2013 – a brief summary   Leave a comment

2013 has been a really great year – dominated by foreign travel and bird ringing.

Here is a very quick summary: I did six foreign trips which included visits to 17 different countries (plus I passed through another five countries but never left the airport) this involved some 40 flights and 130 days outside the UK.

I saw or heard 1791 bird species, which is the largest year total ever, beating the previous best of 1719 in 2002. Incidentally the average number of species seen annually over the  last 37 years is 882.

Of this total 245 have been new to my list (although this does include a small number of ‘heard onlys’) which brings my IOC List  to 7561 plus 152 ‘heard onlys’

IMG_1080-Gorilla

If I had to pick a single wildlife event as the highlight of 2013 it would have to be the eye-ball to eye-ball encounter with this Mountain Gorilla in Uganda.

IMG_3127-Kagu

As it is the only member of it’s family and is confined to a distant island in the Pacific, then I suppose the Kagu has to be ‘bird of the year’, but once you have got there it doesn’t take that much effort to find.

Less impressive is my record of British birding in 2013. In 2012 I attempted to set a personal record British year list and ended up with 309, this year it was a mere 218 and included just the one addition to my British and county list, the Brunnich’s Guillemot that was seen on Boxing Day.

IMG_5350-Brunnich's-Guillem

The only addition to my British List in 2013 – the Brunnich’s Guillemot which was present in Portland Harbour from 26th – 31st December.

Ringing has been highly successful in 2013. I did most of my ringing at Durlston where we ringed over 3,500 birds and whilst I wasn’t present for all of those, I was there for a high percentage. We have done well elsewhere as well and have received notification of a good number of controls and recoveries, many of which I detailed in a previous post.

PA050592-Woodlark

Although ringing is all about researching common species, catching a rare bird is always a delight. The Melodious and Yellow-browed Warblers that I caught this year were at least ‘on the radar’, but although far commoner in the UK, no-one had predicted we would trap this Wood Lark.

Of course there have been other great events in 2013, music concerts, visits to museums, visits to friends and family and time spent with my lovely granddaughters and wonderful wife. We have remained in good health and I have greatly enjoyed retirement. All in all, an excellent year.

P4030127-Gosh

Margaret ‘all goshed out’ in Jerusalem – thank you for all your love, help and support and for agreeing to my travelling to so many wonderful places.

Posted January 3, 2014 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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