The countdown until the special annual summary continues. In this chapter, I will pay homage to the amazing year of 2012. The spring of 2012 will be remembered for years. In this spring, it suddenly felt like we're back in the 1980's again. Numbers of all migrants exploded, and I experienced extreme migration spectacles. On one special day, May 1st, I saw more migrants that I had ever seen before, and likely will never again experience such intensity of migration. I also photographed this flock of exhausted European Bee-eaters that became my most popular photo online.
In 2012 I visited Turkey for the first time, and enjoyed some fantastic birding, including this stonking Western Fish Owl:
2012 wasn't an exceptional year for rarities, yet it produced quality in the form of Basalt Wheatear (6th record), Dusky Warbler (5th) and Pied Bushchat (9th):
However, my personal highlight of the year was a rare resident that gave me a once-in-a-lifetime performance: