Following Mr Grimsey's fine piece in the Hobby about self-finding and whether it was possible to find 150 species in a year, I thought I'd write something on the subject. Without ever having done such a challenge, I too wondered. As Mr Blain is showing (on 147 by August), it certainly is possible. I'm even thinking I should be able to do so - there are plenty of species to get still.
Before running through possible species left (for another post), I thought I'd muse on the different policies of those of us contributing to this challenge. Feel free to contribute if I've made incorrect assumptions on your birding habits! I think, to stand a chance, you either need to go birding all the time, or consider what you need to do to find the species you wouldn't normally find in a year.
SCB - very active - lots of free time before and after work (no kids) and very active. No site really out of the question for him but lives near to Broom. Also undertaking some decent ornithology and thinking about birding that contributes to the county - like looking for breeding Firecrests. Did I mention he was very active?
RIB - less time but keen on regularly hitting some hotspots at the weekend early in the morning and with the opportunity to hit the Ivel Valley sites at lunchtime from work. Also a serial surveyor - particularly WeBS, which is a useful policy for finding wildfowl. Has been encouraged to look at gulls this year.
MJP - active birder but more so outside of summer, living next to some fine habitat and frequents one or two of the top county sites. Also an active year lister so uses that as a driver to get out and about - in doing so, finds good birds. Expect some serious late season action when the pollen disappears...
AG - Like RIB above - aware of the importance of making the most of birding time - good access to the hills and and make useful dents in the passage migrant list by doing so. Tactical birder (claiming you need to be living in Luton, where water is rationed) will hit some of the wetter sites when others least expect it and find a fair crop of wildfowl and waders. One to keep an eye on.
MB - Policy of no car, preferring bike and foot and mainly around Broom. WeBS surveyor and often very active at key times - at one of the best sites to find your own birds (if you beat the others to them). Impressive total so far considering no discernible carbon footprint.
RH - Also a local patch worker, sticking mainly to the home area - wanders for long periods of time, notebook at the ready, collecting valuable self found birds though handy local knowledge built up over time of the 10km square he lives in.
DOM - A late entry but joining in the fun of the game showing us what is possible solely on foot and mainly wandering around unpromising farmland, far away from any water - rarely finding any waterfowl but generating fabulous records for the county (and Birdtracking them all).