Archive for Dec 30th, 2013



We’ll it’s that time of year again. The sun bleached bones of 2013 are lying exposed and the embryo of 2014 is about to enter the world. It’s time now to review what’s happened, where we’ve been, what we’ve seen and perhaps pick out a highlight or two. Several stand out as being memorable.

One of the challenges I set myself at the start of 2013 was to photograph Corncrake. This was achieved on the island of Iona off the south west corner of Mull. Seeing so many of these enigmatic birds in such a small area was spellbinding.

Our trip to Tenerife where we encountered Short finned Pilot Whales sticks in my mind. In fact the Pilot Whales were not the only Cetaceans we saw this year. Our trip to Mull gave us the company of a pod of Common Dolphin off Col. They rode with us for 15 minutes. Then there were the Pine Martens on the porch in front of the window where we stayed on Ardnamurchan. How could I forget those fascinating and photogenic creatures? Seeing the first Humpback Whale off Norfolk, on several occasions, was a long awaited site. What about the thrill of finding a Ringed Seal in Oban Harbour. It’s not every day you find a vagrant Seal. Or maybe encountering a species record for the number of Northern Emerald Damselflies in the UK – that was a good day. Coming across a Black Throated Diver so close at the roadside on the Skye Tour sticks in my mind. That trip held a few other surprises too; a lingering and photogenic White tailed Eagle and a Basking Shark aside the boat. We saw these later in the year off Col too … breaching would you believe. Finding and photographing the Red breasted Flycatcher at Trimingham was also a satisfying moment.

To be fair there have been so many. The tours in particular this year have been full of highlights. The jewel in the crown however belongs to the tiny ball of feathers that occupied the garden here at Falcon Cottage during late summer. Finding the putative Italian Sparrow here on my doorstep eclipsed all else for me. Why? … because it gave so much pleasure to everyone that came to see him and I had so much fun discussing and photographing him… regardless of any outcome.

2013 08 18 Sparrow sp Northrepps Norfolk_Z5A5946

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Dec 2013


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