Here's a quick list of my birding achievements in 2018:
- 21 Lifers seen
- 217 species seen
- 2 BirdGuides 'Photos of the Week'
- 9 BirdGuides 'Notable Photographs'
- Reader's letter with Desert Wheatear published in BirdGuides
- Double-page spread in Birdwatch magazine using one of my Brambling photos
- Requests to use my photos by:
- Clwyd Bird Recording Group (NE Wales) - Lekking Black Grouse
- Heysham Bird Observatory - Chough in Flight (actually late December 2017).
- Surrey Arts Festival - Kingfisher
- My first bird photography presentation - 'Adventures in a Birdmobile'
I've never been birding from a boat before and this year I did my first 'pelagic' trips:
- Liverpool Bay with Richard Steel, Steve Round, Austin Thomas, Mike Nesbitt, Dave Williams and Paul Foster
- RSPB Boat trip to Bempton Cliffs
- Liverpool Bay - a repeat trip with even less birds so we ended up eating the mackerel onboard
- Diving Gannet Experience with Steve Race at Yorkshire Coast Nature
I've also been to Mull, Minsmere, East Yorkshire, Dumfries and Galloway.
I've had a few flops including the Ospreys at Horn Mill Trout Farm in Rutland and one of the Liverpool Bay trips, but on the whole not a bad year's birding - here's to some more adventures in 2019 with the following possibilities:
- Cairngorms (booked January 2019)
- Norfolk (booked February 2019)
- Scilly Islands - pelagic
- Cambridge Fens for Short-Eared Owls
- Padley Gorge for Pied and Spotted Flycatchers
- Stanage Edge for Ring Ouzels
- Suffolk for Nightingales and Stone Curlews
- Dunwich Heath and Minsmere again for Dartford Warblers, Bitterns and Marsh Harriers
- Kent for Hobbies and Cuckoos
And desperately wanting ...
- Red-necked Phalarope