Wednesday, 5 January 2011

So That Was 2010

This post really should have been written and posted five days ago.... better late than never though I suppose!

First of all, I'd like to wish all my readers - whether you are avid followers, or just dip in once in a while - a Happy New Year!

Any birding blog wouldn't be complete without some sort of review of the year, so here's mine...

I will most remember the year of 2010 on patch for...

The Mega; Solitary Sandpiper on Black Hole Marsh - first for Devon. Thanks for the photo Brett.

The Other Yank; Long-billed Dowitcher at Boshill Cross, a nice late autumn surprise and patch first number two.

The Educational; the greyish Yellow Wagtail at Colyford WTW, it was nice to be a part of helping to clinch the I.D. of it - hopefully! Potentially another patch first.

The Overdue; this Bittern and two Bearded Tits (unphotographed) at Colyford Common being long overdue patch ticks for me. I am STILL waiting for a patch Turtle Dove.

The Spring Delight; a one-day Alpine Swift over Musbury and Lower Bruckland Ponds.

The Endearing; this autumn Dotterel at Axe Cliff.

The Brute; this stonking Glaucous Gull in November - a long overdue find tick for me!

The Swans; both Whooper and Bewick's Swans were present during both winter periods.

The Waders; as well as the rare waders already mentioned, we enjoyed superb wader fun at Black Hole Marsh, with good numbers and excellent variety - Little Ringed Plover and Ruff pictured above.

But most of all, I will remember 2010 on patch for....

The Snow; Exceptional spells of cold weather at each end of the year caused havoc for our feathered friends. Although it was sad to see so many birds struggling and having to come into gardens to survive, some of the spectacles it produced were incredible, with thousands of birds searching for food (mostly wildfowl, waders, thrushes and larks).

I had a few off-patch highights too, including two little trips away....

Norfolk in January; I will miss not going this year.

A Trip Down Memory Lane; My first trip back to Spurn since working here in 2004/05.

There was even the odd twitch too...

Black Kite Gigrin Farm

Bufflehead The Fleet

Stupidly tame Lapland Bunting Berry Head

I had a very productive year bird ringing too. I am close to my C Permit now, and all these helped me along the way....

From top to bottom; Storm Petrel Hartland Point, Tufted Duck Radipole Lake, Ruff and Shoveler Seaton Marshes, Common Snipe Colyford Common

Back to the patch, and there were many non-birdie highlights for 2010 too. I could be here for another day writing about my top moths of 2010, I just simply don't have the time. But I just couldn't write this post without an Otter photo...

At least three of these spent the first winter period on patch - what a treat.

Other important landmarks this year included my parents' Ruby Wedding Anniversary and on Oct 1st, becoming Devon County Recorder.

Now to balance things out a little, there's a few things that 2010 on patch WON'T be remembered for...

Sea Watching; it really was a dreadful year for this 'pastime', with few records of even some of the commoner sea bird species.

Summer Migrants; it was a poor year for grounded spring and autumn migrants, the spring was especially a total disaster! For example the Grasshopper Warbler shown above was the only one I saw OR heard in the whole year, most springs I hear several reeling birds.

Wrynecks; we did have one on patch (the lower bird at Seaton Marshes) and one just off patch (the upper bird at Waggs Plot) my ability at NOT being able to find my own Wryneck continues to shine!!!! It was a incredible autumn in the UK for this species, so I really should have managed to find one this year.

And that is that. 2010 is gone, and 2011 is well underway. Birding wise it has started off very well, and you will be able to read about it on here in the not too distant future. Once again, Happy New Year.


  1. & how about a prediction for 2011?
    A big Pipit, or nice Wheatear both very possible, Spotted Crake on BHM, and a Shrike (any). Or maybe Waxwing - couldnt resist :-)

    I've just got that feeling of a really good spring bird - time to break the March bogey.
    Kentish maybe?

    Love the blog tho' the Glauc does me in a bit...

  2. Slender-billed Gull, late May :-)