Curlews coming into roost on the Humber...
Welcome to a look back over my birding year, which, I'm happy to say, has been another great one. The latter half of the winter was dominated by work, with several ongoing projects running simultaneously - two on the North bank of the Humber, one on the South bank, and, by mid-March, a mammoth breeding bird survey across the North York Moors (which I'll focus on in the next post).
... and Lapwings leaving theirs
As always, the Humber surveys were never a chore and often a pleasure, with the spectacle of many thousands of waders always enough to make a day worthwhile; as always there were also plenty of bonuses, whether while working (see below) or on minor twitchy diversions (never more than 15 minutes off route, naturally).... here and here.
As always they're small teams and we're flexible as to where to include on a given day, depending on conditions, tides and where the birds are (or may be), and included many highlights - from Snow and Lapland Buntings, Great Northern, Black-throated and Red-throated Divers up close, Bottlenose Dolphins, sparring Peregrines, point-blank Brent Goose, Merlin, Harbour Porpoise, Common and Velvet Scoters, Richard's Pipit and plenty more.
Great Northern and Red-throated Divers - up close and side-by-side in Scarborough Harbour
Champions of the Flyway's Year Of The Dove campaign, helping save Turtle Doves from illegal hunting on their Mediterranean flyways. I called it my #Couch2500K - 500km over the course of 12 months - and by the time I'm reached my running target in mid-Feb, I'd raised just over £4000 for the cause, thanks to many generous donations.
Late winter / early spring nocmig (nocturnal migration recording) at Filey and Flamborough was productive, especially at the latter site, where late March saw unprecedented overnight migrations of Common Scoters and Redwings - absolute magic. See here for full details and audio clips.
Part two to follow soon!