Friday, 30 December 2016

2016 in twelve photos...

Long-billed Dowitcher at Cresswell Pond - showed really well for the fist four months of the year and gained nearly full summer plumage before it departed.

Bluethroat on Holy Island - followed a male at Hartlepool the previous day.
Western Subalpine Warbler on Holy Island - seen on the same day as the Bluethroat, this completed a great weekend which also included another Bluethroat, a pair of Whiskered Terns, a male Grey-headed Wagtail and 10 Dotterel.

Humpback Whale out of Reykjavik - one of five seen on an epic whale watching trip out of Iceland's capital which also produced Minke Whales, White-beaked Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises. Birds on our holiday included a 'Blue' Fulmar and a female Harlequin Duck with 4 chicks.
Spotted Sandpiper at Hauxley - five american waders were seen in Northumberland during 2016: Long-billed Dowitcher, Spotted, White-rumped, Baird's and Pectoral Sandpipers.
White-rumped Sandpiper at Amble - my best self find of the year.
Franklin's Gull at Whittle Dene Reservoir - just the second for Northumberland this was a nice surprise in mid-September.
Pallas's Warbler on Holy Island - one of two on the island today with this bird being self-found. Other highlights for us on Holy Island throughout the autumn include 3 Red-breasted Flycatchers, Great Grey Shrike, Yellow-browed Warblers, Black Redstarts, Siberian Chiffchaff and lots of commoner birds. We don't like to think about the dips... 
Siberian Accentor at Hendon - our first of the autumn! Another was seen at Newbiggin a few weeks later. The influx of Siberian Accentors was without a doubt my highlight of the year.
Isabelline Shrike at South Shields - perhaps one of the easiest twitches of the year, it was great to be able to just stand still and watch this long awaited lifer for a few hours.
Eastern Black Redstart at Hartlepool - the autumn never really stopped giving! Other late autumn highlights included a self found Richard's Pipit and 7 Shore Larks at Chevington.
Dusky Thrush in Beeley - combined with a Pallid Harrier in Yorkshire later in the day, a great way to end the year!
Overall: 229 (including 13 BB rarities: Long-billed Dowitcher, Whiskered Terns, Bonaparte's Gull, Spotted Sandpiper, Franklin's Gull, Baird's Sandpiper, 2 SIBERIAN ACCENTORSKing Eider, Isabelline Shrike, Eastern Black Redstart, DUSKY THRUSH, Pallid Harrier)

Top 5 birds of the year

  1. SIBERIAN ACCENTORS - Hendon and Newbiggin on 15th and 30th of October.
  2. Pallas's Warblers (one self found) - Holy Island on 8th of October.
  3. White-rumped Sandpiper (self found) - Amble on 21st of August.
  4. Pallid Harrier - Welwick on 10th of December.
  5. Spotted Sandpiper - Hauxley on 13th of August.
Self finds
2016 was a lot better than we could of hoped for in terms of finds with my highlights being White-rumped Sandpiper, Pallas's Warbler and Richard's Pipit, while my dad found Glossy Ibis and Red-breasted Flycatcher. I'm really hoping our run of good fortune continues in 2017!

Happy new year and thanks for reading my blog!!


  1. Now that's what i call a great years birding , hope you have a great 2017 , Happy New Year.

    1. Cheers Rob, if only all years were this good! I hope you have a great 2017 too!