Happy New Year! In the first week of this shiny new year, we are hearing from seven AFON members on their hopes and plans for 2017.
In 2016 I had a good year for birds and wildlife, with getting a new camera to use to get better photos than before, and seeing some great new wildlife such as my first otter. I also saw a range of rare birds including turtle dove, cattle egret and a hoopoe.
Turtle Dove (c) Katie Horrocks
Cattle egrets (c) Katie Horrocks
My favourite thing from 2016 was having the privilege to get very close to a pair of wild foxes. When I say pair of foxes they are both male and different ages, but they came right up to us which gave me a chance to get some fantastic photos of them capture their behaviour.
Fox (c) Katie Horrocks
The most memorable part of 2016 was when I won Longleats photo competition and won a season ticket to Longleat and a day with Simon King going around the park. I know some people don’t like zoos, but I couldn’t miss out the fact I had this amazing day with Simon and will never forget it throughout my life.
Katie Horrocks with Simon King at Longleat
In 2017 I have many aims in terms of wildlife and birds. To go with my new camera, I would like to get a new lens. As this will be brought with my own money, I need to save up a lot of money. I would also like to try and get my life bird list up to 260 as I am on 256 species of bird by the end of 2016 – slowly catching up my parents.
In the summer I would like to go down to Dorset and spend some more time taking photos of the foxes that I photographed last year, and studying more about how they behave. I would also like to study red squirrels at Brownsea Island as I spend many hours photographing them – though sometimes I can’t photograph because they are so close to me that I could touch them including one that deciding climbing my back was a good idea! I normally spend the time I’m outside to be taking photos of the animal and birds but think I now need to see what they do during the time.
I also hope to publish a couple more photos into magazines and possibly get paid for it like I have done in the past. I would also love to win a photo competition with my photos to prove that all my hard work getting up early to get a photo pays off.
Katie Horrocks taking photos (c) Helen Horrocks
I would like to try and learn how to identify more species of bird especially ones which look very similar such as the gulls. Which will mean I will be able to stop having to ask everyone what type of gull it is (I know the difference of med gulls and black headed)!
I hope this year I will at least achieve two of the things I wanted but I am aiming for all of them to be complete at the end of the year.
I would like to wish all you in AFON a happy new year.