After proposing to Laura in January, bird watching took a bit of a back seat. With a wedding to plan i became a bit of a 'twitcher' with little time to look for my own birds. My Year List for both Britain and Norfolk reflect this with relatively low totals 233 (Britain) and 217 (Norfolk). My overall British Life List did however increase by 18 to 344, hopefully in 2012 i will go past 350. My plans to visit Whitlingham ever week soon became less than once a month, leading to a rather lowly total of only 99 'Patch Species'. So not much birding done in general but there were still plenty of highlights, plus one obvious misjudgement.
Bird of the Year - Has to be the Roller that turned up at Upper Hollesley Common in Suffolk, not rarest bird of the year, but they are bright blue a stunning birds!
Trip of the Year - We did a couple of epic trips this year, for when we went out we crammed a lot into a few days. As with most years the Isles of Scilly take the award. 2011 saw us spend only 36 hours on the island but i clocked up 5 life ticks including Northern Waterthrush, Upland Sandpiper and Wilson's Snipe. As well as many other scarce species.
And the Misjudgement - This could easily have been my trip of the year, as Gary and i headed up to Aberdeenshire to see the Sandhill Crane. This had to be a day trip as i was working Friday and Sunday, it was a long journey but we saw the bird, only for it to relocate to Suffolk a few days later! Although i did have the conciliation of also seeing a Black Scoter while in Scotland.
So what will 2012 hold, well firstly i will be getting married in May and hope to pick up a few western paliarctic rare and endemic birds while on my honeymoon in Madeira. Money will probably be tight as it seems to be for everyone so local birding will take to the fore. I may even look for a new patch as i seem to have fallen out of love with Whitlingham. That said a few 'away days' may have to be had as i look to push my Life list beyond the 350 mark.
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