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Old Wednesday 2nd January 2019, 12:58   #48
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Durham, UK
Posts: 789
No more additions to the list before the end of 2018...laid low with a heavy cold and a ton of work deadlines in the final week of the year, so a hoped-for trip to Teesmouth for bean geese wasn't possible.
Both bean geese species are now promoted to my British 'most wanted' list of potential life ticks, after finally adding glaucous gull and long-eared owl in 2018 (although admittedly I had to go to Notsuke Peninsula in Hokkaido for the former...but as I don't keep a separate British life list, the main thing is I've finally seen glaucous gull).
2018 was a mixed year for me in a birding sense...on the one hand, I made it back to Hong Kong, and visited Japan for the first time, nailing all the classic Hokkaido species such as red-crowned crane, Blakiston's fish-owl, Steller's sea-eagle and Asian rosy-finch - and seeing my first ever albatrosses, in exceptional numbers on the Izu - Tokyo ferry. I also probably saw more streaked shearwaters in a couple of hours than all the other Procellaridae I've seen in my life until then (and yes, possibly including fulmars!).
A short visit to Lithuania was pretty cool too, although aquatic warbler eluded me and a couple of reeling Locustellas refused to reveal themselves...a great view of a singing wood warbler was actually my favourite moment from that trip, as a once-familiar species I hadn't seen for many years.
I also renewed my acquaintance with some species I'd only seen once, many years ago...solitary snipe (Stod Valley, Zanskar, 1981) and jack snipe (Gosforth Park, Newcastle, 1971), as well as one of my favourite birds, masked laughingthrush (Hong Kong, 1988).
On the negative side, I probably had a lot less actual birding than the previous couple of years, a fact emphasised by the size of my British list and absences of species I normally see every year without too much effort. Something I hope to redress in 2019...
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