Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Tis the season for them!

Never having enough time to spend doing more of the things that make me happy, it is time to ring some changes. I have created a new page on the blog called Notebook, my intention is to use this page as just that, my on-line notebook recording what I've seen with very little if any commentary alongside it. I'm hoping that without the need to 'create' a blog post I can add my birding there more frequently albeit in sound-byte size entries.

This may mean less blog entries on the front page as I intend to post only when I have something I think worthwhile. As we head towards a triple dip (am I alone in perking up whenever that phrase is mentioned just in case they're talking birding?) there is an upsurge, nay a groundswell, the sniff of a bit of zeitgeist about the start of 2013 with not one but two interesting competitive 'local birding/patch' style gigs in the offing. They may not be everyone's cup of tea but injecting a little fun, a dose of humour and a bit of additional motivation to get out and stay local are all positives in my book, so in for a penny I've gone for both in the bush, or some such metaphor.

Piemeister Mark Reeder has conjured 'Foot It' from a series of ill-advised tweets claiming all sorts could be achieved from one's front doorstep. Lasting for just 31 days in January and involving a great many mentions of 'there and back' it may yet prove to be more than mere coincidence that it is launched at the same time as The Hobbit and  can count Martin Garner amongst the fellowship.

On a longer time frame a year-long 'Patch Challenge' is also out of the offing and into reality, gathering pace and close to including 100 patches across our fair islands as I write. Who could resist the opportunity to pit your bird-finding skills in a medieval quest against the finest, fairest and gingerest that exist in the land?

Looking back over 2012 my most read post was this one, there seems to be some momentum building at the moment towards some form of campaign on raptor persecution and I have every intention of supporting that in whatever ways are possible. One of my favourite places on the web is Mark Avery's battleground of a blog, this post a week or two back left an impression on me and a mental commitment to do more for the issues I believe are important. As a result I took advantage of the recent BTO marketing campaign and joined as I believe having good science is vital to many of the issues surrounding birds; I've also donated money to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and written to my local MP about the current plans to release 1500 sq miles of green-belt into development.

Enjoy the changes...

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