Well, it had to happen. After years of being a nomad without a local patch, following the Golden Mallard Challenge and just wishing I had the chance to compete for such a fine piece of tat, I now have a set of keys for an apartment and a local patch just down the road. Now I can join in the fun.
And it it is perhaps fitting that I am an overseas entrant to the challenge. So while you are freezing your 'nads round Galley or the Don or wherever, mine be sweating around Singapore Botanic Gardens. A small patch of greenery in the urban jungle that is Singapore. It's hard too escape from traffic noise, and harder to escape from people, but even so a few hardy species persist and I'll be trying to find as many as I can.
The year is off to a good start,with about 40 species so far. This afternoon was one of those slightly weird birding moments while watching exotic species such as black-naped oriole, blue-tailed bee-eater, pink-necked green pigeon and a common kingfisher. But there's quality there, so it's all good. And a Phyllosc that I struggled with...and maybe will sort out tomorrow?