It’s that time of year, when, snugly indoors we make plans for the next 12 months. I’ve decided to set myself a big challenge. I want to see (and try to photograph) every species of British animal in the wild.
No doubt it will take me more than a year (if I ever achieve it). I’ve already seen quite a few, but there are many on the list that will be quite tough. My chances of seeing a Scottish wildcat are slim, as they’re so rare and secretive. Others will be found in even less accessible places, for example the 18 different species of dolphins and whales that visit the British coast.
So why set myself this challenge? Well, it seems a good way of getting to find out more about the wonderful wildlife of the British Isles. I’ll need to read up about them to learn where and when to see them. It will also push me beyond my comfort zone, making me visit parts of the country I’ve never been (in my mind Bristol is up north). Finally, it involves a list, and I do like ticking things off lists!
As for the mechanics of it, to start with I’m basing my list on animals included in the Collins Complete Guide to British Animals, although no doubt there will be some additions or subtractions along the way. That includes mammals, reptiles and amphibians. I’m leaving birds out of it for now, as that would just be too big a challenge. You can see the list on a new page I’ve created. I’ll let you know how I’m doing as the year goes on, and share some of the things I learn along the way.
Wish me luck! Have you set yourself any wildlife-related challenges for the new year?