Wednesday 28 December 2016


October always brings a sense of anticipation, and October 2016, up next in my review of the year, was no exception. It brought its fair share of success, but also its fair share of frustration. First the successes, which featured a couple of American waders.
A Baird's Sandpiper at Davidstow airfield was worth an early morning visit. The closest I have seen one, photographed from the car window
This Lesser Yellowlegs was at Lytchett Bay - my second Dorset tick of 2016
October 2016 will be remembered for the Siberian Accentor invasion, and I managed to catch up with the second one to turn up - the long-staying Easington bird which drew a crowd from the middle of the second week of the month. Fortunately it stayed until the Sunday allowing myself and Chris Patrick to pitch up, tick it before breakfast and be back home just in time to avoid social services taking our abandoned families into care.
Siberian Accentor, Easington - a special bird, and my bird of the month for October

This Shorelark was just down the road from the Siberian Accentor
A good first half to the month then - but less so the second half. Portland lay at the centre of October's frustrations with a short-staying Red-flanked Bluetail and a Pine Bunting failing to settle having been ringed at the Observatory. Still, a few scarce migrant birds made several visits more bearable over the course of the fortnight.
Hen Harrier, Portland
Turtle Dove on Portland - a sad comment on its rarity now that it was quite a well-twitched bird, My photo of the month for October
Another island - St Mary's added to the frustration at the month's end, when a day trip with Steve Smith produced nothing more exciting than a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers and a putative Eastern Yellow Wagtail. Still, it was good to be back on the island for the second time in two months, even though it wasn't as successful as the first.
Yellow-browed Warbler, St Mary's
Putative 'Eastern' Yellow Wagtail


  1. Nearly there! One final push! You've had a decent year for sure - reading about it makes me realise all that I have missed - that said, some of it I am glad I have missed!

    1. Thanks Jonathan, two more waffer thin posts it is then...