2010 will always go down in my books as one of the best birding years for me...the number of quality birds I have seen this year is unbelievable and has given me another chance to see many that I have missed over the last 5 years...these include the likes of White-tailed Plover and Brown Flycatcher, as well as much easier species that have eluded me like Bluethroat, Short-toed Lark and Ortolan Bunting!!
September followed the trend, with a superb county first; an Isabelline Shrike found in Gosport. Thankfully this was just before I headed north to Cumbria to begin a 3 year stint at University to study Wildlife and Media. Once at University, it didnt take long for the autumn megas to start arriving. First was the Epidonax Flycatcher at Blakeney Point, and although I saw the first Alder Flycatcher in Cornwall in 2008 with rumours that this could be Yellow-bellied, I didnt want to mess around...
The following day (26th) was spent battling the elements of the North Norfolk coast line, but at this point it had already been decided that it was most likely another Alder. The whole trip didnt go without a 'tick' though as on arrival a Little Bunting put in a brief appearance at the plantation before heading east.
News quickly followed of a Northern Parula on Tiree, a species I have always wanted to see in Britain!! So by the 28th; myself, Josh Jones and Ollie Metcalfe were booked onto a plane from Glasgow costing £150 each to spend two days on the island. Within an hour of landing we were watching the 1w female Parula at point blank range and all to ourselves. It really couldnt have got any better. But it did with a supporting cast of Buff-breasted Sandpiper, a late Corncrake and fly-over Lapland Buntings.