Friday, 31 December 2021

2021 - Lazy Review

I went fishing today (3 small Grayling) and this evening had a catch-up scroll through Twitter. It is stiff with end-of-year birdy tweets. Lots of 2021 highlights/summaries, and plenty of 2022 statements of intent. I am too lazy to follow that lead, so here is a quick blog post instead.

Favourite Bird

Er...probably this one...

Cogden's Greenland Redpoll

Confiding, tricky, and massively under-appreciated. I loved it. I can think of several other birds which for different reasons were also favourites, but if I had to pick one...

Favourite Find

No contest: Tree Cricket! Discovering a little colony of Tree Crickets at West Bexington was brilliant fun. Also tricky; also massively under-appreciated.

Melodious Warbler was great, but too brief and uncooperative. Caspian Gull was great, but - to my shame - identified after the fact. Stone-curlew was simply great - excellent adrenaline rush, and stayed long enough for Mike and Alan to enjoy too, but Tree Cricket still topped it.

Favourite Cock-up

Again, no contest: Peregrine Falcon. A serious dose of the shakes with that one. And I wonder how many other birders in 2021 managed to turn a Peregrine into a BirdGuides Mega-Alert for a few hours?

Favourite Non-Orthopteran Insect Find

Female Lesser Emperor. Tough competition from Cogden Chalk Hill Blue, Lulworth Skipper and Southern Migrant Hawker, but the Lesser Emperor wins it. Insects were an unexpected delight throughout the summer, and three of that lot were lifers. I hope insects feature again in 2022.

Favourite Wheeze

A clear winner...

Just a couple of sea anglers going about their everyday angling business, right? Look closely.

I see a lot of sea anglers along the Chesil Beach, but this is the first time I've seen anyone do this...

Why bother risking a pulled muscle from that pendulum cast with triple salchow and flip, when there is a far more relaxed way?

Yep, she held the rod and spooled out line while he piloted the bait out towards the French coast.

Favourite Plan

The one for tomorrow. Tomorrow I will step out of the door and walk. I will take my bins, my camera, some refreshments, and I will look at birds all day. And that's it.

If you have got this far, thank you for reading. Throughout 2021 this blog has been a pleasure to write, and knowing that people read it is surprisingly gratifying. All the best for 2022...


  1. Excellent Gavin and a happy new year to you. I will also be stepping out of the door tomorrow for the day without high expectations but living in hope. Regards Robin

    1. Thanks Robin. 👍
      And all the best for 2022. 😊

  2. Looking forward to reading your consistently upbeat blog throughout 2022, buddy! I shall honestly make an effort to leave less daft comments whilst drinking vino into the early hours, but I'll be reading just as avidly! Surprised but happy to see the Redpoll made it as your fave bird for 2021. Will nocmig Ortolans feature next year, I wonder....?

    1. Thanks Seth. It's great to get comments on the blog, wine-fuelled or otherwise, so thank you for them all!

  3. Another notable year Gav, and I agree with you, those tree crickets were a great find and underlined the world of possibilities out there.

    Have a great '22, I always enjoy your blogs and look forward to the spring influx.... even the wheatears ;o)

    1. Cheers Dave, same to you.

      Yes, there may be Wheatears.

  4. Happy New Year to you and yours, Gavin. As always, I've thoroughly enjoyed your blog over the past 12 months, and I look forward to seeing what 2022 brings. All the best.


    1. Many thanks Malcolm. That means a lot. All the best for 2022.

  5. Another year done and much ground covered Gav. I'm always impressed by the detail you impart to your writing which remains as ever, compulsive reading. Good luck for future projects.

    1. Cheers Ric. Hope I can keep the momentum going...