Friday, 24 January 2014

Patchwork Challenge 2014 begins

5th January 2014

This was the first day out on the patch, and after winning the PWC Comparative League last year I really need to up my game to get to at least 100% as there will be no way of achieving the 160% that I did last year.

I left the house early and headed for Trimingham. Seeing Buzzard, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Starling, Jackdaw, Herring Gull, Mute Swan and Mallard on route (the route is part of the patch for the challenge).

I arrived in Trimingham and decided to do a loop of the extremities of the Trimingham part of the patch and as soon adding the common species Dunnock, Woodpigeon, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Magpie, Collared Dove, Goldfinch, Robin and Blackbird.

The next two birds were good ones as I spooked a Woodcock and a Barn Owl flew past, the Barn Owl also being a year tick which is always a sense of satisfaction when your on your own patch. Walking on I saw Stock Dove, Skylark and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

I then arrived at the Church and the trees around here were full of birds. I saw Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Brambling and Wren. Also another year tick a Mistle Thrush and a small flock of Redwing were flitting around also, a Pheasant was in a garden before I headed to the loop.

Saw a Song Thrush around the loop and a Great Black-backed Gull and Red-throated diver on the sea.

I then walked along the cliff top adding Grey Partridge in a distant field, I then spent about 2 hours sea watching.

The next 2 hours proved productive seeing Cormorant and a Slavonian Grebe straight from the off. I then added Guillemot and Razorbill, three Golden Plover then landed in the field behind me.

Golden Plover (two of the three) 

 Three Eider flew through adding a Patchwork lifer for the day, some Kittiwake drifted past and then a second Patchwork lifer as a pair of Red-breasted Merganser settled on the sea.

One of the many Red-throated Diver

The final seabird of the day was 1 amongst the 700 (ish) Red-throated Diver that were around and that was a Great Northern. I then walk back and past the wood adding Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Jay. I then headed of to Pigney’s for and afternoon stint there.

It was incredibly quiet at Pigney’s with hardly any birds around (but it was about 2pm and a very dull afternoon). A single Bullfinch called and flew over my head and further round a small flock of Redpoll (about 15) were flitting about the birches. These all seemed to be Lesser except for at least one Mealy which was my third patchwork lifer of the day.

After this I walked through the reeds seeing Cetti's Warbler, Moorhen and Little Egret. Then walked up to the reservoir on here two Goosander both drakes were a great surprise. I then walked backed to the woods seeing Siskin and Treecreeper both of which were year ticks.


So that was the first day back on the challenge 58 species seen with 67 points scored which puts me up to 30% based on last years total (which i believe this year will be based on)

11th January 2014

An early start had a few hours available so went to the one of the unwatched (my me) parts of my Patchwork Challenge patch. So I headed for Ebridge Mill. To be fair its always good to get there early before to many dog walkers get about.

First bird was a Grey Wagtail leaving its roost. Followed by some Teal that I flushed as I walked along.

A Green Woodpecker laughed as it flew along the path and in the same instance a Kingfisher zipped past, its the little moments like that in the peaceful morning that make birding special. A Yellowhammer was hopping around the path and Rook's were leaving the woods to go and feed in the fields.

One of the two Little Egrets about

A big surprise was the number of Siskin and Redpoll that were around it must of been near 200 but they all dispersed as the sun came up.

I walked further along flushing Snipe and Meadow Pipit along the way and on the walk back I added Great Spotted Woodpecker, Reed Bunting and Feral Pigeon.

After this I popped up to Witton Church where a large flock of Fieldfare and Pied Wagtails fed.

Some of the Fieldfare


Went back again the next morning to get some frosty pictures and saw Heron and Curlew.

Pictures from the frosty morning

Fox running across the field

A singing Robin

Also added Tawny Owl on the 19th bring my new Patchwork Challenge totals up to 74 species with 83 points so a 37% comparative score.

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