Monday 31 December 2012

2012 ....... REVIEW

Well its that time of year again when i look back on my last years birding with fond memories , 2012 did not produce lots of lifers for me , i only had 4 Lifers and a year list of 226 . However i did see some amazing birds and had some great trips , here is a review of 2012 and i have added a picture of my bird of the month ( where possible ) .

JANUARY       Year list : 105

Many highlights this month including :  Western Sandpiper , Coues Arctic Redpoll , Ring Necked Duck , Ferruginus Duck and Dark Eyed Junco . However the bird of the month for me came in my first lifer of the year , a quite stunning male Spanish Sparrow .

Male Spanish Sparrow in Hampshire.

FEBRUARY   Year List : 118 .

I added 13 year ticks this month , the main event happened in Wales with quite simply fantastic views of a 1st winter male Common Yellowthroat , this was not a lifer for me but was most definitely bird of the month  , i also saw a male Lesser Scaup nearby .

Male Lesser Scaup.

And bird of the month.
1st Winter Common Yellowthroat

MARCH  Year List : 134

16 year ticks added this month , highlights included Common Crane , Garganey , Dartford Warbler , Richards Pipit and brief views of a Humes Yellow Browed Warbler, However although not the rarest bird i saw this month i have chosen the two Glossy Ibis  that i saw at Radipole Lake in Dorset as my bird of the month .

Two Glossy Ibis .

APRIL   Year List : 167 

I added 33 year ticks this month and i had an amazing trip to Scotland to thank for that, many highlights this month  including all the Scottish speciality's plus King Eider , Hoopoe , Iceland Gull and Greater Yellowlegs ,i had a lot to choose from for my bird of the month and i finally chose this amazing Capercallie .

Male Capercallie .

 MAY       Year List : 191

24 year ticks added this month , May never disappoints and this year was no different , waders were well represented with good views of  Kentish Plover , Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint , i also had superb views of a Nightjar  in broad daylight at Pagham , plus great views of 2 adult summer plumage White Winged Black Terns at Stodmarsh .

White Winged Black Tern at Stodmarsh 

However my bird of the month was an adult summer plumage Squacco Heron at Chew Valley Lake in Somerset.

Squacco Heron in Somerset .

JUNE    Year List : 199

Another 8 year ticks added this month with good views of , Night Heron , Woodlark and Goshawk , however i have chosen two species as my birds of the month , they are both predominately black and white in colouration and both species have long legs and bills , and they are Black Winged Stilt and my second lifer of the year 3 Whites Storks in Sussex .

 Black Winged Stilt .

3 White Storks .

JULY   Year List : 200

Only 1 year tick this month and that was at Oare Marshes in Kent and that was two smart Wood Sandpipers .

Two Wood Sandpiper.

AUGUST    Year List : 203.

Only 3 year ticks this month all at Dungeness in Kent which were Arctic Tern , Arctic Skua and my bird of the month Little Gull . 

Little Gull .

SEPTEMBER   Year List : 218

This was an amazing month with top quality birds seen through out , starting with my third lifer of the year in the form of a Short Billed Dowitcher in Dorset where i also saw a Monarch .

Monarch .

I also had great views of a male Red Footed Falcon in Chichester plus a smart looking Baillons Crake at Rainham Marshes in Essex.

Baillons Crake .

 However the highlight of the month was on my trip to Shetland when i finally connected with a quite stunning Lanceolated Warbler which was my fourth and final lifer of the year , other highlights this month included : Little Bunting , Common Rosefinch and Red Backed Shrike .

Lanceolated Warbler .

OCTOBER  Year List : 225

7 year ticks added this month all of top quality , starting off with an adult Red Breasted Goose at South Swale , then Reculver produced Dusky Warbler , Lapland Bunting and Shorelark , however a trip to Norfolk on the 25 th was amazing with thousands of thrushes everywhere , i also added Arctic Warbler and Ring Ouzel to my year list on this trip but the bird of the month was an amazing view of a very special bird indeed and that was a Red Flanked Bluetail .

Red Flanked Bluetail .

NOVEMBER   Year List : 225

No birding this month with work and other commitments getting in the way so year list still stands at 225 .

DECEMBER  Year List : 226

Only one year tick this month and that was Waxwing with 35 birds seen near Yorketts on the 2nd and a further 20+ birds seen near my local Tescos on the 24 th increasing to 50 + birds on the 29th  , other than that a trip to Oare Marshes produce excellent views of a Kingfisher , however bird of the month goes to Waxwing.

Waxwing .


  1. A good read Rob and a great selection, I'm actually most envious of the Capercaillie, the only resident I still need for the british isles.
    Happy New Year :-)

  2. Great account with some brilliant birds seen.


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