This year was characterised by some top-notch events rather than a long an extensive bird list. We failed to see 17 species recorded in 2018 (e.g. didn’t see the white-winged gull blank coming) but did manage to see 5 not recorded in 2018 (Long-tailed Duck, Ruff, Siberian Chiffchaff, Snow Bunting and Water Pipit). I think this gives us 166 species with just a few days and not a lot of promising weather to pull in a white-winger or Little Auk. The species deficit was counterbalanced by some excellent dragonfly migration, a really good spring sea-watch day and a Yellow-browed Warbler scenario on (13th-)14th October which gave us the highest autumn site day-count I can find in mainland Britain at the time! The west coast does have its moments.
Star bird of the spring migration was the female Subalpine Warbler, but the likes of Black-throated Diver, Puffin, Firecrest, multiple Black Redstart and Hooded Crow pretty decent for here. The autumn highlight was obviously the Barolo Shearwater, if accepted, followed by a jam-ins on passing Waxwing and Hen Harrier and was otherwise a bit below par with just a handful of Leach’s Petrel, a single date Purple Sandpiper, vis mig Yellowhammer and a couple of Yellow-brows of interest
178 species seen in total in 2018, excluding the Barolo Shearwater which is with BBRC and the near-miss fully identifying the Long-eared Owl in semi-darkness. Notable absentees were: Marsh Harrier, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Snow Bunting and Sabine’s Gull.
171 species in 2017 with some unexpected omissions: Purple Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, Nuthatch (on HH), Snow Bunting, Crossbill and Black Redstart