A year like no other for me, in the fact that I spent half of it in England and the other half in Kilkenny, Ireland where I now live. 2015 started off well, I actually started the year in Ireland where I saw my first ever Guillemots and Manx Shearwaters along with Turnstones, Gannets and Purple Sandpipers.
After I came back to Essex, a trip out with Steve (@bitterbirder) gave us both the best views of Red-breasted Merganser we’ve ever had, along with a plethora of other birds.
Another year and another shameful lifer for me in the form of an Arctic Tern at Abberton Reservoir, after being shown it I never thought I’d be able to identify one by myself without good views and especially while it was amongst a flock of Common Terns. But then funnily enough I stumbled across two while I was staying with my grandad in Norfolk, I actually had a great time in Norfolk, two lifers that weren’t birds, Hummingbird Hawkmoth and finally a Water Vole.
2015 has to have been one of my best years for seeing Cuckoos, I don’t know why but I just seemed to be in the right place at the right time, they were all over the place, 5 individuals at one location, “Hepatic morph” rufous females and lots of singing males.
2015 didn’t give me many new birds but it did deliver one of my favourites. An Osprey, it stayed for a while at Abberton Reservoir and I went three days on the trot to get some pictures, each day better than the last.
And then it was August! which meant I was moving to Ireland, having been in Ireland for pretty much half a year, I haven’t really had the chance to explore much and my garden and surrounding field has become my local patch, thankfully it has actually given me some great birds. Highlights including: Bullfinch, Siskin, Goldcrest, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Hooded Crow, Golden Plover and Stonechat. Hopefully 2016 will throw up some more surprises.
And here are some various images from the past year.