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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Patch Thrashing, green birding

I reason that there is no merit clocking up miles at present for the odd tick. I am keen to get some exercise and resolved to send more records into the BTO this year, and when I came across the idea of Footit recently I decided that a weekend thrashing the patch was the way to go. So the car stayed on the drive all weekend and I walked a fair few miles.
Even better, I saw a fair few species. On Saturday I teamed up with fellow local birder Glenn H for a thoroughly enjoyable 5 hours out and about. It couldn't have started better when I picked up a Brambling near the village green. Moving on the the fishing pool, we were delighted to see a pair of Kingfishers zooming towards us ! It took me all last year to nab a view of one there, and yesterday they showed really well, I even managed a distant  first ever patch record shot.

 Not long afterwards, another surprise, a Grey Wagtail popped up by the sluice, never had Grey Wag on that part of the patch. The area also gave us Lesser Redpoll, Siskin and Redwing.
Down on the brook a Goldcrest was quite showy, insect feeding,and over towards Mount Segg a pair of Ravens appeared. One of the Ravens was obviously under orders to get the nest started, and proceeded to borrow some wool from a few of the sheep, buy jumping up on their backs and helping himself ! I managed to get a bit of video.

The final real goody of the walk was a small flock of Meadow Pipits on the paddocks helping to get a total of 44 species for the day.
On Sunday I did a different route, but started over at the Pool, as this always needs to be checked. I added Stock Dove to the list but otherwise it was quiet.
I then walked over to the north side of the patch, via a very muddy bridle path that skirts the golf course. Along here I encountered a very nice tit flock, containing 3 very showy Goldcrests and a Treecreeper.
With a Kestrel on the wires over the stubble fields the year list ended on 52, with no fuel used, only a good few calories burnt.Interestingly my patch total for January last year was 50.

 Total Species 52
Footit Target 59 ( seen 88% )
Total Miles c12..4 visits


  1. Thats a commendable bit of birding :-) Much more enjoyable I think too!

  2. Thanks Warren, it does leave me with a real 'feel good' and satisfied feeling

  3. A good tally there Mark! Well worth leaving the car behind for!

    Is it me or do these word verifications get fuzzier the more attempts you are forced to make?

    1. Yes, I reckon there are only 6-8 'likely' species left to pick up now over the next few weeks, plus a few 'possibles' that would be lifers on the patch, but the core work is done for the patch YL. I agree,wrt those verification's, I had 20 goes at one for something the other week !