Join the Q: #My200BirdYear - the Results
Regular readers may remember that I set myself a challenge to take part in Birdwatching Magazine's #My200BirdYear during 2018. My aim was to improve my birdwatching skills and also to learn how to use the features of my new camera as I went along. I am pleased to report that I achieved all three of these objectives.
It was a challenge indeed to see 200 different species of birds, but with a lot of patience and the help of conservation organisations that brought birds of the world close enough for me to see I managed to complete my list.
Even though my list contains what some people would call 'plastic' birds (ones not seen in the wild), my birdwatching skills are much improved in comparison with this time last year. I took part in local events such as Raptorwatch and the Wader Festival and saw numerous birds I had not seen before. I examined photos carefully, rather than assuming all the birds in the pictures were the same, and found rarer things like Mediterranean Gulls, Cattle Egrets and a Redwing. Listening to the sounds of the birds helped me to locate a Wren and a Reed Warbler. I even enjoyed tea and cake in a hide while studying a particular pool patiently and was lucky to spot a Water Rail, a Stonechat and a Great White Egret there.
I also learned much more about the capabilities of my camera, especially the video feature and the 24x zoom. I haven't yet mastered some of the techniques so I didn't manage to photograph every bird I saw and some of the photos didn't turn out very well, but overall I am pleased with what I achieved. Here are four of my personal favourites.