Now that 2017 is receding in the rear vision mirror — which needs a bit of a clean, by the way, look at the state of this vehicle — it's time for a wrap up of the year.
So there it is: 2017 in a single word.
As for my year, I went places, saw birds, caught up with old friends and met new friends. All in all that's a bloody good way to spend the time.
I started the year with a plan to see 300 species of birds. I travelled to Tasmania, Iron Range (Cape York Peninsula), Alice Springs, the Blue Mountains, and Melbourne. Thanks to ace bird people (in alphabetical order) Mark Carter, Tonia Cochran, Henry Cook, Steve Davidson, Alan Gillanders, Carol and Andrew Iles, David Mead, and David Stowe, my 2017 bird list reached 323 species. There were lots of lifers.
There were a few notable omissions. Southern cassowary and golden bowerbird should be there because they are local specialties, but I didn't make the effort to drive up the road to take a look. Sheer laziness on my part. They are on the Must See list for 2018. Also, who spots Papuan and marbled frogmouths, but misses tawnies? Just me, apparently.
(The complete list is in the sidebar. I'll also put it in a separate post.)
My 2018 diary is lookin' good. I'm off overseas in February (more on that in later posts) and have one big Australian trip scheduled in July. There will be more.
Because setting a numerical goal worked for 2017, I'm setting one for 2018. It's not huge — 350 Australian species — but it is doable.
I'm also going to make this a water/wading/sea/shorebird year. I'm not very good at IDing these birds — except for ducks, I absolutely rock at duck IDs — so I want to improve my non-duck-related identification skills. There's no numerical goal for waders.; I'd just like to be able to tell a plover from something that isn't a plover, and to be able to distinguish between all those long-legged, long-billed cryptically-coloured species that look like thumbprints on the binocular lenses. Don't @ me, wader specialists. You know I'm right.
Other goals for 2018:
- a blog post a week
- finish all these — flicks through 2017 diary — things I started last January
- read more books
- write more books
- learn more stuff
- invent an EMP that targets leafblowers
HAPPY NEW YEAR!