My most important piece of equipment for wildlife spotting?
Planning in advance is the secret of many of my wildlife experiences.
This year I want to fill the year with wildlife experiences. I am keen to connect with loads of birds, butterflies, mammals, reptiles and even fish! I am hoping that come the close of 2022 I will be able to look back at memories and hopefully photographs of all the cool stuff I saw.
But over the last few years I have come to realise that the most important bit of kit in making this all happen is not my binoculars or my boots, it's my diary! I have been careful to think far ahead, research what I would love to see and most importantly book it into my diary.
I guess that some lucky people can fall out of bed and decide what they will do with their day but for me, with a job and young family, I have to consider how I will weave the wildlife into my complicated calendar (hey that sounds profound!!). For example this year having researched that the newly established large blue butterflies are on the wing at Rodborough Common from mid June to July I will see whether I might be near there or at least passing by during that period. This combination approach also helps manage fuel cost (and carbon footprint of course!) In autumn salmon will be leaping up the Wye river in October so can I get a date for them too and maybe double up with ring ousels feeding in the Elan Valley?
Often images on social media or sightings from friends prompt me to make a note for the following year. Rather than just be jealous/disappointed that I didn't see the crossbills drinking from the puddles in the Forest of Dean, make a diary entry to get there next year when they might well be doing so again! Of course sometimes you just have to leap at unexpected opportunities but more often than not my best experiences are from pre planned trips.
Agree? well I have just ordered my 2023 diary and as soon as it arrives will be filling it with ideas! Do the same...you won't regret it!