Sunday, 31 May 2020

The 1970s: Kenya, Scotland (twice), a Scilly weekend and Thailand in 1978

Another dive into the distant past, more unreliable memories backing up notes pretty much restricted to species lists. Worst of all I can’t now remember who some of the day or weekend trips were with. Most of the latter were with some or all of Richard Bosanquet, Andrew Moon, Pete Naylor and Nigel Redman while Richard Kelly, Martyn Kenefick and Brian Short were local birders who I got to know as the year progressed.

I started 1978 in Kenya (see https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/1978/01/), returning to the UK on the 21 January. I’d given up my job as a trainee accountant to go to Kenya and on my return signed on while deciding what to do next. The following weekend was spent in mid Wales with London friends seeing the Black Vulture which had taken up residence near New Radnor. It looked very impressive over a Welsh valley, at one stage while snowing, but was never accepted as a wild bird despite extensive enquiries finding none had escaped from captivity in the UK. We also saw 4 Red Kites, Hen Harrier and Barn Owl at Cors Tregaron and 15 Goosanders and a Dipper at Talybont Reservoir.
me in Southern Kenya, January 1978
from Cotteridge & Vinicombe's Rare Birds of Britain & Ireland: A Photographic Record (1996)
Andrew Moon had some time off in early February and suggested going up to Islay. It was somewhere I’d not been and could be fitted in between my fortnightly signing-on so I was keen to go. Andrew hadn’t been with us to see the Black Vulture two weeks earlier so we went via Wales. Before leaving London news of a Killdeer at Pwll near Llanelli had us heading first to South Wales. We arrived in the afternoon and found it quite easily, there being no others looking. We drove to Tregaron where we camped, seeing 2 Red Kites in the morning but not the Black Vulture at New Radnor on 10 February. We later learned it was last seen on 8th. We continued driving up to Scotland camping in Northumberland one night and by Loch Lomond the next. Snow coming off the North Sea covered the fields beside the A1 and in atrocious weather we estimated 1000 Sky Larks were feeding on the road as we crawled along it. It took another day to reach the Mull of Kintyre, seeing 5 Goosanders, 4 Black Guillemots, Dipper and Snow Bunting on the way. We saw 2 Red-necked Grebes and 200 Greenland White-fronted Geese before we caught the ferry to Islay and 2 Red-throated, 5 Black-throated and 20 Great Northern Divers from it. We had four nights camping on Islay. Andrew had a booklet on the Birds of Islay which suggested one could see 100 species in a weekend which gave us a target to see what we could. Despite much effort we fell short seeing 99 (and hearing Tawny Owl) during our visit and that included 3 seen from the ferry in Islay waters. Islay was a brilliant place and the highlights of our very enjoyable visit were 10,000 Barnacle, 1000 Greenland White-fronted, 2 Pink-footed and an adult Blue Snow Goose, 2 Whooper Swans, 500 Scaup, 1200 Eider, a Long-tailed Duck, at least 3 Hen Harriers, 2 Golden Eagles, 4 Peregrines, 2 lekking Black and 3 Red Grouse, 10 Woodcock, a Greenshank, a first-winter Iceland Gull, 5 flocks of Chough (2, 3, 17, 31 & a very impressive 81), a Dipper and 60 Twite. We caught the ferry back to the mainland and headed home seeing a Tawny Owl in the headlights somewhere in SW Scotland. We camped at Murray’s Monument and saw 3 male Black Grouse nearby the following morning. We called in to the Solway seeing more geese (2000 Barnacles with an albino, 500 Greylags, 3000 Pink-feet and 200 Greenland White-fronts) and 230 Scaup and it was then a long drive back South. The following weekend I went up to Norfolk with London friends. On the Saturday evening news broke of a Wallcreeper in a quarry at Cheddar. A quick change of plan had us there soon after dawn enjoying excellent views with many others. The month finished seeing the Serin found in Rustington by Richard Grimmett and 100 Tree Sparrows.
Paps of Jura
dawn at a Black Grouse lek on Islay



First-winter Iceland Gull on Islay
Whooper Swans on Islay
Barnacle Geese on Islay



me on Islay
In March I twice went to St. Nicholas at Wade in East Kent to see a Great Bustard. The first was by public transport and included a visit to Stodmarsh where I saw the Glossy Ibis and 10 Bearded Tits. The second, 5 days later, was with my dad who dropped me there while at a meeting nearby. During the month I started agency work at a Building Society in Hove, it was rather mindless involving being given a list of files to collect and later re-file. At least it was only temporary as I had been accepted on an MSc in Operational Research starting in October at the University of Sussex. I had been sent there as an auditor the previous year and had learned of the course then. My only notable sighting in Sussex was a pair of Cirl Buntings in the Cuckmere on 31st.

In many ways the highlight of April was the Sussex Ornithological Society’s AGM, held in Brighton on the 8th. Alan Kitson spoke and showed exotic slides of his ground-breaking six-month ‘exchange’ visit to Mongolia. That it was delivered in full Mongolian costume only added to the impression it made on me at the time. Asia was suddenly the place I most wanted to visit, although vague hopes of getting last year’s Morocco crew together, or a subset of them, for a trip to Iran failed to develop. An early start the following morning with Brian Short saw us at Portland Bill where we saw the Alpine Accentor, Puffin and Firecrest but little else. I didn’t fancy doing the agency job for long and was on the lookout for something better. British Gas advertised three assistant out-of-hours telephone operator positions. It seemed worth trying for one as it paid better and sounded more interesting than filing so I applied. The competition must have been pretty poor as I was offered one. Perhaps telling my interviewer how important it was to take down accurate directions for rarities was the clincher? The job was only for six months as British Gas were then reorganizing their emergency cover from Blackrock to Crawley. This fitted in very well with the start of my MSc course although the job sounded a bit unnecessary as the three existing operators had been doing the job perfectly well on their own for years. I started few days later and for a couple of weeks was doing both jobs. Nine to five at the Building Society in Hove and then a shift at Blackrock. Our shifts provided 24/7 coverage outside office hours ad entailed answering emergency or five-star service phone calls. Evening calls were about gas escapes which required immediate attention or more often re-lighting of boilers. The phones were attached to alarms and about half our night shifts were untroubled between 1-5am allowing plenty of time for reading or dozing. On 29th while walking back home along the seafront I saw 6 Swifts, 10 Swallows, 20 House Martins and 2 singing Reed Warblers with 2 Sedge, 4 Willow Warblers and a Whitethroat the day after but that was as good as it got for migrants. I hadn’t twigged that one didn’t need to be at a headland to make it worth looking out to sea at this time of year.

I hardly went out locally in May seeing a Tawny Owl in St. Anne’s Wells Gardens one night, 4 Nightingales in the Cuckmere and a Whinchat and 2 Spotted Flycatchers on separate trips to Wolstenbury while dad was looking for orchids. On 16th I went to Canterbury by train (seeing 7 Turtle Doves on the way) and walked to Stodmarsh for Britain’s first Pallid Swift. There were only two other birders there and it took a bit of picking out amongst 500 Common Swifts feeding over the Lampen Wall. One told me he was from Brighton (as I had him) and kindly offered me a lift home. It turned out that Richard Kelly was actually from Hove (as was I).
from Cotteridge & Vinicombe's Rare Birds of Britain & Ireland: A Photographic Record (1996)
I was a bit more active in June and met Martyn Kenefick, a friend of Richard Kelly’s and another keen Sussex birder of about my age. I saw a drake Garganey, Black Tern and 15 Bearded Tits at Stodmarsh on 3rd and Hobby, Nightjar, 4 Wood Larks and 4 Dartford and 5 Wood Warblers in the Beaulieu Road area of the New Forest on 6/7th. A few days later we heard rumours that there had been Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole and Great Reed Warbler at Rye Harbour although it sounded as though the first two had gone. We went on the 11th and arrived to find the Ternery Pool hide almost full. On entering I heard someone say ‘it had just walked behind a tussock’ which sounded odd for aGreat Reed Warbler and a couple of minutes later out walked a Black-winged Stilt. A Nightingale at Lullington on 23rd was my only other notable sighting in June.

In mid-July I went up to Scotland with Andrew Moon and Richard Bosanquet. We left London on 13th making it into Scotland and camping near Yellowcraig. The following morning we briefly stopped at Aberlady Bay before crossing Skye and catching the ferry to Lochmaddy. On the crossing we saw Great Northern Diver, 40 Storm Petrels, 8 Manx Shearwaters and the 4 expected auk species. We spent a day and a half on South Uist seeing the male Steller’s Eider, 2 Whooper and 362 Mute Swans, 2 Hen Harriers, immature Little Gull, Short-eared Owl, Redwing, Hebridean Song Thrushes, Hebridean Wrens and 10 Twite. The Steller’s had hardly moved from where I’d seen it on Vorran Island the previous year but although only two weeks later in the year it was showing signs of eclipse and no longer looking pristine. We drove back up to Balranald on North Uist hearing about 10 Corncrakes without seeing any. Having a tape that wasn’t audible more than six feet away probably didn’t help. We did see 2 Whooper Swans, Hen Harrier, male Red-necked Phalarope and 2 Short-eared Owls. We heard 2 Corncrakes the following morning before heading back to the ferry, seeing 2 Storm Petrels and 38 Manx Shearwaters on the crossing. We headed east towards Inverness seeing 16 Slavonian Grebes, male Hen Harrier, 2 Red Kites and 50 Twite before camping in the Cairngorms. The 18th was a brilliant day with a male and 2 female Capercallies and 7 Crested Tits in Rothiemurchus, 3 more Crested Tits, a female Osprey with 3 young and 4 Scottish Crossbills at Loch Garten and 3 Ptarmigan and a male and 2 female Dotterel on Cairn Ban Mor. On 19th was saw 2 more Capercallies and a Hen Harrier at Badan Dubh, a Crested Tit at Loch Morlich and the female Osprey with 2 visible young at Loch Garten, a Dipper at Nethy Bridge and 4 Woodcock at dusk on the road to Carn Ban Mor. We left Cairngorm on 20th and drove to Aberdeen to catch the overnight ferry to Lerwick. On the way we stopped at Spey Bay where we saw over 250 Common, 150 Velvet and a male Surf Scoter. We arrived on Shetland and drove across Mainland, Yell and Unst to Burrafirth, seeing a superb summer plumage Great Northern Diver on the final section. We walked out to the Saito outcrop on Hermaness where the lonely Black-browed Albatross (Albert) was standing in his usual place in the Gannetry, a sixth year hoping to find a mate there. On Hermaness we also saw 500 Fulmars, 5000 Gannets, 100 Great and 20 Arctic Skuas and 400 Puffins although didn’t have time to walk around and soon headed back to Belmont where we caught the ferry to Odsta seeing 50 Black Guillemots on our crossing to Fetlar. On Fetlar we saw the female Snowy Owl and Red-necked Phalarope before an evening climb up to a cliff where between 22:30 and 00:30 the following morning we saw about 20 Storm Petrels returning to their burrows and as we were leaving heard a Manx Shearwater. A magical experience. We saw 2 Red-necked Phalaropes and the Snowy Owl again before leaving the following morning, twitched a smart but likely escaped male Painted Bunting on Yell and caught the overnight ferry back to Aberdeen. It was then a long drive back south. I saw the Tawny Owl in the park again on 28th.

August was a very quiet month for me with the Tawny Owl in the park on 8th, 23 Turtle Doves on the Downs behind Shoreham on 10th, 3 Greenshank in the Cuckmere, 2 Redstarts at Beachy, 3 Spotted Redshank at Pett and 4 at Rye and a Black-necked Grebe, Little Gull and 2 Black and a White-winged Black Tern at Dungeness. The month ended as it started with the Tawny Owl in the park on 31st.

September also started with the Tawny Owl, in the park again on 2nd. I then had a week in Norfolk seeing 12 Pink-footed Geese, 123 Little Stints and a 39 Curlew Sandpipers at Wisbeach on 12th before basing myself at Cley. It was to be a quiet week, the highlights being an escaped Purple Gallinule on 12th, Spotted Crake and at Weybourne adult Glaucous Gull on 13th, Bittern, a different adult Glaucous Gull and a Wryneck on 14th, 15 Little Stints on 15th, 18 Arctic and 2 Pomarine Skuas on 16th, a Leach’s Petrel and 2 Manx Shearwaters and near Snettisham a Quail on 17th, a Pomarine Skua and 25 Bearded Tits on 18th and a Garganey and 7 Curlew Sandpipers on 19th. On 24th I saw 2 Firecrests at Beachy, 10 Curlew Sandpipers, 5 Little Stints and 6 Spotted Redshank at Pett and a Sooty Shearwater and 2 Pomarine Skuas off Dungeness.

I started my MSc on 2 October, seeing a Pectoral Sandpiper at Weirwood Reservoir beforehand and Common and Black Redstart in our garden after. A long weekend on Scilly started well with 3 Tawny Owls, a Little and a Barn Owl seen on the drive down and a Honey Buzzard and immature Sociable Plover on the Hayle on 13th. The Scillonian crossing on 14th was uneventful and we headed straight to St. Agnes where we saw Britain’s first Semipalmated Plover on the beach at Periglis as well as Red-breasted Flycatcher and Little Bunting. Back on St. Mary’s we saw a Long-billed Dowitcher on Porth Hellick and the next morning a Hawfinch by Newford Duck Pond. An afternoon trip to Tresco produced the Black Duck with several hybrids and an Ortolan Bunting. We left a very quiet Scillies on 16th seeing a Firecrest before doing so. About three miles out from St. Mary’s Steve Whitehouse and a couple of other birders started pointing excitedly at what looked like a massive Great Black-backed Gull sat on the sea not far off to port and slightly ahead of us. Looking at it through binoculars my shocked mind was taking in that it was an adult Black-browed Albatross when Steve started shouting. It just sat on the water as we steamed past. It was accepted as being different from the Shetland bird although I did wonder if they might have been the same bird as my future best mate Nick Preston, who I’d not actually met at that stage, had seen it off the Scillonian in late September and ‘Albert’ was last seen on Shetland in early September. After docking in Penzance we just had time to call in at Worth Maltravers to look for an Isabelline Shrike. It had been present and easy to see for a few days but had been trapped that morning and became much more secretive. I only saw it in flight. Early the next morning we drove up to Norfolk seeing 2 Barn Owls on the way. Our target was a superb male Desert Wheatear which fortunately was still on Blakeney Point. We also saw 4 Shore Lark and 8 Snow Buntings in the area, 2 Willow Tits at Holkham and another Barn Owl on the way home.
Semipalmated Plover, St Agnes October 1987. Photographed by David Hunt and published in Cotteridge & Vinicombe's Rare Birds of Britain & Ireland: A Photographic Record (1996)
the long staying Black Duck, probably not photographed in October 1978, from Cotteridge & Vinicombe's Rare Birds of Britain & Ireland: A Photographic Record (1996)
Desert Wheatear on Blakeney Point (photo: Andrew Moon)
In November I saw a Little Stint at Pagham on 5th, arboreal Dusky Warbler at Sandwich Bay on 12th, a Tree Sparrow on the Downs behind Falmer on 23rd and 40 Little Grebes on the ox-bow lake in the Cuckmere on 26th.

Walking in the woods behind the University on 5 December I saw a greyish Tawny Owl. A trip to Pagham on 10th to look for a reported Kentish Plover turned out rather better than we’d hoped. We were surprised to see some of the Sussex ‘old boys’ present, they had clearly got wind that it might be something good. It was, Alan Kitson and Richard Porter were identifying Britain’s first Greater Sand Plover as we arrived. An identification I concurred with, having seen Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers on the Kenya coast less than 12 months earlier. Our presence might also be the reason the news made it onto the grapevine although as it stayed to the end of the month it probably would have done so eventually. Also at Pagham were a Merlin and 8 Avocets. That evening I heard there had been a Ross’s Gull at Whitley Bay in Northumberland, probably my most wanted bird in Britain at the time, but I wasn’t able to find out much more about it. The following evening I made enquiries and after an agonizing wait – for a Teeside birder to come out of the bath, an episode of Fawlty Towers never seemed so long – I heard it had been seen that afternoon. That was enough for me, I dashed down to the station and bought a train ticket with my Student Railcard, only realizing I’d been sold a ticket to Whitby instead of Whitley Bay when I was on the train. Fortunately nobody noticed. I arrived at King’s Cross at about midnight having missed the last train to Newcastle so went instead to some northern city (Leeds?) where I had to wait three or four hours for a connection. From Whitley Bay Station it was a two mile walk to St. Mary’s Island where I arrived soon after 11:00, disappointed to find nobody there watching it. I didn’t have to wait long for the Ross’s Gull to appear, seeing it fly round and land on the grassy football field in front of me – I’d probably overlooked it until then as it spent most of its time sitting on the grass with the other gulls, asleep with its head under its wing. It flew at regular intervals when the other gulls were disturbed. Landing on its feet it immediately sat down and went back to sleep. I watched it for three hours, the last half hour feeding while walking through the grass quite quickly. It came to within 20m of me and at one stage flew directly at me barely clearing my head by six feet. Also seen at Whitley Bay were an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Short-eared Owl. The Ross’s Gull was absolutely superb and even better than I had expected making the 700 mile round trip very worthwhile. I’d missed our course’s Christmas Lunch which didn’t go down too well the next morning but I had tried to let one of the girls know. Out of respect I’ve been pretty successful at missing work Christmas Lunches ever since. On 14th I went back to Pagham and saw the Greater Sand Plover again as well as 6 Avocets and a Barn Owl. On 17th Andrew Moon, Pete Walton, Steve Whitehouse and I flew to Thailand (see https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2013/07/thailand-december-1977-south.html.) I was missing the family Christmas Lunch too.
extract from my notebook
probably about the only one I'm prepared to share!
me in Northern Thailand, December 1978
[blogged May 2020]

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Knepp, Rackham & Steepdown (20-26 May)

Tuesday 26 May. I spent all morning at Knepp seeing 2 Cuckoos, 4 Stock and 3 Turtle Doves, free-flying/introduced White Storks, Red Kite, 2 Buzzards, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 6 Jays, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcap, 4 Garden Warblers, a Lesser and 7 Common Whitethroats and 3 Misle Thrushes. Two Nightingales were the only good birds heard but not seen.
Garden Warbler at Knepp
Turtle Dove at Knepp
one of three seen today
probably one of those seen on earlier visits (13 & 21 May) but it is likely one of the others wasn't
free-flying White Storks at nest
free-flying White Stork on remains of last year's unsuccessful nest (the camera seems to be an addition this season). Not being used (yet?) this year but clearly of interest as two other storks were also flying around it
free-flying White Stork at Knepp
the left hand bird with the 'shot' wing looks very much like that seen on 21st
second free-flying White Stork nest, not as obvious as the first but still easily seen despite keeping to footpaths 
third free-flying White Stork nest, another very obvious one, one chick visible
Monday 25 MayMegan and I took Cookie to Rackham. We walked our usual circuit and were going to go on into Parham Park but it was rather hot in the sun for Cookie so we returned by a slightly different route. Great move as a Tawny Owl flew in to give me a once over (I was pishing, never worked on a Tawny Owl before), landed for a micro second and continued. I could hear a Blackbird alarming so didn't think it had gone far but a couple of walkers appeared ahead of me before I could search for it. It was the first Tawny Owl I'd seen for over two years. Quite a contrast from my youth when I tracked down calling individuals in St. Annes Wells Gardens in Hove. Also seen were 4 Greylag and an Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Buzzard, Red Kite, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Coal Tits and a Blackcap. My ears just about picked out a singing Goldcrest, Firecrest might now be beyond me, but I only saw a shape.
Cookie hiding under my chair, not at all keen on a nearby neighbour jet-washing their car
Sunday 24 MayMegan and I took Cookie to Lancing Ring and Steepdown seeing 11 Sky Larks, 3 Swallows, a Chiffchaff, 4 Whitethroats and 15 Corn Buntings. We also heard a Quail which at the time as it was in a cereal crop I thought best to be very vague about the location of. Someone else had no qualms reporting it from Steepdown so I can come clean.
Corn Bunting at Steepdown
another Corn Bunting at Steepdown

Saturday 23 May. I took Cookie to Cuckoos Corner and we waked up to Dacre Gardens and back. The wind was quite strong keeping birds down and we heard as much as we saw (Cetti's, Chiffchaff, Reed & Sedge Warblers). Just one juvenile Grey Heron and no Little Egrets were seen in the Coombes 'heronry' although the adjoining rookery seemed well populated with about 200 Rooks. 4 Little Egrets were in the valley and I also saw 4 Sky Larks, a male and juvenile Stonechat, 3 Greenfinches and a Corn and 5 Reed Buntings.
Little Egret on the Adur at Cuckoo's Corner
its caught something
Stonechat near Coombes

Friday 22 May. Megan and I took Cookie to Mill Hill. It was expectedly quiet with 4 Swifts, a Peregrine (just visible on Beeding Quarry chimney) and a Jay.
Adonis Blue at Mill Hill


Lancing College, Steepdown and a field of buttercups from Mill Hill
Peregrine on Beeding Quarry chimney
Thursday 21 May. I took Cookie to Knepp where we saw 3 Turtle Doves (one most likely one of the three seen on 13th), 2 Red Kites, 2 Buzzards, 7 free-flying White Storks, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, 7 Jays, Treecreeper, Mistle Thrush and 2 Bullfinches. We also heard Cuckoo and Nightingale. In the evening 2 Swifts flew over our house.
Turtle Dove at Knepp




brilliant that they are hanging on here, but for how much longer
free-flying White Stork at Knepp, give me a Turtle Dove any day
this one looks as if it has experienced a 'Maltese moult'
Wednesday 20 May. A quiet seawatch from Shoreham Beach in a very light NE wind produced 4 Swifts, 4 Sanderling, 5 Sandwich Terns, a Fulmar, 7 Gannets and a Swallow. Five Oystercatchers were on  the Adur on my cycle home
.

Friday, 22 May 2020

TRIP INDEX by year

The following lists and gives links to the relevant blogs of all the foreign birding (and some family) trips that I have been on. It is ordered by year with the most recent year first. Blogs of the older trips use scanned slides, some having degraded badly with age, or digitised prints of varying qualitySome use photos taken by those I was with. These are usually easy to tell as they are significantly better than mine and are acknowledged in most cases. Many of the older blogs are based on my unreliable memories where my notes are very lacking in detail, other than the birds seen, something I now greatly regret. The blogs were initially done to find a 'home' for boxes of old slides which I had not looked at for years, my dad giving me his slide scanner providing the necessary impetus to digitise them. Doing these blogs has brought back many very happy memories, and a few sad ones. I’ve been very fortunate in having various like-minded friends whom I have usually been able to travel with. Sadly an increasing number are no longer with us including. The Covid-19 Lockdown has given me the opportunity to fill in all remaining gaps so, until I can travel abroad again, the following list is complete.
Kagu, New Caledonia August 1998 (digitised print originally taken with an instamatic).  One of my current all-time top four birds. Giant Pitta (1987), displaying Wilson's Bird of Paradise (1993) and displaying Western Parotia (2013) are the others.
2020: MYANMAR (January)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2020/02/myanmar-2020-yangon-and-bagan-11-14.html
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2020/02/myanmar-2020-mount-victoria-15-20.html
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2020/02/myanmar-2020-inle-and-kalaw-21-25.html
            SPAIN Fuerteventua (February)
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2020/02/
2019:  SRI LANKA (January/February)
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/01/
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/02/sri-lanka-20019-uda-walawe-and.html
             NORWAY (and FINLAND) (March)
             https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/04/norway-and-finland-2019-kirkenes-neljan.html
              https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/04/norway-2019-to-vardo-and-back-24-28.html
             (BALI and) BORNEO (August)
             https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/08/
             FRANCE Somme (September)
             https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/09/france-2019-st-valery-sur-somme-7-14.html
2018:  ECUADOR (February)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/
           FRANCE Somme (May)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2018/05/st-valery-sur-somme-19-26-may.html
           NORTHERN PERU (June/July)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2018/07/
           SPAIN Mallorca (September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2018/09/
            MADAGASCAR (October)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2018/10/madagascar-2018-04-19-october.html
2017:  JAMIACA (February)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/jamaica-2017-1-8-february.html
           TRINIDAD and TOBAGO (March)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/trinidad-and-tobago-17-19-march-2017.html
           GUYANA (March/April)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/
           MONGOLIA (May)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/
           FRANCE Somme (September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/st-valery-sur-somme-2-9-september-2017.html
           NORTHERN GREECE (October)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/northern-greece-03-10-october.html
            BOLIVIA (November)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/
2016:  CALIFORNIA (January)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_01_01_archive.html
           MEXICO (February/March)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_02_01_archive.html
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/mexico.html
           NORWAY (May)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_05_01_archive.html 
           FINLAND (May/June)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2016/06/finland-2016-return-to-oulu-and.html
           JAPAN (June/July)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/japan-2016-hokkaido-23-29-june.html
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_07_01_archive.html
            FRANCE Somme (September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/st-valery-sur-somme-03-10-september-2016.html
           GHANA (October/November)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_10_01_archive.html
2015:  ECUADOR (January/February)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015_01_01_archive.html
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/ecuador-2015-sani-lodge-02-09-february.html
            ARIZONA (April/May)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015_04_01_archive.html
            INDONESIA Lesser Sundas (August)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/indonesia-2015-flores-13-18-august.html
           FRANCE Somme (August/September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/a-week-in-somme-29-august-5-september.html
           BRAZIL (September/October)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015_09_01_archive.html           
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/ne-brazil-boa-nova-and-serra-bonita-4-8.html
2014:  SPAIN Extremadura (April)
           COLOMBIA (July/August)
          FRANCE Brittany (September)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/brittany-6-13-september.html
2013: CORSICA (May)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/corsica-col-de-sorba-restonica-valley.html
          INDONESIA West Papua (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2013_08_01_archive.html
          FRANCE Normandie (September)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/normandie-14-21-september.html
2012: TURKEY (June)
          Demirkazik
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/04-june-2012-demirkazik.html
          Birecik
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/06-june-2012-birecik-and-durnalik.html
          Nemrut Dagi
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/08-june-2012-nemrut-dagi.html
          MALAYSIA Sarawak & Sabah (July/August) 
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012_08_01_archive.html
          FRANCE Somme (September)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/2-9-september-2012-st-valery-sur-somme.html
2011: ETHIOPIA (February)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2011_02_01_archive.html
          TAIWAN (April/May)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2011_04_01_archive.html
2010: CHINA (May/June)
          Shanghai (Spoon-billed Sandpiper), Wuishan, Fuzhou & Xiaolongmen
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2010_05_01_archive.html
          Xi’an & Yangxian (Crested Ibis)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/china-31-may-2-june-2010-xian-and.html
          Pingtai (Jankowski’s Bunting)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/china-3-5-june-2010-pingtai-xiainghai.html
           UGANDA (June)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2010_06_01_archive.html
2009:  VIETNAM (April)
          Cat Tien & Da Lat plateau
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2009_04_01_archive.html
2008:  PHILIPPINES (April)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2008_04_01_archive.html

           NAMIBIA (July/August)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2008_08_01_archive.html
2007:  INDIA Eaglenest (April) 
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2007/04/     
2006:  PAPUA NEW GUINEA (August)


2005:  TEXAS (April)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2005/04/
           INDONESIA Sumatra & West Java (July)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2005/07/
2004:  CUBA (April)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2004/04/
            PAPUA NEW GUINEA (June)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2004_06_01_archive.html
2003:  JAPAN (January)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2003_01_01_archive.html
           CAMEROON (April)
2002:  CHILE (April)
2001:  PUERTO RICO & DOMINION REPUBLIC (April)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2001/04/
           GAMBIA (November)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2001/11/
2000:  CHINA Quinghai (June)
1999:  ECUADOR (August/September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1999_09_01_archive.html

1998:  AUSTRALIA and NEW CALEDONIA (July/August)

1997:  VIETNAM (March/April) 


1996:  PHILIPPINES (April)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1996_04_01_archive.html
           NEW ZEALAND (August)   
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1996_08_01_archive.html
1995:  MADAGASCAR (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1995_08_01_archive.html
1993:  INDONESIA Irian Jaya (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1993_08_01_archive.html
1992:  INDONESIA Sulawesi and Halmahera (August)
1991:  SOUTH AFRICA (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1991_08_01_archive.html
1990:  ARGENTINA (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1990_08_01_archive.html
1989:  ICELAND (June)               
          https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/1989/06/
1988: THAILAND (March/April)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1988_04_01_archive.html 
           BRAZIL (July/August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1988_07_01_archive.html

          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1988_08_01_archive.html
1987:  MALAYSIA Sabah and Peninsular (July/August) 
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1987_08_01_archive.html
1986:  AUSTRALIA Queensland and Northern Territory (March/April)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1986_03_01_archive.html
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1986_04_01_archive.html
           ECUADOR and VENEZUELA July/August 1986
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1986_08_01_archive.html
1985:  COSTA RICA and PANAMA (July/August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1985_08_01_archive.html

1984:  PERU (July/August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1984_08_01_archive.html
           BOTSWANA (December-January 1985) 
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1984_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1985_01_01_archive.html  
1983:  KENYA (July/August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1983_08_01_archive.html

1982:  MALAYSIA Peninsular (January/February)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_01_01_archive.html
           THAILAND (February)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_02_01_archive.html

            NEPAL (March/June)
          Jomson Trek
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_03_01_archive.html

          Everest Trek
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_04_01_archive.html

          Langtang Trek
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_05_01_archive.html

           INDIA (June/July)
          Ladakh
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_06_01_archive.html

          Kashmir
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_07_01_archive.html

           VENEZUELA (December-February 1983)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1983_01_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1983_02_01_archive.html
1980:  CANADA (May)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1980_05_01_archive.html
            THAILAND (December-January 1981)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1980_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1981_01_01_archive.html
1979:  ISRAEL (March/April)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_04_01_archive.html
           CANARIES (June/July)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_07_01_archive.html
           NEPAL (November-January 1980)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_11_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1980_01_01_archive.html
1978:  THAILAND (December-January 1979)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1978_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_01_01_archive.html

1977:  MOROCCO (April)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1977_04_01_archive.html
           KENYA (December-January 1978)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1977_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1978_0_01_archive.html

1975:  CARMARGUE (May)
          included in The 1970s: Camargue, Shetland & Scillies in 1975 blog
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1975_12_01_archive.html
1974:  MAJORCA (October)
          brief mention in The 1970s: finding my feet - 1974 blog
          https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/1974/