As the year is closing, I am looking back to realise, despite it being such an awful year, it’s far from the worst I had, it doesn’t even come close (it’s the mileage that’s killing me, I guess). Yet, I feel depressive and so tired – and I haven’t even caught Covid yet (but did something else, a friend of mine asked: Are you sure it’s not malaria?).

Birdwise, I am lagging some 10 to 15 species behind my usual tallies, considering everything – not too bad at all. I was mostly birding once per week (and sometimes fewer). But I rarely made a longer excursion, although after a few months it became possible. If I check my lists, I’d probably discover that more than 90% comes from my local patch, Beljarica.

However, here’s a series of photos telling a nicer and more diverse story than I remember:

Spring

Ortolan Bunting (near Belgrade)

European Roller (near Belgrade)

Autumn

Zajecarsko Beer in a garden with plum trees and Sombre Tits (Jerma River Canyon)

A Yellowhammer in the same garden (Jerma River Canyon)

Pear brandy on the Global Big [Birding] Day (in the Deliblato Sands Reserve)

That Great Black-Backed Gull that is supposed to overwinter at sea and not the Danube in the land-locked Serbia

Winter

One for the Christmas: European Robin

Yours truly

And my cat giving me the look

I wish you all a happy, healthy and bird-rich new 2021.

Cover photo: Great Egrets in glorious October sunshine at Beljarica Levee

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Written by Dragan
Dragan Simic is obsessively passionate about two things – birding and travelling in search of birds, and that has taken him from his native Balkans to the far shores of Europe and the Mediterranean, southern Africa, India and Central America. His 10,000 Birds blog posts were Highly Commended in the International Category of the 2015 BBC Wildlife Blogger Awards. Birder by passion and environmental scientist by education, he is an ecotourism consultant, a field researcher and a bird blogger who always thinks that birding must be better behind that next bend in the road, and that the best bird ever is – the next lifer. He tweets as @albicilla66