I've reviewed the county year as a separate entry as it was such a big part of my birding year for 2009. However I thought that I would have a brief reminisce about my out of county birding this year just gone and also to look forward to the year ahead.
Looking back there were two family holidays in 2009 which were fortunately both in great birding locations and which offered me an opportunity to see some birds which I would not normally encounter. Dingle gave me iceland and glaucous gulls as well as my first black guillemots. Mull was a fantastic holiday where we seemed to be staying in the best birding location and I was able to see almost everything that I was after almost from my back door: white-tailed sea eagles, golden eagles, twite, artic skua and great skua were all much enjoyed with only corncrake eluding me but it was just too late in the season for them. Apart from that the only major birding expedition was my trip down to Devon where I stayed overnight and enjoyed a full day's birding by the sea. I was able to see: cattle egret, spoonbill, surf scoter, velvet scoter, cirl bunting and penduline tit as well as a probable Siberian chiffchaff on what was probably my favourite trip of the year.
Apart from these major trips there were little part-day excursions to see specific bird: green-winged teal at Eyebrook Reservoir in Leicestershire; mealy redpoll at Padworth in Berkshire; goshawks at New Fancy View; roseate terns at Brownsea Island; golden orioles at Lakenheath; honey buzzard in the New Forest; wryneck at Lathbury in Bucks.; the Staine's Moor brown shrike; the Hampshire spotted sandpiper and the Worcestershire glossy ibis were all nice little twitches.
As I mentioned previously I've managed 28 lifers this year which has been most gratifying. Let's hope that 2010 is just as enjoyable and rewarding. I'm definitely not doing another full-on county year list though I will keep track of my county score out of interest. I think that this year ahead I will concentrate on county and life list lifers to try and get both these lists up to something a little more respectable.