Another year goes by and more lessons learned, identifications made, new experiences and of course a couple of dips!
The majority of the focus of the year was on the Patchwork Challenge competition, which I managed to score a massive 160 species of bird at Strumpshaw, Buckenham and Cantley. this beats by previous best year by 11 species!
New species I've not seen at Mid Yare before are as follows;
The Wryneck stands out as being the most surprising of the additional species closely followed by Sandwich Tern and Woodlark. Nice to finally catch up with Hawfinch over the reserve too.
Off Patch I had a single addition to my UK list, but a bit of a belter -The Pacific Swift on my first fathers day
Biggest annoyance of the year has to be (yet again) Icterine warbler. It was a good year for them and I managed to see one fly over my head and away at Cley and another for a millisecond in the open after a 4hr search turning up seconds after it was showing well at Gun Hill. Maybe this year!!
So not to dwell on the past I'll look to 2014.
It may be a busy year for several reasons;
1- January I will be doing the footit competition. I have set the large target of 80 species within a mile of my house....we'll see, but it'll be fun to explore the species around me in fuller detail.
2- Patchwork challenge- all year (but I will probably be there less than last year)
3- Garden pan species listing- all year. This is potentially an interesting and time consuming goal for the year. I will be concentrating on true bugs, hoverflies, moths and all other creepy crawlies that can be identified. This is a way of forcing me to look at more taxa to increase my knowledge and my chances of becoming a better ecologist! I have set a target of 500 species for the year in my small garden, if I'm honest I really don't know how realistic this is but with a potential of 200 sp of moth I think its a fair aim.
4- The biggest thing I will be busy with will most probably be family! with little Toby now 1 and just starting walking, this will be a year for being a dad and a husband. (This also works well with my garden all taxa challenge!! lol)
I wish all readers of this blog a Happy New Year and a prosperous wildlife filled 2014 thank you for reading- Ben