Well, I'd be the first to agree that it's been an absolute age since I last put out a Blog. Many things managed to get in the way, but I suppose 2019 will go down as both a good and bad year !!
Recovering from a knee injury , sustained in 2018, which " insisted" over time in improving, and then deteriorating in equal measure, was somewhat frustrating to say the least. Eventually, in November 2019, things cleared up entirely after over fourteen months. In between, and on a completely different front, I'd had to replace two laptops ( yes two ! ). A complete meltdown on each occasion against which I'm still reaping the penalties. If anyone reads this and realises I haven't been in touch for some time then please E-mail me as I've probably lost your contact details which probably right now reside in some local cyber cemetery!
There were some better times, of course, when I was at Spurn and the time I spent out in Cyprus ( see the Blog entries ). Nonetheless, I was rather looking forward to 2020 as the preceding months appeared , overall, to have moved through less than smoothly !
The New Year started in Scotland from which the return journey allowed a "calling off" at the Firth of Forth where I managed to see both Surf Scoter and the White-winged Scoter. Some local birding followed, including a day south of Doncaster which produced both Common Crane and Rough-legged Buzzard. Not at all bad for South Yorkshire!
A period of stormy weather saw a weekend on the East Coast cancelled and damage sustained to the house roof ! Was the improvement trend faltering I asked myself? A week in Norfolk soon followed , which was largely a washout, and then following on my return home the Covid-19 virus pandemic engulfed us all ! The immediate effect of this was that an intended "Spring sojourn" of several weeks in Cyprus was cancelled and a later trip to the Cairngorms suffered the same fate. I'm afraid I took the view that decisive action was needed, however much of a disappointment this proved to be , as the uncertainty surrounding the circumstances was unlikely to end for some time. Being a "golden oldie" the advice to isolate soon followed and now, of course, we're subjected to "conditioned house arrest". My preferred description ! So it looks as if 2020 is set to be worse than 2019, so how best to approach things?
I rather suspect that the overall implications of what affects us all will extend much further than the three weeks , or even three months, that are currently being offered as popular "milestones". I truly believe it's best not to create such false horizons, much better to construct a timeline of your own , and to determine a series of activities that link to your interests and thereby provide some form of substitute to what you might otherwise be engaged in. A home based bird list, for your immediate area, coupled with the odd migration watch perhaps, a deliberate selection of wildlife documentaries on television from which you can compile your own world list of species "seen" , and a catching up on reading all those natural history books you've bought but not yet opened. I'm sure there are endless other possibilities and I'd be glad to hear of your ideas.
For my part I've decided to continue with this Blog, to include details of birds I've seen on my local "exercise " walk, to include book reviews and reportage on environmental and conservation topics that might yet hit the news. After such an absence of regular entries the "readership" of the Blog will take a little time to build up and so feed back and ideas might be a bit thin on the ground, but keep them coming nonetheless. In the meantime , best wishes to all, take care .