SYMPATHISE WITH David Lugo’s comments in his latest Finches Plus column (see page 5) and expect most readers would agree that 2018 has felt like it’s been stuck on fast-forward mode. David’s certainly not the only one to find himself uttering “I just don’t know where this year has gone”. He plans to write a birdkeeping list of what he hopes to achieve in 2019 – as he did for the year almost gone, and with the dark, gloomy days in December, now’s the perfect time to stay indoors and get that list completed. Whittle down breeding, showing or husbandry details to your preferred 2019 plan, including what you’ll mirror next year and, if desired, what has to change. Or why not follow in Sam Wildes’s footsteps and reflect on the positives – both at home and with your birds (see page 8).

We’ve been doing some reflecting of our own in the Cage & Aviary Birds office, as we put together a special Review of the Year to sum up those key events and hard-hitting news headlines from the hobby over the past 12 months. Look out for Part 1 in the December 19/26 issue.

In response to Neil F. Ramsay’s “What’s that bird” query (see Letters, November 21), editor Rob Innes invited readers to identify a bird used in Paul Donovan’s science article in the October 31 issue. Rob suspected that the bird is a weaver of the genus Ploceus, but reader Terry Giles says her father, Allan Edwards of Ceredigion, Wales, believes the bird to be an immature golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus). Any other suggestions welcome.

“The sanctuary is safe,” begins an email from Rosemary Low this week. This refers to Mrs M. Holdsworth’s letter in the November 28 issue, which talks about Rosemary’s recent review of Birds of a Feather. Mrs Holdsworth had questioned the fate of the parrot sanctuary run by the book’s author, Dr Lorin Lindner. Rosemary’s email continues: “I am pleased to report Lorin’s news: ‘Thankfully we were nowhere near the fires even though they were in the same county. We did help another sanctuary evacuate their birds but all is well here.’”

If you are interested in Dr Lindner, a series about another aspect of her work is currently being aired on the TV channel Animal Planet. Look out forWolves and Warriors.

Rob is back next week.