Wednesday, 28 December 2011

2011, the year that (nearly) was

2011 is drawing to a close so I thought it would be good to review my birding year. I focused this year on my Norwegian year list and also mopping up some of the ”easy” species I had yet to see. I finished with a year list of 244 species compared to 201 last year so there was no doubt a vast improvement. I had 14 Norwegian ticks taking me to 264 species of which 7 were also Lifers taking my Western Palearctic List to 552:
Three-toed Woodpecker (Tretåspett) 21.11.2011 Sørkedalen  Lifer
Mediterranean Gull( Svartehavsmåke) 05.10.2011 Fornebu
 Richard’s Pipit (Tartarpiplerke) 28.09.2011 Fornebu
Black-tailed Godwit (Svarthalespove) 23.08.2011 Presterødkilen, Vestfold
Ruddy Shelduck (Rustand) 08.08.2011 Ilene, Vestfold
Surf Scoter (Brilleand) 08.08.2011 Presterødkilen, Vestfold
Nightjar (Nattravn) 09.06.2011 Østre Nes, Akershus
Blyth’s Reed Warbler (Busksanger) 05.06.2011 Stilla, Akershus Lifer
Siberian Tit (Lappmeis) 30.05.2011 Pasvik Lifer
Pine Grosbeak (Konglebit) 30.05.2011 Pasvik  Lifer
Steller’s Eider (Stellerand) 28.05.2011 Vadsø Lifer
Gyr Falcon (Jaktfalk) 27.05.2011 Finnmark  Lifer
Lesser White-fronted Goose (Dverggås) 26.05.2011 Valdak Lifer
Hoopoe (Hærfugl) 12.05.2011 Kurefjorden

The trip to Finnmark in May with Per Christian was the undoubted highlight of the year and also one of my best birding trips ever. The abundance of seabirds in the autumn over a period of a couple of months also meant that the normally quiet late autumn/early winter period was very exciting. I found a single national rarity in the form of a Mediterranean Gull and quite a few local rarities so was happy with my own efforts.
I did miss some pretty easy species though: no Sanderling, Iceland Gull, White-billed Diver, Brent Goose or Yellow-browed Warbler to name just a few.
My photography skills improved during the year and I permit myself to repeat some of my favourite pictures from 2011:
Hawk Owl

Pine Grosbeak

Siberian Tit

Spotted Crake

Mediterranean Gull

Great Grey Owl

Pomarine Skua

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