January 2016

Some big life changes in 2015, most importantly a new girlfriend. Lucie lives for half the year in Tuscany, so I will be spending some time there now, when I can get away. I'm also putting an end to year-listing birds, as the routine is repetitive. So the blog will now have some other material on it, but will still have a strong wildlife focus. I'm also on sabbatical until September 2016, so have some more freedom to travel.

2015 had some great moments. I saw 5 new British bird species - little bunting, Hudsonian godwit, Hudsonian whimbrel, greater yellowlegs and red-throated pipit. I travelled quite a lot, with trips to Switzerland, Berlin, Dublin, some great birding in Cyprus, my first trip to Tuscany, and I had an amazing time in California. The family holiday on Scilly was fantastic too, with a number of friends and family members dropping by. In total I saw 207 birds in Britain.

I was in Italy between 14-21st. We visited Montepulciano, Pienza, Lucignano, the thermal spa at Rapolano Terme and had a day in Trastevere, Rome visiting the Basilica of Santa Maria there and the Pantheon. Some photos from the iPhone. The frst shot is a classic Tuscan landscape seen from Pienza, with Italian stone pine and Italian cypress trees.

Tuscany, Montepulciano




Basilica of Santa Maria

10th - grey phalarope, unringed ruddy shelduck, 2 greater scaup and siskin at Slimbridge

I went to see the dusky warbler and glossy ibis at Ham Wall on 4th.

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