A fresh start today as I've been guilty of listing for the sake of listing. It's not a new phenomenon - when I was a keen birder I wanted to see 400 species before I was 30. I'm now nearly 50 and have still only seen 319 species as I completely lost interest in the futility of chasing around after birds found by other people. I admit that I was aiming to have seen 5000 species by the time I'm 50, but that's not going to happen either. Whilst I've seen some fabulous species this year thanks to the generosity of others sharing information, even Late Spider Orchid and Tansy Beetle have been knocked into a cocked hat by finding my own Scarce Fungus Weevil, and Dicranocephalus agilis in a new site representing a huge range expansion.
Tansy Beetle Scarce Fungus Beetle
I fell into the habit of recording for the sake of getting new species. When (or if) it gets to going to field meetings just to list things other people find and identify or spending days driving miles to see one rare species found by someone else it may entertain for a while, but it loses it's attraction. I have to accept that there are certain groups I am never going to get into. I could spend days tagging along on lichen or bryophyte meetings feigning interest in small green things I will never identify again in a month of Sundays, but why? I was happy to find, this autumn, that two years of going out with two fungus groups and a set of new books have resulted in my getting to the stage where there are SOME groups of fungi I can now tackle with reasonable confidence - which was the aim. I'm happy to play like that.
So, my new list will be VERY limited in the areas which don't appeal to me! I've been back through my bird list and taken out all the birds I haven't found, and identified, for myself. Whilst it was sad to see the newly-added Bee-eaters ditched, I shed no tears over the Buff-bellied Pipit I stood around in the cold waiting to see. I wouldn't be able to confidently identify one if I saw it again and, in retrospect, it was a fairly pointless exercise. Over the next few weeks or months I will be reviewing all my lists. I imagine a shed load of inverts will go, not least because I cannot remember where all the records came from. But I learn more from the endless fun of the vagaries of my memory and enjoying the moment when you drop yourself in it when you declare that a cute beetle is new to you when you posted it online as an ID query just days beforehand.......