A few months ago, I decided I wasn't going to keep a county or patch list in 2011, and instead would try to stick very close to home. I also thought it might be a good idea to try to record and map a handful of individual species along the way, and while travelling to and from work. So, my three birding resolutions for 2011 are as follows:
1. To list only those species that I see within walking distance of home. Realistically, that's going to mean Charnwood Lodge LRWT, Bardon Hill, Blackbrook Reservoir, Snibston Discovery Park, and the various bits of National Forest land along the Coalville bypass, plus non-reserve land like Cademan Woods. I might walk as far as Kelham Bridge, at a pinch. It'll save petrol, and shift some of this weight, if nothing else!
2. To religiously record sightings of the following species whenever I'm out and about in the county - Buzzard and Kestrel (I'd like to get an idea of whether the former really is becoming more common), and Yellowhammer and Linnet (two of my favourite farmland birds). This will include looking for sites where breeding can be proved.
3. To look for some genuine rarities in NW Leicestershire and Charnwood Forest. Back in November, John Hague suggested that the Forest, including Charnwood Lodge, would be a good place to find Great Grey Shrike, so that might be one of the more likely possibilities.
Of course, all this doesn't mean I won't be doing some birdwatching elsewhere too. Quite apart from anything else, I have to do quite a bit of driving for work, so I'll still drop in at places like Cossington Meadows, Swithland Reservoir, Eyebrook Reservoir and Rutland Water as and when I'm passing.