· A different look at Spring
Spring 2012, and previous Springs thinking about it, have been fairly ordinary for me with very few finds of any real quality. The trouble is, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong compared with Autumn when the goodies are never too far away! Weather must be the major factor, so in 2013, I’m not even going to venture out unless conditions are classic. This should give me plenty of time to complete my BTO surveys etc. as SE winds and rain in the Spring in Hampshire can be as rare as the birds!
· Vis mig (Coast versus Downs)
Just can’t decide between the Test Valley or Calshot area for my vis-mig and bread and butter birding, or even further North on the higher hilltops. It’s a nice problem to have though, as I can think of many worse places to have to choose from. So 2013 I’m going to try both, in equal doses. Lepe and Calshot, plus Keyhaven will get a number of visits hopefully, plus a welcome return to Jack’s Bush, Palestine, and evening Owl safaris!
Scillies is definitely my preferred option over Shetland and Orkney nowadays, both in terms of enjoyable/relaxing birding, and cheaper cost. It is also easier to plan a trip.. I can book my visit the day before departure on the Scillonian.
· Shift to the seas: Roseate Tern, Sabine’s Gull and Caspian Gull!
Two glaring omissions from my self-found UK life list are Roseate Tern and Sabine’s Gull. In fact it is a few years since I have seen either. I need to be in the right place at the right time, which is never easy. Caspian Gull is another bird that I never get any closer to finding in the UK.
· 2012 Bat project carried over
I had hoped to search the North and West of Hampshire for Bats in 1012, but this failed to materialise. I did, however, find a few potential roosts around North Baddesley during early shifts which I should follow up. Another positive from the Olympics!
· 2012 Butterfly project carried over
There are no “gimme’s”on my UK butterfly list now. All require carefully timed visits to far flung parts of the UK (Kent and Devon being the easier trips!). I doubt I will get the chance to add to my Butterlfy list this year, but maybe another look at Lulworth Skipper would be good, and perhaps some macro photography.