James Lowen 

So here are Turkestan/Red-tailed Shrike (Yorks), Eleonora's Falcon (Kent), 'Bluebell Conch' (Norfolk), Red-breasted Goose (Norfolk), Alpine Accentor (Suffolk), Cape Gull (Cambs), American Robin (Sussex), Barred warbler (Yorks), Swallowtail (Norfolk).


30 December 2022 Year highlights

It hasn't, to be frank, felt like a vintage year for me in terms of either wildlife-watching or photography. I have kept very local, and that hasn't really worked for me. In birding terms, nothing rarer than Wood Warbler found during autumn migration, two self-find ticks in spring (Black-winged Stilt, Savi's Warbler) both transpiring to already have been discovered (and kept quiet, for reasons of possible breeding) by others. My decision not to join friends on Shetland (having first signed up to go) meant no glimpse of the moribund Least Bittern for me, and other painful twitching omissions were Blackburnian Warbler (too many long stories to tell), Greater Sandplover (dead car; no lift) and the Norfolk (if not in Kent) Eleonora's Falcon (several dips; stuck in a supermarket the one time I could have coincided, and got there too late). But flicking through my photos from this year has been a welcome activity - for it enables me to find joy in what I have witnessed rather than needle myself with pain about what I haven't. And that, surely, is what enjoying nature is about - drawing pleasure from its plusses. So here are a few of the images that brought pleasure this year. Most of them have a full-size offering somewhere in 2022's suite of blogs, so ferret around here and you may find them. Roll on 2023!

(All Norfolk unless otherwise stated) Clifton Non-pareil, Emperor Moth (Suffolk), Striped Hawk-moth, Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Scarce Vapourer caterpillar, Marbled Clover, Euchromius ocellae, Blair's Mocha, Uresiphita gilvata, Chrysoesthia drurella (London), Uncinus obductella (London), Eucosma lacteanaCryptoblabes bistriga, Oak Rustic. 

Lax-flowered Tongue Orchid (Suffolk), dancing Adders (Suffolk), Musk Beetle (Norfolk), Clover Melitta (I think; Norfolk), Toothwort (Dorset), Meloe proscarabaeus (a black oil beetle; Dorset); Cockchafers cock-chafing (Norfolk), Four-banded Flower Bee (London).