Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dream, Nightmare & Reality!

Things have remained particularly quiet over the past week both locally and at Brandon Marsh, as you would probably expect at this time of year, and so finding things to blog about without becoming repetitive becomes somewhat of a challenge. With this in mind I thought a a few paragraphs on what kind of a year it's been for me on the birding front was in order.

Firstly, I'm not actually that good at making lists and so I can't specifically tell you how many species I've recorded this year. What I can tell you is that like all birders my year has had it's highs and lows. For those who know me, they'll tell you of my passion for Canada, the country I was married in during 2009 and which I visit each year with my lovely wife Dee. It was therefore an absolute dream to get the opportunity to live in Vancouver once more in March and April of this year thanks to Dee's work. During this time I walked many miles a day, met some great new friends and visited some stunning birding locations with amazing results. I just can't wait to return in May 2012.

Closer to home and with Dee's parents living in France we always take up the opportunity to visit, who can refuse, with great food, great conversation and great birding. However, this year a trip to France proved to be my worst nightmare. Hours before we were due to fly I trapped my femoral nerve pretty badly and unfortunately not only did I spend almost the entire week in bed during our visit, it practically wiped out my entire summer! Thankfully, it's a situation I'm now able to manage, although it still has it's moments.

To Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve and in fact this week sees my third anniversary since joining the voluntary conservation team, some would say that they can't remember a time when I wasn't at Brandon! Do I take this as a compliment or otherwise? In reality Brandon is a place where I spend endless hours working and birding and I'm proud to be a part of a team of people who devote hours of their time and energy managing and creating an environment for the benefit of our amazing British wildlife. Inspirational, enthusiastic individuals, who work hard, take criticism on the chin (not everyone understands conservation) and who are passionate about the work they do, and long may it continue. Sadly, in the three short years that I've been involved at Brandon Marsh we've lost three amazing characters, and so at this time of year I think a brief pause to remember Ted Jury, Roger Porter and Bob Rothwell, who it was a privilege to know and who are sorely missed.

Finally, a big thank you for all the emails in relation to my previous post regarding the Boundary Bay Snowy Owls, it seems that most, although not all agree! Thank you too for the Christmas wishes Dee and I have received over recent weeks and we both wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!