2016… Hm…

Just realised it’s not long until the new year, with Hogmanay tomorrow, so I figured I should probably do my “new year’s resolutions” although I don’t like that term so I’ll just call them aims.

Therefore, my aims for 2016 are (I’m thinking of these on the spot):

  1. Identification skills: Keep on building on what I already know. Birds are obviously pretty sound, and trees are good but obviously need continual effort to keep learning how to identify them at varying distances and in all four seasons. Mammals aren’t too bad, mind you most aren’t difficult to ID in the UK. They’re mostly pretty distinct, however I’d like to get better at tracking them and finding signs of their presence in hopes I’ll see some of the shyer creatures that aren’t always so easy to see. I’ve started on flowers for the time being and they’re going well so far. By the end of the year I hope that I’ll have a good knowledge of the majority of the commoner species and will be able to ID most flowers to at least family level without the book. Mosses and fungi are on hold until I get a hand lens and perhaps get some experience with someone who really knows what they’re talking about. Lichens I reckon are just going to be something that I’ll build up my knowledge of relatively slowly until I’m good at identifying other things. Then it’ll probably be inverts…
  2. Recording: I’d like to do more recording of everything I see. I used to do a lot of recording on Birdtrack but that tailed off at some point after summer. Disgraceful, I know. I record mammal species quite frequently and send those in to the Mammal Society. I’ve started using iRecord for my plant sightings but I think I’ll start sending them to county recorders instead.
  3. Voluntary: I’m not sure what a would be a realistic number of hours for me to achieve in a year so I’ll just say lots. Loads of voluntary, but not just volunteering to help, also trying to learn from what I do. If you go on my Flickr page you’ll see quite a few of my pics from volunteering will have an explanation beneath them as to why we’re doing what we’re doing and I’d like to keep learning from being out in the field like this. I find I learn best that way!
  4. I need to have more than three targets… Um… Well obviously I’d like to add to my life list (I’m talking birds now). But perhaps beating my 2015 year list of 202 in total, 167 in the British Isles, would be a good aim to have.
  5. Meet people: Meeting people is great, especially when they have the same interests as you! Volunteering should help with this quite a lot. In fact, this is probably a sub-aim of the volunteering aim.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. So I’ll leave you with some pics of stuff I’ve found over the past couple days…

Herb-Robert – Geranium robertianum
Feverfew (I think) – Tanacetum parthenium
All these logs have been swept quite far downstream due to the large volume of water that’s been dropped on our heads recently. I’ve noticed the Dippers aren’t where I usually see them along the burn since seeing these logs piled up so I think I’ll head out and place the logs all back roughly where they used to be to sort of re-improve the habitat for the Dippers who obviously like their perches.
Likely just Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus, however it could possibly, just maybe, be Water Vole Arvicola amphibius and that would be a very exciting find in this area. Unlikely but possible. I’ll no doubt set up my trail camera (when I buy one) in this area to see what’s about.


2016… Hm…

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