22 December 2010

Target for 2011, #1.

I only have so much disposable income, and available birding time. So, my target for 2011 is not to rack up as many birds as I can, and not to try and beat 210 species - which is increasingly likely to be my total for 2010. My goal for 2011 will be to see birds I have never seen before. Simple. The list will be embarrassingly long, and will have some pretty mundane stuff on it... but it feels like a better and more worthwhile challenge than going for numbers. I can - in the time available to me - specifically focus on visiting places where the birds on my list might be found... and I won't have to bother about making trips to get oh, Cattle Egret, Ring-necked Duck or Great Grey Shrike on my yearlist. They can be looked upon as luxuries.

Of course, the year definitely won't pass without a few good twitches (indeed, I'll target a few that may require a twitch), but if it comes down to a straight fight between two potential lifers I want to know what my priorities are.

So... as a first pass long in advance of the new year:

Bean Goose
Pale-bellied Brent Goose and Black Brant
Ruddy Shelduck
Common Scoter and Velvet Scoter
Lesser Scaup
Red Grouse
Black Grouse
Red-throated Diver
Slavonian Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Great Shearwater
Leach's Storm Petrel
Purple Heron
White-tailed Eagle
Hen Harrier
Honey Buzzard
Rough-legged Buzzard
Great Bustard
Stone Curlew
Jack Snipe
Arctic Skua
Caspian Gull
Glaucous Gull
Roseate Tern
Little Auk
Long-eared Owl
Tawny Owl
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Shore Lark
Richard's Pipit
Water Pipit
Citrine Wagtail
Ring Ouzel (more time than any other will be swallowed up by this, no doubt)
Grasshopper Warbler
Icterine Warbler
Crested Tit
Bearded Tit
Penduline Tit
Common/Mealy Redpoll
Snow Bunting
Cirl Bunting

I think 30 of these would be good to set my sights firmly on (55 on the list - and I want a target I can reach!). Need to narrow it down, now. It may sound like a pretty unsophisticated birdy goal to just want to see these birds, but the reality is that's where I still am - looking to enjoy for the first time many birds that many others will be sick of by now!

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