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Monday, 29 April 2013

Patch Perfect !....a lifer rounds it off

All in, when the dots are joined together,a pretty good week.  I forced myself out for a quick hour after work a few times this week. The first reward was Monday, when there was a decent showing of Sand Martins over the local fishing pool.I managed my first Whitethroat of the year Wednesday
On Friday, I had a nice early Hobby over, low too.
A foray to Grimley on Saturday was a bit parky, but there were some good birds about, including Ringed Plover, Wheatear, Dunlin, White Wagtail and a very obliging Common Sandpiper.

Wheatear, Grimley

Common Sandpiper ,Grimley

The highlight though was catching another nice early record of 6 Swifts over the Camp Lane end around noon.

After lunch I returned to the patch. However the sky went very dark , and thunder could be heard as a belt of heavy rain approached. I decided to sit it out in the car, in case it put something decent down. I had a text from JK saying he was on his way for a spot of interloping. As the rain stoped I started working the paddocks again. As I did so, my phone went, JK was a 300yards down the Lane, with 5 Wheatears ! I scout marched over to bag the year patch tick, surprised but grateful to see them down on a seeded field that was sprouting.

Sunday was a thorough foot session, spending around 4 hours seeing what I could eek out. Again the wind was blowing, but there was some hope for an invert in the odd sheltered spot. Walking the set aside, I flushed a Small Tortoiseshell.
I then secured my first patch Blackcaps of the year, a pair to boot, and enjoyed seeing a few inverts in the shelter of the wood.

Bee Fly

The highlight however was still to come. On the walk out I had failed to hear any Reed Warbler singing from the small reed bed on my patch. I have had them there the last 2 years. However on the walk back I lingered, and eventually heard some song.  I was struggling to see the bugger, you have to view from a little way back as it is. Suddenly, I thought I was on him, and raising my bins, secured excellent views of a..... Reed Bunting !! A Patch Lifer !
I  managed a ropey record shot, I reckon there were a pair. Never ever seen any there before !

Reed Bunting

After about 20 minutes the Reed Warbler showed well enough to dispel any doubt as to its credentials. All in all, a very productive few days on the patch.


  1. A good few days on your patch indeed :-) Great feeling to get a patch lifer aint it :-)

  2. Thanks Warren, it is 'the holy grail' in birding for me. Even picking up a year first on patch is so much more satisfying, its easy to pop to the local reserve and tick em off, but when you dig em out first on patch, it feels totally different ( IMHO) :)