2014 that is. I know it hasn't quite finished, but the year is slowing down, wheezing a bit and will soon come to a halt. More than a handful of birders that I know have already moth-balled their optics.
It has been an odd year for me. I dispensed with full-time employment last December but have most probably done even less birding/mothing/planting than ever before. I did get out there, but it was in fits and starts. A fortnight at Dungeness in mid-May was as hardcore as it got. And then, when autumn was upon us, I took on an eight-week contract and entered the world of the employed once again - bad timing as far as the birding went.
What did I see this year? It had its moments. Those two weeks at Dungeness produced a Great Reed Warbler, a Bee-eater, a Montagu's Harrier and two Black-winged Stilts; locally a Merlin and 2 Spoonbills; moths were not a great success, with my continued failure with pheromone lures causing frustration; plants took a back seat although I finally tracked Bastard Toadflax down on Walton Downs - it's not a species I've seen often in Surrey.
My pan-listing efforts were half-hearted. I lost a bit of oomph as far as this was concerned. I will still maintain the list and try and identify things if the interest takes me, but as for following lichenologists and bryologists around, writing down a list of latin names to tick off later - that can 'go whistle' as far as I'm concerned. Pan-listing tourism is not my thing.
The blogging has given me a lot of pleasure, if only as an outlet for my 'writing'. It's good to have an outlet, I find... This is post number 215, and although I wouldn't be so shallow as to try and beat last year's 223 posts, I should imagine that, barring flood and disease, that total will be passed. People seem to carry on visiting the blog, which is humbling, but even if nobody was bothering I would carry on. It's cheap therapy.