Tuesday, 16 February 2010

A 'Hello'

Hello folks. You've probably noticed that hitherto this occasion I haven't posted in this blog. This is because I'm currently trying to get up to date with my own. When I finally do get up to date, which I can happily say won't be too long now, I'll make sure I post in here more regularly. In the meantime, I just thought I'd post to introduce myself .

I'm Joseph Nichols (Joseph N on Birdforum), and I'm a very keen 15 year old young living in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Ever since I was a young lad at the age of 5 I have been watching and enjoying birds in a big way. With age of course, my ability to birdwatch has improved considerably and with that too my British List and my Life List. My life list in the world currently stands at just below 350 species (347), with 2 trips to South Africa and others to countries such as Portugal, France and Spain in the past providing me with over a 100 species that I haven't seen in Britain. My British List, if I was to be honest, matters more to me. It currently stands at 228 species, which I think is reasonable for someone of my age. A good number of rarities are amongst these 228 species, of which the rarest was a Greater Sand Plover at the Ythan Estuary in 2008. This bird was one of those species that looked completely out of place, and not where it was supposed to be, hence why it was only the 13th record for Britain ever. Last year, a Stilt Sandpiper at the Loch of Strathbeg in early July came in as the second rarest bird that I'd ever seen, with only 18 records of this bird ever in the UK. These were both great birds to see. Some other rare birds that I have seen, all of which I have taken great pleasure in seeing, include Great White Egret (although this species is gradually losing its vagrant status), Glossy Ibis, a few Snow Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, King Eiders (female and drake seen but on different occasions), Common Crane, Dotterel, White-winged Black Tern, Short-toed Lark, Bluethroat, Icterine ,Yellow-browed and Pallas's Warbler, Ross's Goose, Richard's Pipit and Red-backed Shrike. In the coming years, I hope to see more rare birds, as well as some of those rare breeders. My current year list, as you may have read on the competition, is at 113 species. For me its been an absolutely fantastic year so far, probably my best start ever. I've already had 4 lifers this year. These lifers have are amongst my highlights this year, which you can see on this very page.

Whilst I do take interest in the listing aspect of birding, I also really enjoy watching birds and other wildlife on a whole; I would hardly call myself a 'twitcher'. In my opinion, its a blissful experience to escape from the hardships and repetition of everday life and find yourself out amongst copious amounts of birds, witnessing nature's marvellous spectacles. I also love just how ubiquitous birds are (they're always there for you to see in other words) and how unpredictable birding is. What are you going to see, and in what way will this effect you? It's just very excting! I get out birding regularly with my Dad , very rarely leaving it more than a few weeks between birding outings. I tend to visit three local patches by the names of Girdleness, the Ythan Estuary and the Loch of Strathbeg, all of which are fantastic in their different ways. Girdleness sticks out into the sea and is great for seawatching and looking for migrants, the Ythan Estuary is good for waterfowl, whilst the Loch of Strathbeg is the same as the Ythan Estuary but better, providing more rarities and a wider range of species than the Ythan. I have also done a reasonable amount of birding in England, where I visit relatives annually. I also occasionally go birding in other parts of Scotland.

That is just a brief introduction to my birding experiences and adventures. If you want to find out more and would like to read about my birding days out, please visit my blog at this link:


Cheers folks, and I'll start posting more in here when I get up to date with my blog. In the meantime, I'll be keeping an eye on how you guys are getting on,



Holywell Birder said...

Really good read, keep it up :)

Joseph Nichols said...

Thanks Holywell Birder. I've had a read of your blog, and its top class. Well done.

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