Saturday 29 December 2018

My Top 5 Highlights of 2018

It's that time of the Year again when i look back over the birding trips i made in 2018 with very fond memories.

So here are my Top 5 Highlights of 2018 :

                                  Number one :  GREY CATBIRD

Grey Catbird.

News of a Grey Catbird at Treeve Moor near Lands End in Cornwall in October  was to good to be true , i had not had a sniff of a Lifer all year and it was beginning to look like i would not get one this year.

However when i finally laid my eyes on this stunning American passerine i was in birdwatching heaven , a really cracking bird to see and to see so well made the whole experience of such a rare bird so much more special, hence why it's my number 1 highlight of 2018.

Grey Catbird.

Number two :   LITTLE SWIFT

Little Swift roosting.

A Little Swift seen on the 11th November in Hartlepool got the pulses racing as i had never seen one before in the UK , and when it was seen going to roost that evening my mind was made up to go the very next day.

We arrived in time to see the Little Swift roosting by the window ledge and great scope views were obtained , it left the roost at 7.18am and we saw it really well flying right over are heads at times by the Town Moor , simply breath taking views made this wonderful bird fly into my number two highlight of 2018.

Little Swift

Number Three :  PALLID SWIFT

Pallid Swift.

Pallid Swift has to be my number 3 highlight of 2018 , as i have dipped and been unable to go for so many of these 'hard to get Swifts' over so many years.

I have heard it called 'Tarts Tick' & 'Bogey Bird' but sometimes it just comes down to pure luck if you see them or not (in my book anyway...!!!).

So on my umpteenth time of trying to see one i finally did on the 13th November at Joss Bay in Thanet , in fact i saw 2 Pallid Swifts together , just like buses.........

Pallid Swift.


White Billed Diver

Kent bird ticks are quite hard to come by these days for me but when a White Billed Diver was seen on Friday evening of 2nd November of Ramsgate (Great find by Scott.H.) i was ever hopeful it would still be around the next day.

Thankfully it was relocated off Botany Bay on the 3rd November and it was quite simply in stunning summer plumage and giving some very close views at times.

This is a very rare bird to see in Kent let alone Thanet and in full summer plumage makes this easily my Number four highlight of 2018.

White Billed Diver.


Great Shearwater.

It's incredibly hard to choose just 5 highlights of the year , however i decided to choose my trip to the Isle of Scilly for a Pelagic weekend birding adventure as my Number 5 highlight of 2018

We did not get the huge numbers of birds we hoped for however we did see pretty much all target species with incredible views of Great Shearwater & Wilson's Petrel.

Plus some amazing views of a Blue Shark.

Blue Shark.

Great Shearwater.

Well that concludes my Top 5 highlights of 2018 , i have had a good years birding and my final totals are :

YEAR LIST :  243



Just like to say many thanks for everyone who has taken the time to visit my blog this year and wish you all  Great Birding for 2019.               



  1. A great selection of photos from some excellent birds. My best wishes to you for a bird filled 2019.