Yes indeedy, I did a quick canvas of the most active competitors in last years arena, and everyone concluded that we didn't need a vote and that the flyaway winner (see what I did there?) was Bushveld with his majestic PACIFIC SWIFT, way back in July.
This was probably even good enuff to win Patch Find of the Decade, but we wouldn't want him to get carried away.
I am a record breaker and the stats back me up. This January
I have seen 72 species (count ‘em!) in Wanstead, which is the highest I have
ever managed in over ten years of trying. 72! This includes one full fat tick in
the shape of a Great White Egret in early January which I was so desperate for
that I twitched it from the broadcasting studio in an Uber. I’ve since refound
it twice on the patch. Natch. Anyway, if you could see your way to coming round
and #verifying the record that would be super.
As KOD sung, and it has been pretty snowy of late too. This culminated in our "wish it would snow" bunting, and lo, last weekend we found 12 of them on patch. Not since 2013 have we seen a flock of these guys on patch. But they were all in the usual place too on the ridge between Hillend and Caerketton. Added to this is a load of other stuff, including oystercatchers making a tentative return to their inland breeding areas (it didn't last long). And the dippers have been in full voice in the garden.
What happens now? well, we are on 55, or 72.05%, which means we take the top spot. Smiling. When in heaven....
I haven't exactly been bustin' me @r*e out around Galley so far this year, but there's been slow & steady progress. Highlights so far include purple sandpiper, which are less than annual, glossy ibis (from the upstairs jax window) which I only ticked last year, lapwing, which has become v tricky these days, and was one I missed last year, and glaucous gull, which I also missed last year.
All of this excitement, moves me onto a whopping 66 species, which translates into 50.00% in real money. This is almost certainly due a celebratory pint later, I would imagine.
After a cavalcade of year ticks early in the month the tail end of January petered out to become predictably barren. However... a dipper on the Roury was a welcome addition last week... and edges me back to the top of the podium temporarily. Which is nice.
Not my dipper... stolen from the Ireland's Wildlife group on Flickr #winning
Still a couple of sitters that have yet to make an appearance... but really not much more to get until spring. It's going to be a long February.
New year, new list. And we are chasing 76.33 this year after the bonanza that was 2017. We are off to a good start too. We got birding on the 1st January despite a bloody cold, and we have managed to crawl our way to a woeful 49 species so far. That translates as 64.19% though. Over half way already. I feel it will be a long year. Highlights include jay and nuthatch. Oooh!