|Sandhill Crane: bird of the year for me - great rarity, great company and didn't have to go to Scotland to see it.|
|Red-flanked Bluetail - Dorset bird of the year for me|
My most spectacular dip this year was undoubtedly for the Greater Yellowlegs in Northumberland which was there for a few weeks before I went, and back again the day after, followed by the Eastern Black Redstart in Kent which had been present for a week before I arrived to find it gone. Both dips involved precious days off work, a shame as there is something sweeter about seeing birds during the working week - maybe the smaller crowds, maybe just because it's not work - probably a bit of both. Most painful dip, however, was a very unfortunate double - missing the Scarlet Tanager in Cornwall by less than an hour en route to a week on the Isles of Scilly, and then missing another the following day by arriving on St Mary's 40 minutes too late. Ouch!
|Glossy Ibis at Stanpit Marsh - one of my favourite pictures from 2011|