Posts tagged with ‘BOTY’

Bird of the Year 2014

I added eight birds to my life list this year, all in Portugal; including two species of vultures, five eagles, two storks, two bustards, bee-eater, roller, hoopoe, golden oriole, two kinds of shrike, two kinds of swift… Among the species I’d seen before, highlights included Montagu’s Harrier, which is an elegant, long-winged bird of prey that I had […]

Bird of the Year 2014: best performances in a supporting role

Happy New Year, everybody. Keen followers of the Bird of the Year Awards will notice a change in the categories this year. Butterflies and moths receive a disproportionate amount of my insecty attention, so I think it makes sense to split them out into their own category. Realistically, I could just split all invertebrates into […]

Bird of the Year 2013

Notable birds from last year: Whitethroat was a new one for the garden list; a fine male Red-backed Shrike at Barnes WWT was a real treat (and incidentally a London tick). A Glossy Ibis was the first I’d seen in Britain although I didn’t get great views of it. Bonaparte’s Gull — an American species — was a first for […]

Bird of the Year 2013: best performances in a supporting role

Even later than usual, but I thought I should at least get the first post out in time for the Oscars. Best Plant I spent quite a lot of time last year looking at flowers and butterflies. The names alone are a joy: sainfoin, silverweed, sanicle, harebell, yellow rattle, round-headed rampion, devil’s bit scabious, horseshoe […]

Bird of the Year 2012

Starting with my garden, the most surprising record was a woodcock. Sadly not tickable, because it looked like this: Presumably the fox got it. Which is a pity, although if it hadn’t I never would have known the woodcock had visited. The other notable bird, also nocturnal and also slightly frustrating, was a little owl. […]

Bird of the Year 2012: best performances in a supporting role

I guess I should post this before the end of January. Not a lot of outstanding sightings to report, though. Best Plant I was quite tickled to see some Marsh Mallow plants down in Kent. Because, yes, they are the original stuff that marshmallows were made from. Best Insect This Poplar Hawkmoth was a pleasing […]

Bird of the Year 2011

As I mentioned in BOTY:BPIASR, I’ve been a bit slow about this because it wasn’t a particularly interesting year for birds.But there were a few things worth a shout-out, including some I’d forgotten — I’m not very efficient with the records. Last year waxwing was my Bird of the Year, and I could do worse than go […]

Bird of the Year 2011: best performances in a supporting role

I’ve been rather laggardly about doing BOTY this year because I had such an underwhelming year for birds. But I thought I should keep up the tradition, and  as the end of January approaches I’d better get on with it. Best Plant I went on a jaunt to a quarry in Essex which has some […]

Bird of the Year 2010

As I mentioned in BOTY 2010:BPiaSR, I haven’t been anywhere even slightly exotic this year, so my list is sadly free of toucans, sandgrouse, bee-eaters, barbets and so on. But I did have a good year for British birds. At the most parochial level, I added three species to the garden list: in the cold […]

Bird of the Year 2010: best performances in a supporting role

2010 wasn’t a vintage wildlife year for me. I didn’t go anywhere exotic, or even spend much time outside the M25. My longest wildlife-watching trip was to the car park of B&Q in Folkestone. Despite that, I did manage to rack up some pretty good bird sightings, but it was pretty slim pickings for the […]

Bird of the Year 2009

Starting with the trainspotter-y listing details: I added three birds to my patch list and three to my British list, one of which was a lifer. Really, that’s not a very good score; I got two lifers and a patch tick in the first week of 2010. But the year had a few highlights nonetheless. […]

Bird of the Year 2009: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant Provence in May was just a great place for flowers. I claimed on Twitter to have seen nine or ten species of orchid, although it’s entirely possibly I over-claimed, since there tend to be lots of very similar species, some of them are quite variable, and I didn’t have a book with me. […]

Bird of the Year 2008: best performances in a supporting role

I know it’s getting slightly late for yearly round-up posts, but hey-ho. Best Plant The wildflowers on the cliff-tops in Wales were quite something: gorse, foxgloves, bluebells, red campion, sea campion, thrift, kidney vetch, burnet rose, dodder, spring squill, centaury, ox-eye daisies, cowslips. It really was spectacular. So it’s really just a matter of picking […]

Bird of the Year 2008

Nearly all Welsh this year, I think. I’ve seen bugger-all in the garden, and haven’t done that much birding, so it’s mainly down to my spring trip to Pembrokeshire. Before I get onto that, though, my other notable birdy trip this year was to the WWT reserve at Welney, where they feed the overwintering swans. […]

Bird of the Year 2007: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant There’s lots of choice here; I’ll just give a hat-tip to the big trees of Kew Gardens and Greenwich Park which I got over excited about in the autumn. But most of the possibilities were in Crete. Crete has more species of plant than the UK, and a bundle of them are endemics. […]

Bird of the Year 2007

It’s that time again. Last year when I did this, I’d been birding in Spain in the spring and then the Galapagos and Ecuador in the autumn. This year has been less dramatic—no albatrosses or toucans—but I did see some great stuff in Crete in April. First, though, some local stuff. There have been Little […]

bird of the year 2006: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant All those rainforest plants were nice, and I enjoyed taking wildflower photos while I was in Spain. But, not least because it’s nice to pick a winner that I can actually identify, I’m going for the Galapagos Prickly Pear, Opuntia echios. On islands where there are giant tortoises and land iguanas, they’ve evolved […]

(my) bird of the year, 2006

While I’m rounding up 2006. 2006 was a pretty good birding year for me, mainly because of my trip to Andalusia at Easter and Galapagos/Ecuador in the autumn. But I did get one lifer in Britain this year, which for a rather occasional, fair weather birder like me was very exciting. That was Horned Grebe […]