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.
PENDULINE TITS - 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.
BONAPARTE'S GULL - 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.
HUDSONIAN GODWIT - Shapwick Heath
Had to return to Shapwick heath to get some better shots of the HUDSONIAN GODWIT:
HUDSONIAN GODWIT - Shapwick Heath
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.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS - Titchfield Haven
RED-FOOTED FALCON - Wareham
Went over the West Sussex for the Pagham HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL. A good bird but didn't have anything else of note this month.
HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL - Pagham Harbour
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
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!