It's becoming ever clearer to me that I have next to no chance of not finishing bottom, as those of you with scores lower than mine have such valid excuses as, I don't know, living in areas that get even colder winter weather than we had here for a few weeks, and every winter to boot, or working and not being able to see their gardens in daylight. Once the days begin to get longer, and migration starts, all of you will start racking up the 'warblers' (as someone from the Old World, it is always a bit strange referring to birds more closely related to buntings as warblers), vireos etc, whereas the only summer migrants that I can be in an way hopeful of getting would be Barn Swallow, Sand Martin (a.k.a. Bank Swallow), House Martin and Common Swift, and the two martins will take some effort and luck.
Indeed, I can only realistically expect 15 or so extra species in the whole year, which would leave me short of 40 on 31st December...
At the moment, we are still enjoying milder weather, and, while bird numbers have dropped a little in my tiny garden, the male Blackcap found on 10th January is still present, a Winter Wren in song yesterday was new for the year and a Eurasian Goldfinch that briefly landed on the rowan tree reminded me to add the species to my list, having had a flyover a week or so back.
2013 and beyond
It's pretty simple: the most birds seen or heard from one's yard during 2013 will be the "winner". Want in? O.k....then do it despite that.
2013 promises to be a lot less mean but still a carbon-free birding competition, even if slightly less exciting than a MEGA x EPIC hybrid.