Sunday, 27 December 2015

Not such a bad year - 2015

Violet tailed Sylph
I am off to Colombia for the whole of January 2016 and will return in February 2016

So may I wish a Happy New Year and give thanks to everyone who reads my blog.

Here are some images of birds and wildlife that served to bring such pleasure to my world in 2015

Little Bustard  Fraisthorpe East Yorkshire   1st January 2015
A great start and present for only two days. I have always wanted to see one and I did!
Photo c Tony Dixon

Juvenile Pomarine Skua  Pilling  Lancashire 24th January 2015
No apologies for the two pics. It is my favourite bird with bags of character and
not often seen as close as this
Second winter Kumlien's Gull  Littlehampton West Sussex 30th January 2015
Came back to spend a second winter in 'LA' (L'il 'ampton). Well why not?
Common Buzzard  Kingham  Oxfordshire  3rd February 2015
A very tame and pale individual that hunted worms from the hedgetops by the road

Fieldfare  Churchill  Oxfordshire  4th February 2015
My favourite winter thrush species feeding on crab apples on a very cold day

Immature Laughing Gull, New Brighton  Merseyside 8th February 2015
A visitor from the USA that took up residence in very unlikely surroundings
Long eared Owl  Burton  Mere RSPB Lancashire 8th February 2015
Seen later on the same day as the Laughing Gull and just rounded things off nicely

Little Bunting  Cardiff  Wales  10th February 2015
Watched from just a couple of metres. It was so good I went to see it three times!

Female Ferruginous Duck  Slimbridge  Gloucestershire  10th February 2015
A wild bird apparently, mixing it with the captive ducks in the Rushy Pen

Male European Stonechat  Cheltenham Gloucestershire 14th February 2015
Spending the winter with its mate in an area of set aside on the outskirts of the town

Male Dartford Warbler  Cheltenham  Gloucestershire 14th February 2015
The classic double where a Dartford Warbler turns up with a pair of stonechats

Mandarin Duck  Cannop Ponds  Forest of Dean  Gloucestershire  21st February 2015
Looking totally out of place with its 'over the top' plumage but always welcome

Immature male Harlequin Duck  Aberdeen  Scotland  27th February 2015
It spent over a month on the River Don and featured on BBC 's Winter Watch

Juvenile Glaucous Gull Fraserburgh Harbour Scotland 27th February 2015
A real northern brute that took no nonsense from the other gulls
Mountain Hare  Cairngorms  Scotland  28th February 2015
I have always wanted to see one in its winter coat
Ptarmigan  Cairngorm Ski Slope  Scotland  28th February 2015
Another Cairngorm native in its white winter garb
Crested Tit   Loch Garten RSPB  Scotland  28th February 2015
The rarest of our native tits but easily the most attractive
Adult Ring billed Gull  Dingwall  Ross & Cromarty  Scotland  28th February 2015
Back for its second winter on Dingwall boating lake. A long way from the USA
Penduline Tit   Exmouth   Devon   24th March 2015
It took two visits to see it but was well worth the effort when I got views like this

Juvenile Iceland Gull  Cardiff  Wales 3rd April 2015
Right in the city centre on the River Taff. We tempted it in with a sliced white loaf
Male Garganey  Stratfield Brake  Kidlington  Oxfordshire 4th April 2015
Always an exciting spring migrant especially when giving views like this
Immature Bonaparte's Gull  Radipole Lake RSPB Dorset 7th April 2015
A delicate and attractive small gull that crowned a great day out at Radipole
Common Nightingale  Pulborough  West Sussex   14th April 2015
Songster supreme

Purple Sandpiper Newhaven  East Sussex 24th April 2015
Always a must see on visits to my old haunts in Sussex

Glanville Fritillary Croydon Surrey 30th May 2015
The only one we saw on a dull day but we only needed to see this one for success!

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary  Bentley Wood  Wiltshire  10th June 2015
The triumphal result after much searching

Marsh Fritillary nr Salisbury Wiltshire 10th June 2015
The fourth species of fritillary we saw in one day

Hudsonian Whimbrel  Pagham West Sussex 11th June 2015
The North American version of 'our' Whimbrel and very rare!
Photo c Matt Eade

Male Cretzchmar's Bunting  Bardsey Island  Wales 18th June 2015
You would not believe the logistics that were necessary to see this elusive beauty
Photo c Matt Eade

Thrift Clearwing  Bardsey Island  Wales 18th June 2015
A very rare moth that the warden showed us while we were twitching the bunting
Photo c Steve Smith

Black Hairstreak  Oxfordshire 25th June 2015
Much coveted by butterfly enthusiasts and our local lepidopteran rarity

White Letter Hairstreak  Brighton Sussex 11th July 2015
Often hard to see but in the Brighton Pavilion Gardens not so!

Male Purple Emperor  Bernwood Forest  Oxfordshire 15th July 2015
The supreme native butterfly of the British Isles

Brown Hairstreak  Oxfordshire 2nd August 2015
We look for it with eager anticipation every year and are never disappointed
Acadian Flycatcher  Dungeness  Kent  22nd September 2015
The first ever for the UK and only present for one day. A mad dash to see it in the rain
Photo c Steve Nuttall
Juvenile Citrine Wagtail  Spurn  East Yorkshire  4th October 2015
The first one I have ever seen in the UK or anywhere else for that matter!
Isabelline Shrike  Beeston  Norfolk  13th October 2015
It's always good to see one of these pale shrikes
Male Wilson's Warbler  Isle of Lewis  Outer Hebrides Scotland  16th October 2015
The second ever for the UK.  An absolute gem of a bird and my bird of the year

Black Redstart  Wallingford  Oxfordshire  25th November 2015
Present for just three days in a tiny churchyard in the centre of the town
Grey Phalarope  Farmoor  Oxfordshire  30th November 2015
One of two that spent a number of days at the reservoir delighting everyone.

Juvenile Great Northern Diver  Farmoor Res Oxfordshire 2nd December 2015
It's always good to see such a magnificent bird so close
Eurasian Hoopoe  Wall Heath West Midlands 8th December 2015
A truly exotic visitor to a decidedly less than exotic location!


  1. Blimey you do get around Ewan!
    I know you will have the most fantastic of starts to 2016 in Colombia.
    Safe journey and good birding my friend.

  2. Some great shots from a year which I think many of us will look back on & talk about for the next few years. Enjoy Columbia