Rustic Bunting, Filey, 14th October 2020 - oh, happy day
But for a few challenges (all hardly earth-shattering in the grand scheme of things), the latter part of the year - and the late autumn in particular - was wonderful from a birding perspective. Keeping it local, while not the plan (back when plans meant anything), made for a memorable, birding- and bird-filled period where I was fortunate to be in the field pretty much every day.
A pristine juvenile Iceland Gull arriving at Carr Naze, Filey
Of those plans: I'm guessing many reading this had the disappointment of cancelled trips in 2020, and one of those trips personally was to Unst - booked almost a year ago, and eventually abandoned a few weeks before we were due to leave (for ten days in late Sep / early Oct). Privileged problems, I know, but particularly teeth-grinding for the exceptional influx of avian gems throughout the whole period we were supposed to be there (and the influxes chasing them)...
Red-flanked Bluetail, Old Fall, Flamborough
So there was only one way to soften the blow - bird the hell out of every waking hour, and appreciate whatever happened to cross my/our path here on our little stretch of the Yorkshire coast. And birding the hell out of it was indeed the theme - beginning with a very special end to September....
Regular visitors here will know how much I love seawatching, particularly in those conditions that inspire special movements in the autumn and early winter; you'll also know how, after the first five years tied to Filey, over the last four I've often favoured my original backyard of Flamborough Head - a little further away (by a whole 20 minutes), but for the far better seawatching, very much worth it.