finally managed to catch up with the FERRUGINOUS DUCK and Ring-Billed Gull at Blashford Lakes, a nice way to round off the year.

FERRUGINOUS DUCK - Blashford Lakes

Ring-Billed Gull - Blashford Lakes

  All in all, not a bad year. Good birding to all in 2016!