As the year comes to an end here's a quick look back at the last twelve months on the patch which were, due to the enormous amount of time spent out in the field, undoubtedly the best ever.
9 new birds for the patch were seen, namely Tundra Bean Goose, Bittern, a pair of Bearded Tits, 2 separate Black-necked Grebes, Little Ringed Plover, King Eider, Corn Bunting, Barnacle Geese and 3 Hooded Crows.
The Bittern & Bean Goose day back in January will live long in the memory, and the buzz of finding most of the others, plus a host of scarce visitors is all that is needed to spur you on during those seemingless birdless periods.
Other notable birding highlights on the patch this year include the lingering Alpine Swift, Glaucous Gull, Richards Pipit, Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hoopoe, Waxwings, Hen Harrier, Wood Warbler, Twite, Shorelark, Jack Snipe and Storm Petrel. In total 200 species were recorded during the year (190 of which were self found) which is an excellent total for an area with no managed reserves and which heavily relies upon those species which are just passing through to make up the yearly total.
Non-avain highlights of 2010 include on the Dragonfly front finding the Red-veined Darter at Felbrigg and refinding the Southern Emerald Damselfly at Winterton, and the amazing spectacle of the Purple Emperors at Fermyn was the undoubted Butterfly moment of the year.
I guess the only disappointment of the past 12 months was the fact that news of a Red-flanked Bluetail at Trimingham in October has only recently emerged which has naturally caused some ill feeling locally, but less said about that the better, and I'm sure there'll be another one on the patch sooner rather than later anyway.
So what lies ahead in 2011? Well with less free time available next year, although hopefully I'll still get out on the patch pretty much daily anyway, getting anywhere near 200 again will be an impossibe task (170 will be a more realistic target), but just enjoying my birding and hopefully finding a few good birds will be as ever the aim. Also after failing to get a British tick this year for the first time ever, a British lifer next year would be very welcome too.
Having well and truly got the Butterfly and Dragonfly bug, I'll hopefully do a bit of travelling in '11 to see some of those species that I've yet to see, with a trip up to Scotland and the south-west planned, and hopefully get loads of decent photos too.
Finally with a day list around the patch planned for tomorrow, here's hoping this persistent fog of the last few days will disperse overnight......
Anyway thanks to all of you who have read this blog during the year and hopefully found it a bit interesting and/or enjoyed looking at my photo's, and hopefully I'll keep it going throughout next year.