It's been a while... (1 Viewer)

...since I last posted on my blog. Reading that last entry, I think my frustration at not having a scope was very evident! Obtaining one is high on my list of things to get but fortunately I have been able to enjoy my birding a lot since that last post.

Spring is always good anyway as everything comes alive and there is evidence of new life constantly around you; you don't need a scope to see and hear all the passerines going about their daily lives of singing, pairing up and raising young! Despite the impending wedding (nine days to go!) I have had ample opportunities to get out and go birding, with (by my standards) a very healthy year list to date.

So where am I after the best part of half a year since my last post? Well I have now moved house out of London down to the Sussex coast, so I have much more opportunity now to get into more varied habitats, and more often too.

And a couple of weekends ago I went on a course run by the Sussex Wildlife Trust; Bird Surveying Techniques was a two-day course run by a bloke who really knows his natural history. Apart from learning about surveying techniques, I learnt that my knowledge is actually rather good and I should be more confident about what I do know. Learning more bird calls and songs is an area I would like to improve (especially as I want to get more into surveys such as the BBS, and territory mapping), but overall my knowledge in that area is good.

2011 is the second full year of birding for me so I have last year to compare against, and at the moment my 2011 year list is well ahead of last year's at the same stage. At present I have seen 110 species this year, although I have slowed down in the last month due to poor weekend weather (a lot of grey and very windy days), that course I was on, moving house and wedding-related stuff. June will also be a write off due to being away on my honeymoon so by the time July comes around I shall probably be behind last year's progress. What is a little annoying is not having seen a couple of common species this year, such as Sand Martin, Wheatear, Ringed Plover and Stonechat, species that should be easy to get in the area I live. I'm sure I'll get them sooner or later! ;)

I've added seven species to my life list so far in 2011, including the fantastic Nightingale (what a song!), a marvellous Hen Harrier, and a Garden Warbler - all at RSPB Pulborough Brooks. I hope to add to this more in the second half of the year.

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