Welcome to 2014. May all those elusive birds you have strived hard to see [but not yet succeeded in seeing] dance before you binoculars or telescope during this year.
I did have ambitious plans for the new year; a new format, a different way of keeping any remaining public audience interested in the Birds of Allen Road. It hasn’t come about so far. All that additional time that virtual retirement was supposed to bestow on me just fizzled out, like a wet squib at a fireworks display.
Having the time on your hands does not necessarily equate to more time for writing. So far, most of our additional time has been squandered in increased birding! As someone once quipped, you can’t have your cake and eat it.
Looking through the January 2014 birding statistics for Allen Road it seems glaringly apparent that while Fay and I continue to be in earnest about our “backyard birds”, there is little new data to report that wasn’t covered back in January 2013; nor, for that matter, are the 2014 stats that much different to those in January 2012. As an example:
January 2012 61 species
January 2013 70 species
January 2014 61 species
To add further pressure to an already anxious mind, I am desperately attempting to maintain three blogs: Birding the South Burnett and Birding Beyond the Pale in addition to Birds of Allen Road. Each has a reason for being there but combined they create a formidable challenge and in the end I cannot use any one of them to give the full birding picture.
Take January 2014 as a pointer. The Allen Road tally amounts to 61 species; the South Burnett tally runs to an impressive 146 species. However, the overall January tally is actually 170 species; a record in itself, clearly over-hauling the previous best January score of 145 in 2007. Birding Beyond the Pale, designed primarily as an outlet for all those planned trips beyond the South Burnett, including overseas jaunts, ended January with a meagre 42 species.
Mice and men! There were only three trips beyond the pale: on 7 January to Toowoomba; 14 January when we raced across to our former stomping grounds, Redcliffe, to consult our tax accountant and the weekend of 17-19 January, our annual foray to Book Fest on the South Bank.
To complicate matters, Allen Road is of course really only a subset of the South Burnett so those birds are doubled up. All three together amount to simple subsets of the Queensland folder – which does register 170 species for the month!
As loathe as I am to pull myself away from an enjoyable pastime – and you have to understand my deep-rooted passion for writing to fully appreciate the enormity of the wrench- I have decided that the time has arrived to put Allen Road to bed.
This will be the last blog for Allen Road. Farewell.
Keep an eye out for developments at: