First-winter Semipalmated Plover along Hayling seafront, 20th October
Not really a bird to poke a 400mm lens at, the closest we had it was about 25 metres. After hearing it call once at Black Point just before the entire flock flew off, we relocated the bird along the beach at Hayling seafront where it showed reasonably well in windy conditions. A subtle and challenging bird that showed the suite of features you'd want to see (though admittedly I couldn't see the semipalmations on the views I had), and a welcome grip-back just 75 miles from home - I never bothered attempting to see either last year's Hebridean bird or the Kerry bird of 2011.
My guess is that three in three years is just the beginning of a new-found regularity that will see British & Irish records occur much more frequently in the coming years, but only time will tell.