Inexplicably, this has been the first year that I've kept a year list of all the bird species I've seen. It's been a great year, I've seen 95 species (I had originally counted 98 but this had included recording one species twice and two unconfirmed species). I've seen a number of birds for the first time this year (tree sparrows near Cammo Country Park near Edinburgh; a shoveller at the Figgate Pond in Edinburgh and a greenshank at Cramond, Edinburgh). I've also seen a few species for the first time in many years (including wonderful sightings of spotted flycatchers at both Biggar in the Scottish Borders and in the beer garden outside the Arran Brewery on the Isle of Arran and lots of redpolls on the feeder in my parents' garden in Manchester.) I've also had some very special encounters with birds that perhaps I see quite often but not in such number - I was stunned this summer by the numbers of swallows and house martins flying over the River Esk in Musselburgh; also in Portobello and Dumfries.
One of the most notable features of my year list is that most of the birds have been seen in or very close to Edinburgh.
So, what have been your favourite bird sightings this year?
If you're in the UK, remember that the Big Garden Birdwatch is coming up soon, and I'll be blogging about that in early January.
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