A sleepless night because of a string of thoughts going through my head, Peru and Israel coming up soon taking up most of it. Yet there is also my procrastination over doing a foreword for the book about last year.
All of the day by day pages of the book are done. All of the meetings, the birds, the cycling and the locations are detailed, maybe not in a Mark Cocker way, sadly I am not a literary writer of such poise and intelligence, yet in my own fashion it is done.
The foreword though is so difficult because I have to get down to emotion and reason, relationships and outcomes. Hence the delay.
The affect on me as a person I feel is important to share and the struggle against the turmoil of inner thoughts touched on occasionally during the year also.
Then there is the question of validity. Mine is not a pure Green record. I used ferries to get to the remote islands of Scotland. Ponc Feliu Latorre of Spain didn't use ferries during his Big Green Year and is therefore he is the Green BIGBY champion. I beat Ponc's total of birds and had the most fabulous time doing so but his record is the Green one to beat.
There are rules written down for Green Birding. They can be found in the book by Richard Gregson, Green Birding and also on Jim Royer's blog – World Green Birding records.
Back in June last year, whilst staying at the fabulous new Spurn Bird Observatory, I talked with Paul French about this. Paul suggested that I would reach 300 by just staying at Spurn. I said where's the fun in that compared to birding on North Ronaldsay and fair isle? Maybe 300 plus by pure Green means is possible in England. I don't know and I sincerely would love someone to do it one day. Me? Never say never.
As for my 318, well I just hope that taking ferries, and boy did I suffer on a few of those, won't detract from my achievement. 6,900 cycled miles in 2016, every RSPB and WWT nature reserve visited both in 2010 and in 2015, around £15,000 raised for charity. Maybe a new Green Birding category should be produced for my type of Green Birder; The European Green Biking Birder record (F)*.
So how does this sound?
- European Green Birding record – Ponc Feliu Latorre
- European Green Biking Birder record (F)* - Me.
Whatever you may think, I will be back on the bike next year, Peru!
(* F denotes use of ferries) BCNU xx