I’m currently sat at home on my birthday doing nothing more than reading the papers – I know I should be out in the field but fuck it! It’s my day let the birds come to me. My best chance today might be in inland Skua but that’s not what this post is about.
My last British tick was Western Sandpiper back in December 2011, the only bird I’ve needed so far this year was the Orphean Warbler and I was in Spain. So with autumn migration hotting up I need a big one for my 450th, so – what’ll it be? I’ve whittled down a list of my six most wanted birds currently on the BOU list.
1. Yellow-breasted Bunting
Photo by Richard Dunn
Once a pretty regular if rare bird, recent declines means this species I thought I’d mop up has become a mega rarity. Dipped one on St Agnes – I know Neil, yes we should have gone a day earlier.
2. Yellow-rumped Warbler
A real favourite of mine from Canada. Not been a twitchable one for some time. I’d love one on Scilly this October.
3. Eastern-crowned Warbler
Photo by Craig Shaw
Ouch! This one hurts. Dipped it by a day because I went to find my own rares in Lincolnshire.
4. Common Nighthawk
World ticked this in 2011 in British Columbia but sadly that doesn’t allow it onto my British list.
5. Great Snipe
Photo by Mark Thomas
Another big dip – went for the displaying adult at Cley only for it not to show that night. A big regret was not twitching the one at Sandwell Valley.
6. Blackburnian Warbler
Photo by Will Miles
This really is my dream bird to find. It’s the one bird I always have in my search image as I step onto Scilly every year. To find this would make my year! I can always dream…