Tuesday, 25 December 2018

12 photos from 2018...

Spotted Sandpiper at Holme Pierrepont - we had a few days stay down in Norfolk in February, stopping off to see this Spotted Sand on the way. Highlights from Norfolk included Black Brant, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Golden Pheasant and 17 Parrot Crossbills.
Cyprus Wheatear - in April a family holiday to Cyprus also allowed for some great birding. All three endemics along with plenty of other good sightings including Baillon's Crake, Greater Sand Plover and an extremely early Eleonora's Falcon
Little Bittern at Waren Mill - probably the best bird we saw in the county. The views were amazing and it was a welcome grip back after dipping at Gosforth Park. 
Glossy Ibis at Druridge Pools - during the spring a flash developed in the fields between Druridge and Chevington and it proved extremely attractive to spring migrants. This extremely confiding Glossy Ibis was the pick of the bunch along with a Pectoral Sandpiper and multiple records of Garganey, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper.
Rose-coloured Starling in Ashington - the first of a national influx. Surprisingly a different bird wintered in nearby North Seaton at the end of the year.
Red-breasted Flycatcher - this was the best of a spring fall on Holy Island with other birds including an Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warblers and Red-backed Shrikes
American White-winged Scoter at Musselburgh - we saw this bird twice during the year, in March and September. This photo was taken in September, when we also saw a Woodchat Shrike and Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Barns Ness on the way home. 
Pomarine Skua at Newbiggin - some northerlies in late October gave me the opportunity to finally see my second Pomarine Skuas after a five year wait! Not only this, I also picked up a lifer in the form of a Leach's Petrel
Barred Warbler on Holy Island - just one of the highlights of a decent late autumn. Two Gull-billed Terns at Haughton Strother were a British tick for us and a Spotted Sandpiper showed well in Jarrow. 
Little Swift at Hartlepool Headland - bird of the year, especially with it flying around alongside a Pallid Swift!
White-billed Diver off Stag Rocks - my favourite find of the year. A Bonaparte's Gull also showed well at Stag Rocks that day. 
Red-backed Shrike at Newbiggin - one of the most unexpected sightings of the year with it turning up in December!
246 (including 11 BB rarities: Spotted Sandpiper x2, American White-winged Scoter, Long-billed Dowitcher x2, Little Bittern, Gull-billed Tern, Black Scoter, Little Swift, Pallid Swift, Bonaparte's Gull)

Thanks for reading my blog and have a good Christmas!

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