Work prospects in 2017 will change my daily and weekly cycle, but until that become a certainty, I cannot help myself but play out my first few days of January.
I like to get out fairly early and plan to do so again, 2016 had me on 63 by the end of my Jan 1st, 68 by 2nd, 71 by 3rd, 75 by 9th and by month end I was on 83, somewhat of a record for me.
I always think ahead "I wonder what great birds I'll see this year" and it is rare I get predictions right and certainly would never have predicted Nightjar in any year, so for me 2016's star bird had to be that. But perhaps because I had become obsessed with Little Stint, that this little beauty also brings so much pleasure...I'm still gutted it didn't stay for friends to see.
Then there's the Tree Pipit on the deck, that hasn't happened in about 30 years, not forgetting the Ring Ouzel, again 28 years since the last one.
In many respects 2016, like 2014, feels like a year of long overdue repeats, or second chances and I am one happy bunny, with one more to go for that unbelievable life list of 200.
My top new DP lifer predictions as wrong as they might be, remain;
Great Northern Diver
Great Reed Warbler
If 2014 and 2016 were indicators of how life really pans out, then long awaited patch ticks for me should include;
Red Throated Diver
Long Tailed Duck
Red Breasted Merganser
Red Footed Falcon