A look back at 2015 (Part 1)

A look back at 2015... (Part 1 of 2)

As 2015 draws to a close it's that time of year to reflect on the last 12 months, as well as looking forward to the start of a new year and all that comes with it.

For me 2015 has been a year of ups and downs and though it didn't go quite as expected, I have had some amazing adventures, met loads of brilliant & interesting people and made plenty of superb memories!

So before I go any further, I would just like to say a big thank you to all those who have helped, inspired and/or encouraged me in any way this year - I really am grateful for it!

For this blog I thought I would sum up what happened each month and post some photos that represent the events, places or species that made each month awesome.

So as not to make it too long a post, I'll split the year in two...so here's Part 1, January - June:


Unfortunately there's not much that happened in January as I was pretty ill and unable to much birding, ringing or anything really so we'll just move swiftly on to February I think...


Again, not a lot happened in February as I was still not very well, however I did manage to get out ringing once or twice, which included helping with a ringing demonstration at one of our sites. I really enjoyed doing this as it is great to see people of all ages so interested in the birds and the whole process of ringing them.


Not much happened in March if I'm honest, just some birding on patch, taking pretty terrible pictures of moths and keeping an eye on the nesting Blue Tits in our garden.


By April I was much better and as a result I was able to get out a lot more. I made the most of my recovered health and spent a few days down at Portland Bird Observatory between the 8-12th. I had a great trip and got to see some cool species in the hand, like the smart Redstart in the image below. When I returned, I had the opportunity to help colour ring some Woodlark chicks (which was awesome - they're so cute!) and I also got out patching quite a bit. I was rewarded on patch with some Little Ringed Plovers on and off throughout the month and a Greenshank on the 13th (something I never thought I'd see in inland Hampshire, let alone on my little patch)!


May saw me back down at Portland from 2-7th on the suggestion that the first week of May was the time to go...it's safe to say that although it didn't quite live up to the high expectation, it was a great trip nonetheless with Spotted Flycatchers and a Redstart being the highlights. In May I continued to follow the nesting attempt of the Blue Tits in our garden and within the month saw the transformation from eggs into tiny blind, naked chicks, into fully feathered little creatures until one day I checked the box and they were all gone (presumed fledged!). Oh, and I also got to spend time listening to a Nightingale belting out its song about 10 metres from me on my patch, see and hear some Turtle Doves not too far from my house and help colour ring some more cute Woodlark chicks.


June was a fairly busy month and I was lucky enough to get some brilliant opportunities! For the whole month I took part in The Wildlife Trusts 30 days Wild Campaign which hoped to get people to engage with nature in some way on each day of June (I also tried to blog about my 30 Days Wild so if you scroll back to June you'll see a whole host of blogs about what I got up to). On the 4th I was lucky enough to head up to RSPB Minsmere where I appeared on BBC Springwatch Extra. It was a great day and on the reserve we saw loads of birds, including my first ever Bearded Tits, a Bittern and some Spoonbill. On the 13th I headed down to the New Forest to twitch a Black-eared Wheatear that had rocked up - my first one and what a corking bird it was! I also managed to miss all the key New Forest species (Wood Warbler, Honey Buzzard & Goshawk) so I remain having not seen any of these species...a bit poor if you ask me. Anyway, laster in the month I was incredibly lucky to be invited out to do some pullus ringing and amongst other cool species like Stonechat & Tree Pipit, I also got to ring 4 Nightjar chicks. That was awesome because Nightjars are a favourite of mine and so to be able to see them up close was just incredible!

So that brings us to the end of the first half of the year...phew! The next 6 months holds lots more excitement and awesome adventures which I will post either later tonight or some time tomorrow. 

What was your highlight of 2015?

Merry Christmas everyone

As it's only 3 days away, I would just like to wish everyone reading this a very Merry Christmas wherever you are in the world! I hope you all have a lovely time and don't eat too much chocolate...oh, who am I kidding, it's Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!