Just popping in briefly, mostly to say that lots has been happening, and that lots lots more will be happening over the next month or so! A week and half down in Norfolk was productive on patch and elsewhere in the county, whilst during the same trip away birding was also done briefly in Nottinghamshire and Essex. This, in itself, is a lot to cover blogging wise, but the ‘blog-load’ is about to get a hell of a lot higher!
As the title implies, I am off to South-Western Andalucia, Spain, in the very short future. As part of the Scouting For Birds crew, I was invited in March to join Norfolk lads and very good mates Oliver Reville, Daniel Watson and James Knightbridge in Southern Spain, and didn’t hang back on the offer! As I write my excitement is at insane levels! On the cards are visits to legendary areas such as the Sierra De Grazalema, the Bonanza Saltpans and Gibraltar Rock, with possibilities of between 15-20 raptor species, 8 species of Sylvia alone, a whole range of scintillating Spanish specialties and much, much more. I won’t go into more detail, but 170+ species could be possible in the 10 days we’re there (20th-30th April), , perhaps including our own self-found Spanish rare; optimistic yes but we hope! One thing is for sure, it will be a trip of a lifetime; a birding and photography paradise. I’ll aim to get a trip report done after the trip, but a warning in advance, the finished article may not appear for a few months, as there will be absolutely shed-loads to account for!
So, I think I’ve established that it will take me a hell of a long time to get up to date with the blog after this; but it will happen! I have my final ever school exams in May, which will hinder blogging progression quite dramatically. Combined with this I am moving out of Aberdeen altogether, establishing bases in Edinburgh and Glasgow as from June or July. The ‘Aberdeenshire Young Birder’ title will cease to exist in due course. At the moment leaving what has been the source of my birding behind me seems intangible, but I know already I will really miss it. I’ll probably pay a wee homage to it at a future point in the blog hopefully, so expect to see a post on my overall birding experiences in Aberdeenshire at some point in the future.
With acceptance into the University of Edinburgh, Lothian will become the main focus of my birding. Maybe I will have to re-name the blog ‘Lothian Young Birder’. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it though does it? I will be aiming to find a patch near the city and to work it hardcore.. watch this space! With my dad moving down to Glasgow and therefore a good 50 miles away, birding will be more of a solitary affair than it has been in past years, but I will pop in and visit every now and then and hopefully find some decent underwatched habitat to work on the outskirts of the city. Trips to inner Hebridean islands such as Tiree, Mull and Islay also appeal massively for nearctics… as well as the resident specialities!
Basically, its all kicking off at the moment! Aside from what the future holds for me, I have also managed a couple of photo publications in the last few weeks. Firstly, both my Sandhill Crane photos were used in the North East Scottish Bird Report 2011, the better known image being the front cover, albeit angled 20 degrees upwards. Given the angling of the photo, Harry Scott has done a superb job and I thank him greatly for his efforts and kindness in including both photos in the report. Furthermore, just three weeks on from the Black-throated Thrush bonanza, one of my images has been featured and published in the April 2013 issue of Birding World; many thanks to Steve Gantlett for this opportunity. In the Black-throated Thrush post I did, you will recognise this as the first of the eight images I used. Both images as they appear in their respective publications are below.
Sandhill Crane photo as the front cover of the North-East Scottish Bird Report 2011
Black-throated Thrush image in the April 2013 edition of Birding World
So, at least until the beginning of May, that’s it blogging wise for now folks. Be prepared for a barrage of blog posts when I get back, spread out over time though! On Saturday afternoon, I will be jetting Spain-ward. Bring on the spring, bring on Spain, bring on the future!
Thanks for reading,