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Deja Vu And Things Happening To Someone Else (1 Viewer)

So, 2021 is limping out the same way it limped in. Health services being overwhelmed, infections rising, safety measures being re- introduced (or not, depending upon where you live) Simmering away in the background we still have massive- and worsening- wildlife crime, environmental catastrophe. A sense of gloom is starting to pervade many aspects of our lives. I mean, we're living through a Smiths album, basically. And I can't stand Morrissey.

And it was all so depressingly familiar to December 2020.

For reasons I'll go into shortly, Green Sand's birding 2021 has ground to a halt this fortnight. November- December are always quiet times, when the competing demands of Dad/ Husband/ Son-in-Law overwhelm the Birder part of me, and I end up doing mundane things like 'shopping' 'spending time with family (the wife's family, mostly)' and of course, the old favourite, 'taking eldest daughter to work.' That last one, at least, is consistent throughout the year.

And what a strange, strange year. Full of highlights, and lowlights. A full range of days out birding- of many sizes. A year that defied the odds and got me 140 year ticks, but a year where I missed out on many of my reliable 'immersive' birding experiences. A year where I learned to be less snobby about where I go birding (admittedly, a work in progress) and just to enjoy being out. A year of long days working from home where I could get into the habit of not setting foot outside the house, not only a bad habit, but unheard of for me.

It was, though, a year where my overriding sense was that I didn't get out as often as I wanted to, but then again, do we ever? Does any other birder ever sit back in late December and think that some parts of the year could have been better? I wish I hadn't slept in so often, for example. Or, I wish I'd gone to Baron's Haugh rather than Musselburgh. Second guessing oneself achieves nothing, really. One of the ironies of the pandemic is that it highlighted the importance of seizing the day, make the most of whatever opportunities you have, and not to complain. Life is too short for regrets. Sound advice throughout the year, sound advice now.


The end of season lull in birding was compounded by eldest daughter catching Covid from her job in McDonalds (a veritable petrie dish, by all accounts) and an enforced period of quarantine. Fortunately, she's fine now, and the rest of the kinfolk are healthy, but it shattered the last vestiges of complacency- I've signed off my posts by urging you all to be careful, as the virus was still out there, and it was infecting people. We got a handy dose of reality, though, that it wasn't a cliche. It infected one of MY people, and struck very close to home.

All told, though, I can't complain about the year. It started off strangely, during a lockdown, where ingenuity, hard work, a generous interpretation of geography, and 'seizing the day' saw me birding well. The release from lockdown led to almost frantic birding, trying to make up for lost time, and a summer of unexpected bonuses (the Fowlsheugh bonxy) and crushing disappointments (RSPB Inversnaid) Logistics also saw me being more adventurous by risking life and limb on public transport. This hard work, as I said, got me 140 year ticks, which is comparable to most of my pre- Covid years. Better still, I finally overcame my shyness and managed to provide semi- regular blog posts. The fact that I've connected with fellow birders through Birdforum was the icing on the cake.


So, for 2022....

I've made my plans for the weekend, booked the wife's car, and have annual leave next week. Beyond that, unsure. All I know is that I'm determined to keep seizing the day.


May I wish you and yours the happiest and healthiest New Year, and lets look forward to what we can do in 2022.


Slainte.

John
 

Dave Derrick

Well-known member
Supporter
England
So, 2021 is limping out the same way it limped in. Health services being overwhelmed, infections rising, safety measures being re- introduced (or not, depending upon where you live) Simmering away in the background we still have massive- and worsening- wildlife crime, environmental catastrophe. A sense of gloom is starting to pervade many aspects of our lives. I mean, we're living through a Smiths album, basically. And I can't stand Morrissey.

And it was all so depressingly familiar to December 2020.

For reasons I'll go into shortly, Green Sand's birding 2021 has ground to a halt this fortnight. November- December are always quiet times, when the competing demands of Dad/ Husband/ Son-in-Law overwhelm the Birder part of me, and I end up doing mundane things like 'shopping' 'spending time with family (the wife's family, mostly)' and of course, the old favourite, 'taking eldest daughter to work.' That last one, at least, is consistent throughout the year.

And what a strange, strange year. Full of highlights, and lowlights. A full range of days out birding- of many sizes. A year that defied the odds and got me 140 year ticks, but a year where I missed out on many of my reliable 'immersive' birding experiences. A year where I learned to be less snobby about where I go birding (admittedly, a work in progress) and just to enjoy being out. A year of long days working from home where I could get into the habit of not setting foot outside the house, not only a bad habit, but unheard of for me.

It was, though, a year where my overriding sense was that I didn't get out as often as I wanted to, but then again, do we ever? Does any other birder ever sit back in late December and think that some parts of the year could have been better? I wish I hadn't slept in so often, for example. Or, I wish I'd gone to Baron's Haugh rather than Musselburgh. Second guessing oneself achieves nothing, really. One of the ironies of the pandemic is that it highlighted the importance of seizing the day, make the most of whatever opportunities you have, and not to complain. Life is too short for regrets. Sound advice throughout the year, sound advice now.


The end of season lull in birding was compounded by eldest daughter catching Covid from her job in McDonalds (a veritable petrie dish, by all accounts) and an enforced period of quarantine. Fortunately, she's fine now, and the rest of the kinfolk are healthy, but it shattered the last vestiges of complacency- I've signed off my posts by urging you all to be careful, as the virus was still out there, and it was infecting people. We got a handy dose of reality, though, that it wasn't a cliche. It infected one of MY people, and struck very close to home.

All told, though, I can't complain about the year. It started off strangely, during a lockdown, where ingenuity, hard work, a generous interpretation of geography, and 'seizing the day' saw me birding well. The release from lockdown led to almost frantic birding, trying to make up for lost time, and a summer of unexpected bonuses (the Fowlsheugh bonxy) and crushing disappointments (RSPB Inversnaid) Logistics also saw me being more adventurous by risking life and limb on public transport. This hard work, as I said, got me 140 year ticks, which is comparable to most of my pre- Covid years. Better still, I finally overcame my shyness and managed to provide semi- regular blog posts. The fact that I've connected with fellow birders through Birdforum was the icing on the cake.


So, for 2022....

I've made my plans for the weekend, booked the wife's car, and have annual leave next week. Beyond that, unsure. All I know is that I'm determined to keep seizing the day.


May I wish you and yours the happiest and healthiest New Year, and lets look forward to what we can do in 2022.


Slainte.

John
John,

Great summing up of yet another strange year. Your ramblings have also brightened up my year; much appreciated. All the very best for 2022 and beyond. Cheers, Dave.
 

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