Monday, 30 December 2013

Get ready, 2014 is on its way!

Well, that's Xmas over for another year. I trust that you had a pleasant one and that Santa bought you the things you wanted. Now that most of the mince pies have been demolished and the Xmas dinner leftovers have been consumed, it's time to start planning for the new year ahead. Have you got any things you would like to do, see or be involved in?

As always, I have lots of stuff I want to do, but if I actually get round to doing it is another matter. But here's an idea that you might like to try, 1000 for 1KSQ. This blog originally started on a similar thing I was trying a couple of years back, however, time and the fact that I'm not really good at making lists meant I failed miserably, twice. However, this is slightly different and you have to try and find 1000 species in a 1km square of your choosing. It's a great way of finding new species to you and what is really out there, maybe you can do it as a family thing or a weekend thing when you're away from work. It's as good a reason as any to get out there and start exploring your local wildlife.

Maybe you could decide to spend a year studying a particular creature, be it insect, bird, reptile or mammal. You will be surprised how much you can learn from such simple studies. One of my major plans this year involves bumblebees, as you may know, and I'll be building an indoor nest box for them to build their hive in. Watch this space!

You could spend the year moth trapping by running a simple, homemade moth trap every weekend in your garden/backyard. You will be totally amazed at the amount of wonderfully patterned moths that are flying over your garden every night. My little trap that I built a couple of years ago, caught over 500 moths in one night last summer. In total over the year I trapped over 3,500 moths and 260+ species. This was a fantastic way to observe wonderful creatures that we don't usually see. Some of them even laid eggs which I grew on. A fantastic experience which I'm looking forward to seeing hatch in the spring. The trap is getting a little tired and out of shape now so I'll be building a new moth trap soon and will be showing you how you can do the same thing in the upcoming weeks. Join me, you won't regret it.

There's plenty of surveys to get involved in starting with the Big Garden Birdwatch which is on January 25-26th. As always, there will be plenty going on throughout the year. Reader and fellow blogger Ryan Clark recorded 400 species in his garden in 2013. You can see the list here. Why don't you see how many species you can find in your garden? Who knows, you might get a surprise like I did and find a completely new species to your area/county or even country. You never know unless you try.

Maybe you could do a course at one of the many Field Studies Council centres dotted around the country or with one of your local Wildlife Trust's. They have so much on offer and you can learn so much from one of these courses. It may even fire up a new interest for you.

Another way of learning is by joining a society such as the British Naturalist's Association, Amateur Entomologist's Society, Bumblebee Conservation TrustBritish Dragonfly Society or your local naturalist group or wildlife trust to name just a few. Whatever your interest is, I'm sure you'll find a group or society for it. Many of which will run workshops, talks and even outings where you can meet lots of like minded people like yourself and learn new stuff.

Just remember, you don't have to be an expert to get involved. You don't need degrees or ology's, you just need the enthusiasm and and eagerness to do it. The internet is filled with websites and social media that is there to help you, such as iSpot and iRecord. The more people out there getting involved with nature helps nature to help us. Simple things such as recording damselflies on your local pond, or butterflies in your back garden go a long way in the grand scheme of things.

So, like a container ship thats unloaded all of its cargo, 2013 begins to slip its mooring and gently drifts off out, into the past. We wave a welcome 2014 as it comes into view over the horizon and begin to wonder what it has in store for us. Whatever is in its vast cargo hold, I hope it has plenty of joyful happiness in store for you and a year of new adventure and discovery awaits for you.

Happy new year to each and every one of you and your families.


  1. 500 moths in one night! My all year total was less than half that - I'd be overjoyed but overwhelmed!

    Doing the Foot-it challenge

    Not got enough time to attempt the 1000 in 1ksq, maybe next year - could be fun



    1. That's excellent Dave, thanks for sharing and good luck on your Birding-by-Foot challenge.

  2. A great blog post. I hope next year brings you lots of wildlife sightings :)