Although the number of species that we record is not the be-all and end-all of our efforts, it is something that can focus the mind and add a bit of fun to the proceedings. So, for next years mini-Uber bash, I've set myself some targets...
Not the most ornithologically blessed of areas, but when you consider that I've seen Ring-necked Duck and Dotterel within its confines then there is always hope. And don't be fooled by that duck - not for me will there be mornings spent scoping wildfowl, as there is no water body larger than a town park pond - which is exactly where that duck decided to spend two consecutive winters (Bourne Hall, Ewell). My aspirations climb no higher than a shrike, Wryneck or harrier, but is likely to get no better than a Ring Ouzel or Pied Flycatcher.
A bit of a punt this figure, and should be easily reachable if I try my hand at grasses and sedges - oh, and ferns! There is some cracking habitat, from the rarity-choked Fames Rough, the orchid haunted Howell Hill and plenty of varied habitat to record a cross section of species. Wetland plants will be thin on the ground.
A good year can see 275 macros in the garden, so chuck in the micros, plus a bit of sweeping on the chalk downland and I should surpass my target figure. A good migrant year can up the excitement, although the recent good spell only produced a couple of Rusty-dot Pearls - most disappointing.
I'm blessed with plenty of quality on my doorstep - Purple Emperor, Silver-spotted Skipper, Brown Hairstreak and Silver-washed Fritillary for starters, although adding more to this total will be hard - it would need a real goody to turn up.