Sunday 5 September 2010

Goals Update

Seeing as we are now two thirds of the way through the year, I thought I might revisit my 2010 goals. The Personal Goals are going pretty well. The Professional Goals are going fairly badly - the story of my life. Or rather, the story of I don't know what to do with my life.


Professional Goals
- Potty train Pudding before spring migration - DONE (15th April, but better late than never)
- Improve my cleaning skills in an undefinable way - YES, DEFINITELY.
- Find a new career that does not involve banks -.... NOT DONE. NOT EVEN REMOTELY...

Personal Goals (geeks may wish to skip this section)
- 2 new birds a month for a BOU list of 362 by 2011 - ADDED 15, 1 UNDER PAR

- 150 for Rainham in 2010 - 145, ON TRACK
- 100 in Wanstead again - 101, DONE
- 220 for London & 235 for Essex - 223 LONDON, DONE. 231 ESSEX, GETTING THERE.
- Become a better birder... - OOOOH, LOTS TO SAY!

So, Potty Training you know about. Easy. If you're new here, the glorious detail is recounted here and here.

The house looks nice, mostly, but is actually a tip. I have three children, without paid staff it is impossible to keep clean. I want a different goal.

My head is well and truly in the sand on the job front, but there have been two possible pointers. One is that I now have a column in Birdwatch magazine, thanks to this blog having been an advertising service for my ritten egnlish. This is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to do, but unfortunately cannot really be called a career. What I need to do is work out how I can expand this. Who else could I write for? Newspapers perhaps? Perhaps write a book? Truly I have no idea.

The second is that I finally got around to setting up that gallery website to showcase the best photos I have taken. In truth this took only a day, and I find myself wondering why I did it and what purpose it serves? Yes, I can take a half-decent photo of a bird if I can get close to it. And? Wildlife Photographers have portfolios consisting of thousands of images. I have about 150. How does one get thousands of images with three children in tow exactly?

What I would ideally like is a career where I can write lots and lots, which I find easy, go birding lots and lots, which I am finding easier, and take lots of nice photos, which I'm also finding easier. Oh, and get paid enough to live on for doing so. Answers on a postcard. I am honestly no closer to working out how to achieve this nirvana than I was six months ago, and am headed back to finance at this rate.

On the tick front, I've added 15 this year, including a memorable three tick day which got me back in the game. I'm currently one under par, but it's a curve rather than a flat line, so I'd expect to over-achieve in the autumn. It is mainly all down to luck.

Wanstead is on 101, so I'm done on that one and won't be going on the patch again this year. Rainham on the other hand is on 145, 146 if I include a Barnacle Goose, and in fact if I include the Cockatiel and the Zebra Finch, a mighty 148. Rainham is also probably the best place in which to get the remaining four birds I need to get 200 in London this year. Consequently I went there both days this weekend, and added one, a Curlew Sandpiper flying down-river. Although the possibilities for those four additional London birds are slim, there are still heaps I need for my Rainham year list. I'm confident of hitting 150 quite soon.

Because I've been going for more or less everything in London this year, this first goal turned out to be quite easy. The additions have been Marsh Tit, Slavonian Grebe, Pink-footed Goose, Dusky Warbler, Hawfinch, Hoopoe, Sandwich Tern, Wood Warbler, Quail, Common Rosefinch, White-tailed Plover, Arctic Skua, Kittiwake, and most recetly, Ortolan Bunting. Many of these would be quality birds anywhere, but in London, well it's nothing short of amazing. Of the fourteen, seven of them have been at Rainham. Without Rainham, my London list would be 176, although possibly I may have chased stuff elsewhere for a few more. It's a special place.

In Essex, I've added eleven. Both Wanstead and Rainham are in Essex, but they only account for three. However most of them were in London, and can be attributed to my foolish quest to see 200 birds there this year. Adding another four just in Essex should be easy. I have no idea why I set this goal. In fact I have no idea why I set any of the bird-listing goals, they are all pointless.

Haircuts, two. The latest was a mere four days ago, so I am now gloriously neat and trim, and no longer look like Susan Boyle. Winner.

And so we come to me becoming a better birder....

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