This is my fiftieth post. I just thought I’d mention that, quietly. After all, I don’t want to make a song and dance of it. It’s not really important that I’ve reached a half century before the end of innings (2011, as it is more usually known), so I probably shouldn’t trumpet it too loudly next time I blog. No, best to leave it out altogether I should think.
It’s been a good, if occasionally bumpy ride. From triumphant twitching highs to glorious Great British dips (as a nation I like to think we are quite accomplished failures), 2011 has produced an unmatchable birding bonanza, and it isn’t even over yet. I sailed past the hoped-for 200 species back in October, all the way up to what will probably be a final score of 210. Paltry by many a twitcher’s standard, but I’ve absolutely relished every tick — and not just every tick, but every bird, every warm-blooded, fantastic, feathered form parading in front of my optics, and those clutched with similar fervour by an excellent cohort of fellow adventurers.
And I may be in for another dicey ride tomorrow, as whilst the forecast has, mercifully for nervous fliers, become slightly less alarming in the last few days, there’ll still be a fairly stiff breeze blowing. And I’m still going to be on a plane. Over the Atlantic. In the stormiest week for months and months and months. But there’s Christmas to be looked forward to when I get there, many a family festivity, and, with any luck, a few excellent additions to the year’s American bird list. I’m particularly hoping for a hefty dose of nearctic ducks, a good gaggle of snow geese, and a ton of tundra swans.
So wish me well. I’ll be drugged up on herbal extract medication (known to professionals as ‘placebos’, I think) and, not long after takeoff, sedated by a goodly measure of gin. And red wine. And anything the attendants will give me, really. I’ll be blogging whilst I’m away — I need something to do when I wake up early, dazed, confused, and wondering why it isn’t lunchtime yet — but if you would have missed me whilst I was gone: thanks. I hope you’re looking forward to a seasonally appropriate species of the week coming to a blog near you on Wednesday. And thanks most of all for sticking with me through 50 other interminable entries.
What do you mean you haven’t read them all?!