Follow by Email

Friday, 31 December 2010

Year comes to a close

A total of 435 species was recorded in Britain and Ireland during 2010 - making it the second highest annual total of all time. I managed to see 358 of these - equivalent to 82% - but in terms of 'new birds' for high-ranking listers, these were few and far between - just one in many cases (the ship-assisted Indian House Crow in County Cork).

For those 1,000 members listed with 400 species or more, the year's additions included a THAYER'S GULL in Ireland in the early part of the year and a male LESSER KESTREL at Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk) in early spring. Otherwise, the highlights in spring were a first-summer male MARMORA'S WARBLER in South Wales and a long-staying ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE in Lincolnshire.

A long-awaited twitchable SYKES'S BOOTED WARBLER kick-started the autumn at Druridge Bay CP, Northumberland, in mid-August, with the afore-mentioned INDIAN HOUSE CROW appearing in September.

On the mainland, the best September offerings were an ALDER FLYCATCHER on Blakeney Point (Norfolk), an EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER at Flamborough Head (East Yorks) and an ASIATIC BROWN FLYCATCHER at Bempton (East Yorks) whilst the Isles of Scilly highlighted with BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR and EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL and the various Northern Isles produced yet more HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS, a twitchable LANCEOLATED WARBLER, several PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLERS, two SYKES'S BOOTED WARBLERS and a SWAINSON'S THRUSH. There were also a SOLITARY SANDPIPER at Seaton (South Devon) and twitchable OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT and WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLERS in North Norfolk.

In the later autumn, the first twitchable AMERICAN BITTERN for 19 years - at Trewey Common, Zennor, at the end of October - was well received, as were two different HERMIT THRUSHES on the Outer Hebrides, a first-winter female NORTHERN PARULA on Tiree (Argyll) and 2-3 MYRTLE WARBLERS in western Ireland.