I have neglected my blogging 'duties' of late, even on my own blog (http://www.corkbirding.blogspot.com, recently updated and revamped), so allow me to summarise.
This month so far has been interesting, as, while I have long been envious of the way in which you lot get shedloads of migrants passing over or through your gardens, my crappy little garden, situated in an area with few trees or any other habitat, and in a country without a large scale overhead passage of much, bar Barn Swallows or other species that are common anyway, usually fails to get any action. Imagine my surprise, and delight, to have logged call-only singles of Common Chiffchaff (second garden record, first recorded last year, though they may well be annual) and Willow Warbler (first garden record, though, again, probably under-recorded), and, frustratingly, I also heard a call about 9 days ago that reminded me of a Sedge Warbler, which would have been an amazing garden bird but quite possible on migration.
The best bird, however, was another that was heard but not seen. On Sunday 15th, I had just been birding a local estuary until dark (best bird being an adult Mediterranean Gull), and decided to get a taxi home from the city centre. On getting out of the taxi, I heard what struck me as a Green Sandpiper, and, sure enough, after getting out and entering my garden, the bird called 2-3 more times. This opens up so many possibilities, even scarce stuff nationally like Wood Sandpiper...
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.