Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Happy days 2014 13th January 2015

The year 2014 was for me a fulfilling year for birding incorporating visits to many locations around Great Britain and achieving two memorable and long overdue firsts with visits to The Farne Islands and to Skomer. It was not all about rare birds either but many of the less rare species gave me just as much satisfaction and pleasure. 

In many cases on my various quests to see birds I have found myself in beautiful surroundings and in the company of good friends and like minded colleagues, and this is the beauty of my hobby, in that it takes me to unknown and out of the way locations that I would never dream of visiting. In a minority the surroundings were less salubrious but all had one huge benefit in that they harboured 'a good bird or birds'. Also, wherever I go in this country or further afield, there are always birds to watch, be it just the humble House Sparrow or more exotic species.They all give me an undiminished thrill

I have drawn up a somewhat random and eclectic pictorial record of birds I have been lucky enough to encounter  throughout the last year and hope you enjoy looking at them but I would also like you to consider these alarming and depressing facts. Birds are becoming ever more scarce in our country and throughout the world. The way we are managing and treating our natural environment is unsustainable. In the last thirty years since 1980, Europe has lost 20% of its bird population. That equals a staggering 420 million individual birds. The UK's overseas territories contain more species facing extinction than in the whole of mainland Europe. Modern farming practices, climate change, human population growth, hunting, deforestation, financial greed, self interest et al, the combined pressures are mounting all the time and we are witnessing a slow but inevitable eroding of our rich biodiversity as our government and most other governments worldwide seem incapable of understanding or are just unwilling to accept what they are doing to their respective countries and indeed to the planet in general.

No bird should be called common anymore. They are an endangered precious resource that is rapidly being diminished. It is so ironic that in this country, as more and more people take up an interest in birds so there are less and less birds to look at. Enjoy them while you can.

Eurasian Wigeon Norfolk January 2014
Northern Hawk Owl Holland January 2014
Should be in northern Scandinavia
American Coot Inverness Scotland January 2014
Should be in USA
Male Brambling Staffordshire February 2014
Adult Glaucous Gull Littlehampton West Sussex February 2014
Juvenile Kumlien's Gull Littlehampton West Sussex  February 2014
Red flanked Bluetail Gloucestershire February 2014
Should be spending the winter in India
Second winter Glaucous Gull Littlehampton West Sussex February 2014
Purple Sandpiper Newhaven East Sussex February 2014
Male Parrot Crossbill Norfolk March 2014

Rock Pipit Argyll & Bute Scotland March 2014
Black Guillemot Argyll & Bute Scotland March 2014
Wood Warbler Oxfordshire April 2014
Male Red crested Pochard  Oxfordshire April 2014
White tailed Eagle Isle of Mull Scotland  June 2014
Ptarmigan Cairngorm Inverness Scotland  June 2014

Male Snow Bunting Cairngorm Inverness Scotland June 2014

Male Spectacled Warbler Norfolk June 2014
Should be breeding in Spain or North Africa
Puffin  Skomer Wales June 2014
Short toed Eagle East Sussex June 2014
Should be in southern Europe or Africa
Sandwich Tern Farne Islands June 2014
Melodious Warbler Dungeness Kent August 2014
On the wrong side of the Channel!
Juvenile Little Stint Oxfordshire August 2014
Juvenile Curlew Sandpipers Oxfordshire August 2014
Juvenile Ruff  & Reeve Oxfordshire September 2014
Juvenile Black tailed Godwit Oxfordshire September 2014
Juvenile Barred Warbler Norfolk September 2014
Should be in Asia

Male Vermilion Flycatcher  Ecuador October 2014

Crimson rumped Toucanet Ecuador October 2014

Chestnut crowned Antpitta Ecuador October 2014

Golden naped Tanager Ecuador October 2014

Toucan Barbet Ecuador October 2014

Male Desert Wheatear Norfolk December 2014
Should be in North Africa

Male Snow Bunting Norfolk December 2014

Adult Ring billed Gull Hampshire December 2014
Should be in USA


  1. It really is scary and all my younger hopes that mankind through its elected governments would do the necessary for all species including our own have turned to despair.
    Barry Hudson.

  2. Having lived all my life around Cuddesdon/Garsington area I can't help comparing this brown desert with its stunted,flailed hedges with what I enjoyed as a young man.There has been no compromise with the pursuit of wealth and now it's a matter of not what birds did you see but did you see any birds?.