2014- New Year, Same Ambitions (1 Viewer)

so, here we are, 2014, the start of a new birding year (if years are your thing) and for Green Sandpiper a chance to take stock of what I achieved last year and what I'm aiming for now.

I remember this time last year, setting myself a target of goign to new places, being a bit more adventurous (at least, more willing to travel beyond lanarkshire) and expanding my frustratingy modest lifelist.

A quiet start to the year lifer- wise, and an even quieter start in terms of the things I'd expect to see- kingfisher, pheasant (which for months was a bogey bird) but I did manage to visit new places. Unfortunately, not all of these new places held a lot of birds, but it was a learning experience. They also involved a lot of walking, which had a lot of health benefits, albeit my thyroid problems ensured my feet are a mess.

I did manage to nab 12 lifers for the year, which was better than expected. I did miss out on a few year ticks I'd expect to get- garden warbler, cuckoo, flamin kingfisher- but overall I'm happy with the lifers vs dips. Even when its an accidental lifer when i mistook a whimbrel for a curlew, and only noticed my mistake on the train to cardross. I did discover how belligerent red grouse are on Cairn Table- and discovered the bliss of dry socks back at the car.

Better though was the biridng life, not just ticking birds off, but actually being out, doing different things, seeing different things, seeing birding spectacles- my birthday trip to Caerlaverock will live long in my memory as one of my best ever birdinng days, I've waxed lyrical about it and can't wait to go back.

I've eventually overcome my guilt at not being at Baron's Haugh as often as in previous years, but I can't have everything. I also overcame my aversion to twitching, and successfully twitched the Pec Sand at Frankfield Loch. I did manage to combine it with a visit to Hogganfield Loch, so I can convince myself it was a birding trip, not a twitch.....

So, what am I aiming for now? Boringly, more of the same!! Expand my horizons and my life list by visiting new places, or revisit some of my better ones. To accept I can't go everywhere at all times, and that sometimes a local patch can't be beaten! To experience more birding life- increase my life list not by twitching, but seeing birds where they should be. If this means spending more time at the coast, then ok, so be it!!

I've got my birding mojo rejuvenated, so roll on 2014!!!

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