So it’s now May and my plans of blogging my way through this year obviously haven’t happened to date (neither has launching this blog)…

Tonight I dug up the original blog post I wrote before this year even started, wondering what sort of target I’d set myself for the year (turned out it was go out, have fun and feel free to wander over the SA and NSW borders a bit birding – don’t take the big year thing seriously and just get out and enjoy). No number in sight. I remember thinking I’d be pretty happy to see 300 different species this year, given that:

(a) I was a bit rusty and really underprepared so it would all be planning and birding on the fly

(b) I have a full time job at an actual office and working remotely isn’t an option

(c) COVID was still a scary possibility, with borders shut to NSW and Queensland as I reversed down the driveway on New Year’s Eve and a state government convinced that locking everyone up was the only way to keep us all safe

(d) Pelagics weren’t on the radar for the year and I didn’t have access to the western treatment plant

So as I write this I’m sitting on 319 Victorian birds for the year. How things change!

COVID is more or less confined to returned travellers in hotels, and we’ve had one lockdown for the year which more or less shook me out of a state of fairly casual birding to suddenly spending every weekend birding somewhere in the state on weekends and around Geelong in the evenings before the sun set. The casual year of birding morphed into a serious go at a big year after that first post-lockdown weekend away in the Warbies and I’ve barely stopped since.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll recap this year’s adventures to date. It’s been an interesting several months and there’s still the best part of seven and a half months to go. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of photos as my camera body is old and slow and after an unfortunate accident several years ago where I accidentally deleted all the photos (and memories) of my first pair of Major Mitchells Cockatoos, I tend to bird first and leave my camera in my bag.

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