Amidst all this I've even had time for some birding!
A trip to Scilly's again in September for Black & White Warbler and Solitary Sandpiper was only marred by the disappointment of missing the elusive Northern Water Thrush. Still, Groucho & I couldn't complain with two out of three and a supporting cast of Blue-winged Teal, Semi-palmated Sandpiper & Lesser Yellowlegs thrown in.....................that attitude lasted about a week as the news came out almost daily on the Waterthrush. Unable to join the mid-week crew I went the following weekend with
October saw us setting of for our annual trip to Shetland with anticipation running high. Surely this would be the year I finally got to see at least one of the Shetland specialities I hanker after? A great trip with 5 BBRC rarities seen - Pallid Harrier, Isabelline Shrike, Olive-backed Pipit, Buff-bellied Pipit and Black-headed Bunting. BUT, still no Lanceolated, Pallas's Grasshopper, White's Thrush or Yellow-breasted Bunting. Arse! Oh well it gives me an excuse to go back next year. I love the place and the flights booked already.
As usually happens something good turns up on Shetland AFTER we leave but this time it had the decency to leave it a week or so. What happens whilst I'm in
With such a Sibe 'mega' under the belt was there time for any more surprises? Yep. A Veery on the Isle of Muck Where the f*ck is Muck. Google proved its worth but, arse, another remote and virtually inaccessible
So what of
A phone call from Steve Williams in June to say he'd caught a
For sheer excitement and 'value' the Red-flanked Bluetail on Hilbre in October will take a lot of beating. Not only was it a first for Hilbre & Cheshire but also the first for the N W region and after being caught and ringed it stayed and performed to around 60 birders who waded across as the tide ebbed.
Steve Hind came up trumps again with two Common Cranes on the salt marsh off
There's the year in a nutshell. Eight