In other words, from a four-year to an eight-year period. Which is what, with a bit of Blue Peter initiative, I have achieved for my British Trust for Ornithology list for recording the birds I see each year.
I started keeping the list in 2010 and, at the end of 2013, I had reached the end of the boxes which were provided, ie four-years’ worth with a column for notes..
Of course it isn’t that I’m too mean to spend 95p on a new one (in fact BTO sent it free when I signed up for the breeding bird survey or the 2007-11 bird atlas) but I find it interesting to recall my sightings across the years—for instance, I can note at a glance that 2013 was the first of the four years when, sadly, I didn’t see a tree pipit. It’s rather like a five-year diary. For me, the four years of the BTO list are not enough.
So I have solved it. I found a fairly blank page and photocopied the four rows of blank boxes. I had to do it in two lots as there was no completely blank page.
Then I cut them out in strips and stuck them on the blank space for notes. Now I have another four years of boxes for birding (with space for a further two if I want to make it up to ten years).
I hope the BTO and RSPB will in future provide lists which cover at least eight years rather than four. It would save a lot of faffing around with paper and glue!