I ended the year with a final total of 203 bird species for Scotland as a whole, which considering I was out of the country for the last part of April and the whole of May, missing some top short-staying rarities, I'm pretty pleased with. For the UK as a whole, I finished with 212, the balance of which was spotted during my visits back to Warwickshire in April and November.
I also added a creditable 26 new species to my Scotland Life List during 2022, a list I created when moving permanently to Aberdeenshire in late September 2020. This now stands at 236 species for Scotland.
|Greater Sand Plover ~ August 21st St. Combs, Aberdeenshire|
Mainland Highlights included: Ross's Goose, Ross's Gull, Greater Sand Plover, Dusky Warbler, Pallid Swift, Arctic Warbler, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Firecrest, Glossy Ibis & Baird's Sandpiper.
|Ross's Gull ~ Kinnaird Head Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire|
|Ross's Goose ~ Portlethan Aberdeenshire ~ This photo featured in Birdguides|
Shetland Highlights included: Least Bittern, Myrtle Warbler, Pechora Pipit, White's Thrush, Great Grey Shrike, Turtle Dove & Lanceolated Warbler during my visit in October.
|Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle Warbler) ~ Bigton Shetland|
|White's Thrush ~ October 9th Lerwick Shetland|
|Collared Flycatcher ~ Hungary|
|Moustached Warbler ~ Hortobagy Hungary|
|Black Woodpecker ~ On our final day ~ Csakvar Woodlands Hungary|
I also managed a couple of visits to my second home Spain, which took place in mid-May and late November, recording 140 bird species in total. Many highlights as usual and this year included my first sighting of a Lesser Flamingo at Fuente de Piedra. A sad moment came when visiting Cantera Los Arenales after the devasting wildfire in July. A wonderful habit in the mountains of Mijas simply wiped out but I'm happy to say already beginning to recover.
|The devastating wildfire above the Mijas mountains ~ July 2022|
|A Black Wheatear returns to the quarry at Mijas after the fire!|
|Black-eared Wheatear ~ Sierra Loja Granada Spain|
Of course, during my many field trips in 2022 other wildlife was recorded and there are some wonderful highlights to reflect on.
|Red Squirrel ~ Taken from a nearby neighbour's garden|
|Bottlenose Dolphins ~ March 14th, Girdleness Aberdeen|
|Crimson Speckled Moth ~ Several seen during my visits to Spain|
|A large colony of Monarch butterflies reside at Palermo Park Benalmadena Spain|
|Iberian Ibex ~ Cantera Los Arenales|
|Common Hawker ~ Loch of Strathbeg Aberdeenshire|
|Souslik ~ European Ground Squirrel ~ Hungary|
|European Hare ~ Sadly not a common sight in Aberdeenshire|
|Roe Deer ~ Common locally & throughout Aberdeenshire|
|Muskrat ~ Hortobagy Hungary|
So here's to more memorable highlights in 2023 ~ Happy Birding to my reader
HAPPY NEW YEAR.