After two weeks of lounging in the sun I've returned to sombre grey Britain and an to equally sombre and grey local patch. Sadly, we didn't make 100 species for 2012 but ended up on 97 with the last addition to the list being the Woodcock that I flushed from the grassland in early December.
I missed the deluge of rain over the Christmas period but the evidence was clear to see all around my patch. There were puddles and mud everywhere. Our chances of hitting the magical 100 this year are fading already. One of our regular experienced Scrubbers is about to have a baby - well, his wife is - which means that his activity will be curtailed. Another keen Scrubber, whose visits had admittedly been far and few between in 2012 sent me a text saying that he has moved out of the area and will not be covering the patch. Plus, it looks like I will be away a lot during the crucial spring and autumn periods so unless we get some new blood it looks like it's going to be a struggle in 2013.
A wretched female Rose-ringed ParakeetOn a lighter note, we are probably already on 40 species for the year and should comfortably get another 40 by September. The rest will be in the laps of the birding gods!