Short-eared Owl (you can just see it in the centre if you look hard), Bowland 28 December 2008.
We ended the year on a leisurely note with an afternoon visit to the Forest of Bowland in Lancs on 28th December. The highlight apart from a Barn Owl and a couple of Short-eared Owls was undoubtedly the stunning views at dusk across the moors. Thanks to Mrs B for taking the pics that afternoon.
No complaints about 2008 with some interesting trips abroad, of which the latest Brazil tours were the most enjoyable. It was great to see Harpy Eagle, a couple of Jaguars, Giant Anteater, Giant Otter and my old mate Rick Simpson out there! I look forward to starting the New Year in Ecuador closely followed by Guyana and then Mexico.
Birding in the UK in 2008 has undoubtedly been the best I've ever had. Bumping into the Ross's Gull at Fairhaven was nice but venturing into our favourite birder-free zone in Dumfries and Galloway was incredibly enjoyable and profitable. Discovering Lesser Scaup, Citrine Wagtail, and Pacific Golden Plover was nice but my favourite day of all didn't involve one single rarity. I don't get to visit the west of the region that often but March 11 2008 in the Loch Ryan area was just magic. Snow Goose, Velvet Scoter and Red-necked Grebe were all D&G ticks and we enjoyed our first Long-tailed Ducks of the year along with Black Guillemots, Slavonian Grebes, Black-throated Divers and Med' Gull. The full write-up and some less than inspiring digiscoping can be seen here.
I don't make New Year's resolutions (or at least I don't keep them!), but I would like to get back up to Mersehead on the Solway for a better look at that putative American Wigeon we saw last week .........
Happy New Year everybody and thanks for dropping by on my blog.