Tuesday 30 December 2014

2014 in review

It's been a phenomenal year in Newfoundland far exceeding my expectations.
Here are some of the highlights.

The year started with a bang when a Common Snipe was found in Ferryland - it was seen for at least another 2 months in the same area.
Perhaps it was a vanguard of the many european shorebirds that were to follow 4 months later.

The snipe had to endure one of the worst winters in recent memory - this photo pretty much sums up what it was like:

There was a lot of snow!

Despite being cold, the winter can be beautiful. This photo was taken in Cape St. Francis - I visited the headland 15 times this year recording 51 species during many memorable seawatches.

Much of the winter was spent looking at gulls - the elusive Yellow-legged Gull became a Quidi Vidi regular for a couple weeks in March much to the satisfaction of local birders:

Late April to late May was non-stop madness for birders on the island. It all started with 
2 Black-tailed Godwits on April 25:

Over 300 European Golden-Plovers were seen over the following weeks:

And in the middle of the invasion everyones Most Wanted Bird showed up in Torbay - a day many of us will not soon forget:

A schinzii Dunlin was seen for a single day (Greenland sub-species):

While 40+ Northern Wheatears were enjoyed by many:

As if there weren't enough rarities in the preceding month, this Pacific Loon kept the lists growing:

While we were scrambling to see all the Euro rarities, the regular breeding birds were returning. Here a Northern Gannet flies by an iceberg:

Insects stole my attention for a short while:

After a 5 week trip to Nepal for school-related activities I had 3 weeks of solid birding before school started up again.

One highlight was photographing this juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher:

And finding two adult Common Ringed Plovers:

Seabird events seemed more regular this year than usual. One such event involved 5 species of jaeger/skua in one day!

Warblers impressed, as they usually do, in late August through September:

A totally unexpected gull best fitting that of Kamchatka Gull showed up in September only being seen once more:

November saw a lot of time sunk into figuring out what kind of meadowlark was in our midst. 

And soon the winter began to set in once again:

Great Cormorants will surely return to our local ponds and rivers in the coming months as they continue to adapt to freshwater:

One of my favourite photos of the year:

Hopefully 2015 will be just as good or even better!