Although I was never a train-spotter (non-Brits will want to look up the nerdish significance of that) I have rarely been able to resist keeping lists of things. In particular I have kept lists of bird species that I have seen, which will not surprise anyone who knows me. I am always up for ideas for a new list to give me a reason to get up in the morning … and so we have this entertainment. For a while now I have been following the interesting Facebook page of Tom Giles from the Wirral who has set himself the challenge to “document 1000 species living wild in Britain”.
Tom’s FB page where he documents one species a day – birds, lichens, flowers, whatever can be seen, is at this link. Tom’s posts are all very interesting and rather poetically written – the sign of a very sound naturalist.
Thus – I began to think during the cold and white winter we are enjoying (and it is enjoyable) in Quebec that this sort of broad-spectrum listing of randomly observed lifeforms is perhaps something that I could enjoy doing. It calls to me. I checked with Tom to find if the 1000 species challenge was some international contest that had passed me by but he said that it was just his own personal idea and that I would not be treading on his toes were I to take it out for a walk. So I am.
Starting on Sunday, March 1st, I intend to document one different species each and every day and to share a photo and some information on a Facebook page that I have created for this purpose. There will also be a short weekly summary on this journal for non-social-media people.
My challenge will not be 1000 species in Canada, or even 1000 species in Quebec (altogether too much territory) but 1000 species within about 5 miles (that’s as near as dammit 8km) of my home town of Baie-D’Urfé and the nearby West Island of Montreal. The question is whether or not I can find a new species of something each and every day for the next almost three years. Getting to 500 should be relatively easy … after that is when the challenge really kicks in.
You can follow my daily findings here:
On days when I don’t get out, or don’t find an undocumented species, or am absent on vacation then I will try to offer up something from my personal archives to keep the boat afloat – or maybe something exotic from which ere distant point I happen to be. All species listed will be wild ones..
I believe this should be fun, will be educational for me at least and will keep me out of trouble. I am hoping that you would like to follow along and see what’s to be seen alongside me. I expect to complete the 1000 mark sometime during 2023 and if I’m still having fun then I guess I will just keep plodding along. Just visit the FB link above and connect to my daily posts in the usual way. There is a sample starter species already there (#1) that I posted a few days ago to make sure all the ducks were in a row.
** Comments are invited.