A brief review of 2012

The rain is pouring down outside. There, I should leave it at that as it is a very succinct synopsis of 2012 here in the north-west of England. The rest of England may have had drought in the early part of the year but not here and that's put paid to many plans.

The unexpected present of a moth trap from my wife last Christmas has got me started on this aspect of natural history observation and even though the opportunities for getting the trap out have been rather few, I indeed have got the bug as it were and am hoping for a much better year in 2013. It turned out that the 10km square I live in has very few moth records so increasing the 'list' by 50 species this year has been most welcome. Cue the second unexpected present this Christmas - a portable generator - which means I can get a little further afield an perhaps check out the moths at Rishton Reservoir/Cut Wood.

Combined with the incessant rain have been strong winds meaning that there have been very few opportunities to get any ringing done. Sand Martin ringing with the North Lancs Ringing Group was literally a wash out. Getting a full time job also put paid to a lot of activities and the start of the year was  particularly stressful when we went live on the new Epicor ERP system - one year on and everything is working well. That didn't stop me going to Cuba in March - a great break after months in front of a computer - and the system all worked whilst I wasn't there. The trip was extremely memorable for all the right reasons with lots of good birds and great company.

I suppose the highlight of the twitching year has to be the Cream-coloured Courser in Herefordshire - a most unexpected visitor to a hill top golf course. Other than that I've been pretty well tied to local birding which hasn't been terribly awe-inspiring but the first Bramblings and Woodcock in the Garden were welcome as well as the now regular flock of Lesser Redpolls.

My second trip abroad to visit my daughter in Chicago was also successful in terms of birding with several great mornings birding.

So what for 2013. Definitely taking my wife with me on holiday this year! :) The dreaded Ofsted are long overdue and she needs a break. Chicago in May for Heather's graduation will be a good start - and more spring warblers too. And surely 2013 must be a better year for my football team but I'm not holding my breath!


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