2014 Review

Its a little bit late for a review of last year but with some time on my hands I thought I would put something together detailing my personal wildlife highlights from last year.

  The year got off to a slow start but after a change in personal circumstances I thought I would dedicate more spare time to wildlife photography and also widen my horizons looking at wildlife in general and not just birds. This red squirrel was taken on a memorable trip to Wensleydale in February.  

 

The year got off to a slow start but after a change in personal circumstances I thought I would dedicate more spare time to wildlife photography and also widen my horizons looking at wildlife in general and not just birds.

This red squirrel was taken on a memorable trip to Wensleydale in February.

 

  I've always fancied having a go for the adders at Allerthorpe Woods and after a couple of false starts I had an hour with this fellow in March. Not perfect by any stretch but after a 2 hour search it was nice to get up close to this rare beast albeit rather daunting at only 9" away!

 

I've always fancied having a go for the adders at Allerthorpe Woods and after a couple of false starts I had an hour with this fellow in March. Not perfect by any stretch but after a 2 hour search it was nice to get up close to this rare beast albeit rather daunting at only 9" away!

  A trip to Teasdale towards the end of March ad me connecting with another species I had never seen before. In conditions more suited to mid winter it took the best part of the day to work out where was the best place for a shot.There were at least a dozen black grouse all centered in a very localized area.definitely a place to try again this year.

 

A trip to Teasdale towards the end of March ad me connecting with another species I had never seen before. In conditions more suited to mid winter it took the best part of the day to work out where was the best place for a shot.There were at least a dozen black grouse all centered in a very localized area.definitely a place to try again this year.

  Whilst not a rare encounter this chief-chaff posed rather nicely on an early visit to Spurn providing one of my photographic highlights of the year. 

 

Whilst not a rare encounter this chief-chaff posed rather nicely on an early visit to Spurn providing one of my photographic highlights of the year. 

  I was particularly please with this shot of a Gannet taken on the morning of Good Friday at Bempton. The warm tones of the sunrise hide the fact that it was a gale force northerly wind with snow showers and temperatures only just above freezing!

 

I was particularly please with this shot of a Gannet taken on the morning of Good Friday at Bempton. The warm tones of the sunrise hide the fact that it was a gale force northerly wind with snow showers and temperatures only just above freezing!

  At last a change in the weathering April brought my first real rarity of the year. This crag martin was first found on the Friday and re-appeared Saturday afternoon at Flamborough drawing crowds of twitchers before an all to brief re-appearance on the Sunday before vanishing.   

 

At last a change in the weathering April brought my first real rarity of the year. This crag martin was first found on the Friday and re-appeared Saturday afternoon at Flamborough drawing crowds of twitchers before an all to brief re-appearance on the Sunday before vanishing. 

 

  Part of the 'supporting cast' for the crag martin at Flamborough. This tawny pipit showed very well on the Sunday the crag martin disappeared.

 

Part of the 'supporting cast' for the crag martin at Flamborough. This tawny pipit showed very well on the Sunday the crag martin disappeared.

  I had a couple of trips out to Lincolnshire for the nightingales and they didn't disappoint. The dawn chorus led by the nightingales was magical as was watching a female nest building within feet of the footpath!

 

I had a couple of trips out to Lincolnshire for the nightingales and they didn't disappoint. The dawn chorus led by the nightingales was magical as was watching a female nest building within feet of the footpath!

  This hoopoe showed very well over a weekend in May near Beverley at a private garden.It was very tame and came within 15 feet of the crowd. I went to see it on the Friday it was found and the next day-one of the highlights of the year.

 

This hoopoe showed very well over a weekend in May near Beverley at a private garden.It was very tame and came within 15 feet of the crowd. I went to see it on the Friday it was found and the next day-one of the highlights of the year.

  This beautiful red-necked phalarope turned up at North Cave Wetlands for a couple of days in May. A black tern turned up on the evening I took this shot making it a particularly memorable couple of hours.

 

This beautiful red-necked phalarope turned up at North Cave Wetlands for a couple of days in May. A black tern turned up on the evening I took this shot making it a particularly memorable couple of hours.

  This terek sandpiper arrived at Covenham reservoir and stayed for a couple of days. It proved to be very popular but alas was flushed far too often by over enthusiastic individuals.

 

This terek sandpiper arrived at Covenham reservoir and stayed for a couple of days. It proved to be very popular but alas was flushed far too often by over enthusiastic individuals.

  This golden oriole was probably the highlight of an otherwise quiet spring for me at Spurn. Hope they are back this spring as I would fancy another go at a flight shot.

 

This golden oriole was probably the highlight of an otherwise quiet spring for me at Spurn. Hope they are back this spring as I would fancy another go at a flight shot.

  With the onset of summer my attention turned to insects and yet another species I have not seen before-duke of burgundy. A trek round some hillsides in scorching temperatures eventually yielded a small colony of these beauties along with dingy skipper and green hairstreak made for a very nice day out.

 

With the onset of summer my attention turned to insects and yet another species I have not seen before-duke of burgundy. A trek round some hillsides in scorching temperatures eventually yielded a small colony of these beauties along with dingy skipper and green hairstreak made for a very nice day out.

  A trip to the Derwent in June for demoiselles did not disappoint. Both beautiful and banded were in reasonable numbers and again gave me the opportunity to catch up with a species (beautiful) that I had never seen before.

 

A trip to the Derwent in June for demoiselles did not disappoint. Both beautiful and banded were in reasonable numbers and again gave me the opportunity to catch up with a species (beautiful) that I had never seen before.

  I had quite a bit of luck in obtaining my first views and photographs of black hairstreak. Two trips to Lincolnshire over one weekend in June amounting to 16 hours in total resulted in a very brief and close encounter with this beautiful butterfly.

 

I had quite a bit of luck in obtaining my first views and photographs of black hairstreak. Two trips to Lincolnshire over one weekend in June amounting to 16 hours in total resulted in a very brief and close encounter with this beautiful butterfly.

  Kiplingcoates Quarry was the venue for clouds and clouds of marbled white. After a prolonged dry spell I had a trip out after work one night in July. As the temperature dropped they became easier to photograph. I wouldn't like to put a number on how many there were but it must have run into hundreds.

 

Kiplingcoates Quarry was the venue for clouds and clouds of marbled white. After a prolonged dry spell I had a trip out after work one night in July. As the temperature dropped they became easier to photograph. I wouldn't like to put a number on how many there were but it must have run into hundreds.

  An unsuccessful trip to Lincolnshire for a white rumped sandpiper had this glossy ibis as more than adequate compensation. As it turned out there were a pair and they made the first ever breeding attempt for this species in the UK.

 

An unsuccessful trip to Lincolnshire for a white rumped sandpiper had this glossy ibis as more than adequate compensation. As it turned out there were a pair and they made the first ever breeding attempt for this species in the UK.

  I had numerous enjoyable trips to Tophill Low during the summer to photograph kingfishers. The sharp flight shot still eludes me this being probably the best. Plenty of room for improvement!

 

I had numerous enjoyable trips to Tophill Low during the summer to photograph kingfishers. The sharp flight shot still eludes me this being probably the best. Plenty of room for improvement!

  Masked Shrike  

 

Masked Shrike

 

  For me the undoubted highlight of the year was the masked shrike that turned up at Kilnsea bang in the middle of a 2 week holiday I'd taken with the intention of photographing rare migrants at Spurn! The supporting cast of red-breasted flycatcher, wood warbler, honey buzzard, great grey shrike, yellow browed warbler and others made for a very memorable 2 weeks!

 

For me the undoubted highlight of the year was the masked shrike that turned up at Kilnsea bang in the middle of a 2 week holiday I'd taken with the intention of photographing rare migrants at Spurn! The supporting cast of red-breasted flycatcher, wood warbler, honey buzzard, great grey shrike, yellow browed warbler and others made for a very memorable 2 weeks!

  This yellow browed warbler posed nicely during its stay in October at the Crown and Anchor car park in Kilnsea.

 

This yellow browed warbler posed nicely during its stay in October at the Crown and Anchor car park in Kilnsea.

  This isabelline shrike was the highlight of a particularly good day at Spurn in October that included yellow browed warbler, hoopoe and a host of other scarce and common migrants.  

 

This isabelline shrike was the highlight of a particularly good day at Spurn in October that included yellow browed warbler, hoopoe and a host of other scarce and common migrants.

 

  Whilst this was not the first citrine wagtail I'd seen it was the first time I had the opportunity to photograph one and with it being in November was rather unexpected. Supporting cast on the day was in the form of a water pipit and very showy woodcock.

 

Whilst this was not the first citrine wagtail I'd seen it was the first time I had the opportunity to photograph one and with it being in November was rather unexpected. Supporting cast on the day was in the form of a water pipit and very showy woodcock.

  This juvenile rough legged buzzard at Grindale was one of an influx during November. Initially was quite difficulty to photograph but since has been seen down to a matter of feet! Supporting cast on this particular day was a slavonian grebe at Hornsea Mere.

 

This juvenile rough legged buzzard at Grindale was one of an influx during November. Initially was quite difficulty to photograph but since has been seen down to a matter of feet! Supporting cast on this particular day was a slavonian grebe at Hornsea Mere.

  Male hen harriers are one of my favorite birds and I was particularly pleased to see this one on the salt marsh on the humber. Never close it was tantalizing enough to give me the inspiration to go on four separate occasions seeing it every time at a distance. There's always next time...

 

Male hen harriers are one of my favorite birds and I was particularly pleased to see this one on the salt marsh on the humber. Never close it was tantalizing enough to give me the inspiration to go on four separate occasions seeing it every time at a distance. There's always next time...

  In terms of a rarity factor the year went out with a bang as this little bustard turned up at Fraisthorpe on New Years Eve. It was always distant and in fading light so whilst it constituted my 3rd mega of the year for me it didn't even come close to the masked shrike.

 

In terms of a rarity factor the year went out with a bang as this little bustard turned up at Fraisthorpe on New Years Eve. It was always distant and in fading light so whilst it constituted my 3rd mega of the year for me it didn't even come close to the masked shrike.