I have in fact, decided on two lists / challenges this year.
One will be to see how many species of birds I can see in Chester-le-Street in a year. Rather optimistically I am going to try for 130 species. As for the parameters I am going to use the old district council boundaries as my definition of Chester-le-Street so it will take be out of NZ2549 a bit which is what I needed after last year's challenge.
The other list will be on wild flowers. I have been a member of the Wild flower Society for many years but its a very long time since I sent any list or diary in. Again following my 1ksq challenge last year which gave me well over 300 species I am going to do a 10ksq list for NZ24 which of course includes Waldridge. Some people have been doing this for many, many years and have recorded over 1,000 plants in their square. With last year's effort being year one (which I submitted to the WFS the other day) I am going to start year two quite strongly and will try to get to 600 by the end of the year. Again this will be taking me a bit further afield (but not too far).
I'll still be doing my wanderings around Waldridge however looking at the different aspects of nature as it really is a great place and I want to spend a bit more time looking at Hoverflies and Mosses in particular. And I'll still be running the moth trap too.
So I started my "Chester" bird list doing my usual 1st January walk, down to riverside park, along the river, the A167 to Chester Moor then on to Waldridge fell, village and back home.
Quite a miserable day with light rain showers, grey skies and rather cold but I plodded on and got a decent start to the year with 66 species as listed below. The highlights being a Stonechat and Tree Sparrows, the latter, not only in their now regular spot along Waldridge Lane but also between the houses and wildlife area at the Riverside Park, the first time I've had them here. Misses, very little, no Tawny Owl, Skylark or Meadow Pipit but certainly nothing to worry about.