Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Self assessment

It's around this time we are forced to our self-assessments at work - a completely pointless and tedious task - which are completely ignored once I've written what they want me to say.  I hate my job, but it pays the bills, when I can be arsed to pay them; it pays my pension, which will probably outlast me; and allows me to give me money to environmental causes, pathetically matched by the huge American firm I work for. That my contributions are just pissing in a Jovian storm doesn't make me feel that really the whole work thing is that great.

Anyway this is my self assessment for the thing I do enjoy, namely birding.

Last year year listing wise was my worst for many a year (225 species), but there were new additions.  A few new additions.  Too few additions:

  1. Myrtle Warbler (Feb 15th, Durham)
  2. Red-flanked Bluetail (Feb 16th, Marshfields Gloucestershire)
  3. Two-barred Crossbill (Lyndeford Arb, Norfolk)
  4. Spectacled Warbler (7 June, Burnham Overy, Norfolk)
  5. Short-toed Eagle (June 21st Ashdown Forest, Sussex)
  6. Collared Pratincole, 26th July (Minsmere RSPB)
  7. Ross's Gull (31st July, Topsham, Devon)
  8. Masked Shrike (25th September, Kilnsea Yorks)
  9. Siberian Rubythroat (5th Oct, Levenwick, Shetland)
  10. Lanceolated Warbler (7th Oct, Quendale, Shetland)
  11. Eastern Bonellis Warbler (10th Oct, Scalloway, Shetland)
 All of which puts me in close reach of the magical 400.  So target one is acquired!

Ok so the targets I set last year failed miserably: getting my Kent and Suffolk lists over the 200 mark.  I managed Kent once, and Suffolk slightly more. So no prizes for guessing how that went. I think I only managed Norfolk on a handful of occasions.

Best trips: Shetland of course, but great days out to Ashdown Forest (twice), Topsham (with Marco for the gull), and a trip to Norfolk with Mr Fisher (who also did the second trip to see the Eagle) for the Speccy.

London had a bad year though I missed out on a few good birds by being away in Cambridge, there just weren't that many we didn't see on the patch.  Rainham only had a Spotted Crake, and a warbler that shall remain nameless.  Slim pickins indeed.  I did however win the London Bird Club patch challenge with probably the lowest score for years.  I couldn't be arsed and I won't be listing for Rainham again. Luckily Howard is taking up the Patchwork Challenge mantle, where I got beaten on points by some arse from Wanstead and a guy from Luton (that's the Inner London League for you).  To put it in perspective Dave Mo thrashed my pitiful Rainham total (obviously the regulars would have done so too), but with Kev Jarvis out of the running there was not much pressure, though Gary James did brilliantly at Galleon's Reach and thoroughly deserved to beat me.

So other targets:

I will go to Shetland again

I will see as many new birds at Wanstead as I can

that's it

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