Well, I think its safe to say 2011 didn't exactly pan out the way I planned it to! At the start of the year I'd set myself a couple of little challenges, including trying to see 250 species of birds in Britain, and seeing as many species of birds possible in Sunderland. Both of those challenges were pretty much thrown out the window one fateful day in March when John Brown asked me if I could give him a hand with the nets 'for a couple of weeks'. Ten months later and I've Ringed over 300 individual birds as a fully fledged Trainee with the BTO. And along with the CCG stuff its pretty much taken over my life! And so for that reason I'm making NO plans whatsoever for 2012. Just to enjoy what I'm doing! For the record I saw a total of 222 species of birds in Britain, 15 of which I'd never seen before in Britain. These were; PURPLE HERON, WHITE TAILED EAGLE, CORNCRAKE, LONG TAILED SKUA, LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER, DARTFORD WARBLER, CETTIS WARBLER, ARCTIC REDPOLL, GOLDEN PHEASANT, RED NECKED PHALAROPE, SURF SCOTER, WHITE THROATED ROBIN, BONAPARTES GULL, WHITE WINGED BLACK TERN & AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER. I had 5 new species of mammals; FALLOW DEER, WHITE BEAKED DOLPHIN, BOTTLE NOSED DOLPHIN, HUMPBACK WHALE & MINKE WHALE. 1 new butterfly; GREEN HAIRSTREAK. 1 new reptile; ADDER. 1 new amphibian; GREAT CRESTED NEWT. And I'm not even going to begin to count how many new moths!!!! All in all its been an incredible year for wildlife. And I'm delighted to say the Coastal Conservation Group continues to go from strength to strength. I'm so proud to be part of this Group. We've got an extremely exciting year ahead of us, and it all starts on the 9th of January when work finally starts on the Whitburn Coastal Park Project. Its been a very long time coming but all our hard work will be more than worth it when the Project is complete.
So there it is. No challenges. No predictions. Just a promise to keep doing what I love to do. Should be easy!