Aside from the Foot It challenge (bird species on foot from home in January), and the Patchwork Challenge (bird species within a 3kmsq area during 2013), there is another challenge that is just starting to pick up some momentum - the 1000 in 1kmsq challenge. The aim is simple, try to log 1000+ species in a 1km square. The elected area does not have to be absolutely in line with the OS map, though it must be square. On the face of it, I reckon picking up 1000 species during a year in a 1kmsq could be quite straightforward given two things - regular moth trapping and good habitat diversity in the square. And there's the rub ....
For instance I could elect to record in the squares that contain either Pickworth Great Wood, Clipsham Quarry, a bit of Rutland Water, or Ketton Quarry and the adjacent working quarry. Mothing these at least once a month and regular visits though the seasons for botany, mammals, birds and everything else would make 1000+ very likely. But I'm not convinced that I would actually get there that often, and in any case to do so would cost a lot of time and money in travelling there. I could elect to choose a more diverse square nearer to home on the same basis - maybe a square around Narborough Bog or Croft Hill/Huncote Embankment. Regular visits would be achievable and there is good diversity - but neither site is suitable for regular mothing.
But actually, maybe the point is not to pick a square where you think 1000 species should be easy, but stick with your home square and push yourself to find innocuous or difficult to ID species alongside the much more tenable regular garden moth trapping. I'm actually not decided as yet whether to go for it, but I have decided that if I do it will be this square with my house in the top-leftish corner:
In a normal year, I reckon 400+ lepidoptera species is easily possible in this square including butterflies and a bit of bush bashing for larvae and leafmines. 2012 has been completely pants, and I made virtually no effort with garden mothing but still managed 290 species (c100 down on 2010 & 2011). Birds are not strong in this square - maybe 65 species if I'm lucky. With all other orders, I reckon I'd be lucky to top 800 species in a year - but maybe I should just go for it and try harder. After all, if 400+ lepidoptera is possible then there must be at least 3 times that in total across the other invert orders.
I guess if I do go for it, it will make keeping an eye on the garden even more worthwhile. Like today, when an innocent trip to the garden bins revealed a newly established and widespread fungal attack on the garden fencing. Seems that the regular rains have thoroughly soaked the panels, and there is a profuse showing of Common Jellyspot.
It will also mean that I can't go on ignoring mosses, like this one in a garden plant pot today that may be Common Pincushion, or may not be.
I'm going to mull on it until Sunday before I finally decide whether to fold or go all in.