Yes, I agree, it is always of intense interest learning what other birders
[often referred to by the general public as “nutters”] are up to.
While my “official” retirement occurs on 25 April, as I said earlier, what with
the long 2013/14 summer vacation, followed by long-service leave up until 25
April, I have effectively been in retirement since 13 December 2013. And
you’re right, the concept of the “weekend” flew out of the window.
Rather than “miss” the routine of school I find I have managed to squeeze in a
little more birding, especially noticeable since the end of January 2014 when I
would ordinarily have gone back into the usual school routine.
I think I recall becoming aware of the Bird-a-Day challenge via a posting on
this forum and decided it might keep me from becoming bored – I was, at that
time, still “employed” by Education Queensland and had heard that retired
teachers soon miss the classroom and fade away. Fay and I opened the year as
we have become accustomed to open every year over the past few years, a visit
to nearby Boat Mountain. It has two advantages: the local avifauna is very
good and it’s a steep, very steep, uphill climb – good for my diabetes.
We [and in spite of only my moniker being on the lists, it is a joint effort
with Fay, my better three-quarters] started the challenge with a Black-breasted
Button-quail. Matters went well from there on in, although I doubt that we
would have lasted so long had we now not both been retired with the time on our
hands to venture forth a little in pursuit of birds.
Like you, Martin, I have managed to retain intact most of our “savers”; indeed,
we have two categories of “savers”: our Class 1 “savers”, the Torresian Crow,
Rainbow Lorikeet, etc. which are constant visitors to the property and our
Class 2 “savers”, birds a little beyond the front gate but which are reliable
and can be added further down the calendar.
April should be straight-forward enough and May should provide few problems
whatsoever as Fay and I will be in the UK and even the humble Chaffinch will
count as a different bird for one of those 31 days. Following a month in
Scotland [one week on the Isle of Mull in continuing pursuit of that elusive
Golden Eagle] and England we venture out to – believe it or not, Singapore for
a few days before returning home.
The second week of June may be more problematic but hopefully that 200th bird
looming up in July should be sufficient a spur to encourage us.
On the other hand, should Fay and I fall by the wayside, well, the birds are
still there and we will continue to add new locations to our growing list of
potential birding places, or simply continue to enjoy those birds that visit us
on our small rural-residential block.
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