Sunday, 1 January 2012

So that was 2011!

Good morning, Happy New Year! 

I decided that I would wait to write my review of the year until it had finished.  It did so a little later than is our usual wont with a very pleasant evening at neighbours, after which we walked a bit over 2km home on a lovely warm moonlight night.

In what follows I am not going to write about our health and mental attitude etc.  No problems for myself, Frances or Tammy. To say more would be BORING!

An unusual  feature of 2011 was not going overseas at all.  Indeed I didn't get on an aircraft once during the year.  Our travels to the North Eastern NSW and NE Victoria were handled by car.

Birding:  I only totalled 210 species for the year, with 2 additions to my life list.  The additions were
  1. Southern Emu-wren, found after some hours searching the heathland at Mallacoota; and
  2. Black Falcon, found on the Hoskinstown Plain following a tip from a friend over whose property the bird was flying.  That followed years of looking at Brown Falcons!

The most interesting aspect of birding has been the changes in our local area as a result of the drought breaking in 2010.  That led to nearly all water birds leaving the local area in that year and they have slowly returned over 2011.  The change in rainfall (see below for that topic) also led to a mini-mouse plague which in turn led to very unusually large numbers of birds of prey in the area.

Exercise: No significant injuries during the year and a couple of good results in the ACT Veterans Monthly Handicap meant that I covered more distance than I have for the past 2 years.  The total - including walking and mountain biking was equivalent (using equivalences from Dr Eddie Cooper, the inventor of aerobic exercise) to 1493 kilometres running.  The running component was 855km: pathetic, but 200km more than 2010.

Blogging:  I made 237 posts in the year, which is probably too many, but a true 'log' should have 356!

Over the year my main blog received 5588 hits, taking me to about 10,500 since I started: thank you all very much I hope you enjoyed the experience. What I find fascinating is where the hits come from.  I am now up to hits from 103 countries, having added 44 countries this year.  (There are issues with how the country of origin is defined - I am sure Google and Sitemeter use different definitions- but it still indicates a fair spread.)

I have created 2 additional blogs during the year covering:
  1. Our holiday to the North Eastern NSW; and
  2. Birds of Carwoola, intended to be a record mainly for members of the local community.
Weather:   The only aspect of the weather I have recorded systematically has been the rainfall at Carwoola.  In summary it was rather damp until mid-March from whence we had a very dry patch, recording <20mm rain per month for 3 consecutive months.  For the second half of the year rain was averageish, giving us an overall close to 4 year average fall for the year.  A graph might illustrate this.
This next graph shows the comparison with the four previous years.

Petroleum matters: Over this year I have average 29.46 mpg (or for those who have moved on, 9.502 l/100km).  The price of petrol continues to defy any ethical standards, being driven by that well known economic force - the profits of oil companies.  On average we have paid 12.86 c/km for fuel.   The worst prices have been at Mallacoota where the only servo for 100km has a nice captive audience.

Onwards to 2012!


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
Impressive geographical spread of your Blog visitors, and nice stats generally.
Ethics and Oil Companies?
A non-sequitur surely?

Flabmeister said...

I am unsure if it is a non-sequitur or an oxymoron!


Mary said...

Hi Martin,
Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year.
Thought you might like to know that one of my New Years resolutions is to raise the number of my own blogs to at least 100 days and to make 1 percent of them as interesting (or at least as amusing) as your wonderful blogs. Keep up the good work.
I have sent you several readers from other countries who are interested in birds, photography, insects, and Australians.
They all come back to me saying that they really enjoy your blog and are amazed with your knowledge of the subject matter.
If you ever are in the mood, could you tell us more about what you do with the Australian Pines? Or are they not in your terrain? Over here (in the Bahamas and in Florida of USA), they have invaded, and we are trying to eradicate them. Thus far, we find they make great firewood for our hot tub. A few people have used them for Christmas trees. Is there anything else that we should know about them? How about some Australian wisdom on this matter.
Wishing you the very best in the New Year,

Flabmeister said...


Many thanks for the kind words and good wishes.

I shall do a little research on the Australian Pines and post the results.