My year started very early, before dawn broke on the 1st January. It was my first attempt to tick off 200 species in a year, so wanted to get up and running nice and early. I didn't foresee the lockdowns that would take place during the year potentially curtailing my challenge. I did however manage to get to 200 and finished the year on 202.
Within a few hours on the 1st January I had two lifers ticked, in the form of a Ring-necked Duck and Purple Heron. Other highlights that day were Tree Sparrow, Whooper Swans, Golden Plover, Willow Tit and Snipe.
I finished the month on 101, with Water Pipit being that last bird of the month. I did manage another two lifers though in January with a Long-billed Dowitcher and a long staying Siberian Stonechat. It would take another 8 months to get the next 100 birds.🙄
Spring was a real highlight of the year. Despite being in lockdown, it made my daily walks so much more interesting and reminded me that I didn't have to go too far to see some really good birds. I found both a Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler within walking distance of home, when I really wasn't expecting to, or had in 8 years here.
My trips to Norfolk to see my parents really did boost my numbers, with good numbers of waders, heathland birds and gulls.
Dartford Warbler is a bonus on any year list.
I remember hearing my first Willow Warbler of the year, and it was a really nice moment. There were times during lockdown that I really did think that I wouldn't get to see or hear some of the birds that I take for granted. For me it was a sign that all was well, and nature was just fine on it's own.
The first Willow Warbler of the year.