Sunday, 21 December 2014

Tripping out

As the year draws to a close, it's time to look back and see what I've done, where I've been, what I've seen. Anyone who looks at these pages even infrequently will realise I get through my fair share of travel, and as I look back I find it incredible to see quite how much I have crammed in. And it's not like my job got any easier either, it was the most mental year I think I have ever experienced. Work hard play hard, and it's true. Those hours behind a desk spur me on to get out amongst it as often as I can - as such most months have seen a small expedition somewhere in pursuit of birds. It keeps me going.

Although usually long weekends, I've tended to be very rigorous in the planning stages, and that combined with fortunate weather has meant that even on the shortest of trips I've seen loads of birds, often really well - this is a lot easier than in the south-east of England as by and large there are just far fewer people where I go. Hong Kong is of course the exception, and surprise surprise, I saw far fewer birds there during a week away than would have been the case in a less developed place. That said it was completely wonderful, and birding took an unusual back seat.

January - Morocco
February - Morocco
March - Cyprus
May - Hong Kong
June - Iceland
July - Finland
August - Sweden
September - Shetland
November - Tenerife
December - Morocco

The full list is here, and as you can see, Morocco is the destination of choice. I reckon I have a couple more trips there at some point, specifically the north coast for Marsh Owl, and then a longer trip down to the Western Sahara. However have you noticed the big gap above? Gaps plural? April and October are missing!! What happened there?! Terrible, I must try harder. 

That said, 2015 will likely see less frequent travel, as we already have a lot of family holidays planned, including the five of us heading off to Hong Kong. And whilst booking a ticket somewhere is the easy part, finding the time to do so is rather more challenging.That's not to say it will be a blank year, far from it, and some things I'm already looking forward to are the west coast of the USA, as well as two short trips to Poland and Madeira for specific targets. 

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