31st December. Predictable Year End Ramblings
Well it's the last day of the year and in the tradition of previous years it's time to add up the year list.........
Right that didn't take long. Actually I just had a quick look at the biggest year list on Surfbirds and added two more, that's what the top-listers do apparently! Seriously though, and without turning this post into a Lee bashing session, my list was one that no one else could possibly beat! Why? Because it was my self-found patch list, no competition and no targets.
Well I managed an amazing 121 self-found (amazing in the sense that Orgreave looks crap). That is proper self-found not 'innocently' stumbling into someone else's find or rediscovering 'lost' birds, all proper bona fide found by me. The best birds came towards the end of the year with the Leach's Petrel (R.I.P) in September and the fantastic day in November when, on a seemingly crap day, I scored the double with Snow Bunting and what proved to be the Sheffield areas first twitchable Lapland Buntings. Lots of other local scarce kept me occupied and more importantly fuelled my enthusiasm enough that I made almost 400 visits during the year. I make no apologies for this post coming across rather self-centred, it has been a great year. In fact I'd go as far to say that the last year has been the most enjoyable twelve months birding that I have ever had. I could have done better though, a few lazy mornings cost me about four birds and I must have missed some Waxwings over during the last couple of months. A total of 129 species were recorded at Orgreave this year which for a site in its youth is pretty good.
2011 leave is already booked up, a week in Extremadura, two weeks in Cornwall and 12 days on Shetland(though a partial change in venue this time) in October to mention a few.
So a few New Years resolutions before I go. Take more notes and submit more records - not just the 'of interest' birds but everything. Some people would prefer it if I kept my opinions to myself but they can go bollocks. It's my opinion nobody else's and if you don't like it tough shit, feel free to give me a slap next time you see me.
Lastly I'd just like to say thanks to a few people who have made life great this year in no particular order. Jo,Beth,Rob,Andy Mc,John H,Johnny S,Martin G,Andy D, Roy T,Pete W, Everyone on Shetland who isn't Welsh, Mum and Dad,Gary Prescott AKA Biking Birder, Garry Bagnell and Lee Evans for giving me something to write about,my new in laws, my old in laws,the late (fingers crossed) Mrs Thatcher for giving me the best local patch in the Sheffield area and lastly everyone that reads this blog.
Happy New Year.