On your marks...

2021 - pretty crap, wasn't it...

So welcome then to 2022, which doesn't have to try too hard to be a better year than the last - I just hope that I haven't tempted fate or jinxed it by writing that!

Plans. Every New Year has plans. I vary from creating a monstrous list of aims and ideas which, slowly during the first few months of the year, crash and burn. I am now a more circumspect 'planner'. I like to have something to hang my natural history observations on (a bit like the relationship a pair of trousers has with a clothes hanger), so do try and get a bit of process behind my sightings. At the very least this will include writing up my notes; making my observations available to the databases via BirdTrack and Trektellen; be a conscientious team-player by tweeting and WhatsApping my sightings; and keeping this very blog alive. Last year I posted fewer times than ever before, my mojo having gone missing. Hopefully it has been refound.

2022 seems to be the year that local birding has taken off big time. Social media is full of birders announcing that they will be staying local to home, birding their 1km, 5km or 10km circles. For some of us, we have been dealing in such ornithological trade for a while now, and it is encouraging to be joined by so many, mainly in response to the growing climate crisis and a wish to become low-carbon users. I will be keeping within the Uberpatch, but will allow myself the odd trip down to the South Downs and Dungeness - there is no need to whip yourself across the back with birch...

Yesterday saw a lazy walk through the farmland between Westcott and Wooton, which was disappointing for bird numbers - highlight being a male Stonechat (above). I then walked up the North Downs scarp and onto the wet and muddy footpaths of Ranmore Common, where 8 Marsh Tits, a Hawfinch and 90 Brambling covered up for what was a very quiet afternoon. It was ridiculously mild. During a brief period of sunshine a Red Admiral flew past me, the first time that I have seen a wide-awake butterfly on January 1st.

Whatever you do, wherever you go, I hope that the natural history Gods are kind to you over the next 12 months. We could all do with a break...

Comments

Gavin Haig said…
Very much looking forward to your 2022 output Steve. 😊👍
Steve Gale said…
Thanks Gav, as I am yours!
Stewart said…
Steve at least we can see nothing in the sound knowledge that most others are seeing nothing too! Makes a change :)
Steve Gale said…
As long as seeing nothing doesn’t become 2022’s default setting Stewart!

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