A Birding Big Year on a Budget

This year I have decided to try and see 300+ species of bird in the UK in the same calendar year. Right, before we go any further let’s get one thing straight, seeing 300 species in the UK in a year isn’t as difficult as it sounds, it just takes time, money and effort. Anyone with enough time and plenty of money can do it, you don’t even need to know what you are looking at - you can even pay guides like me to identify the birds for you and point them out to you so in essence, the more money and the more time you have to spare the easier the task is. I’ve seen 300+ species in a year before, back in the 1990s when I worked in IT. I had a lot more money back then but a lot less free time so I used to disappear off to places at weekends and in work holidays to go and collect “ticks”. Doing a 300+ year doesn’t make me a better birder than you, it just means I have had the time, money and opportunity to do it.

Big Year Tick

This time I am going to do it differently. I have a limited budget but more free time and will put in whatever effort it takes. Listing for listing’s sake isn’t that useful nor ecologically beneficial so each time I go out to find a new bird I will also make a complete list of every species I see and submit it to the fantastic Bird Track so that my work isn’t as selfish and egotistical as it could otherwise be.

My intention is to prove to you that you don’t need to be a chequebook birder to achieve a “Big Year”, keep following and see if I make it.

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