The regular reader(s) of this blog may remember I set my eldest (8yo) boy a challenge this year to see 80 different bird species from January 1st to December 31st - a modest target yes, but a modest target built on January 1st to encompass any potential limiting lockdowns on his avian quest.
He saw 34 species on January 1st, got to the 80 (target hit) by my birthday on April 14th and today... made 100, with the sight of three female goosanders on a local gravel pit.
With over a month to go before he can stop counting!
Congratulations Ben - well done son. I'm very proud of you!
Next year we'll have to try for 120 eh?!
NB. This challenge was devised with my basic birdwatching rule in place - don't go out solely to "birdwatch" or god forbid "bird" or Jesus Christ, "twitch". Go out and enjoy the countryside, keep your eyes and ears open and see what you can see. Plants, insects, mammals, fish, scenery, whatever! I think he's pretty-well managed that - and that just makes me even more proud.
I suppose the highlights of the list are: barn owl (the 8th bird seen on the list - seen on January 1st!), kingfisher (Ben's favourite bird, despite me insisting it should be swift!), nightjar, Dartford warbler, great white egret (the rarest bird at least in Britain on the list) and finally goosander for being the 100th bird.
The full list can be seen below.