After a wet weekend with little to show, I started to dwell instead on the patch year list that was Blackdog 2010. I dabbled in 'dogging from 2002 and then embraced it fully as a way of life from 2004. In those early years the action came thick, fast and frenetically. More recently the pace has slowed with something like, 5 patch ticks in 2006, 3 in 2007, 7 in 2008 and 3 in 2009. So 9 patch ticks in 2010 was certainly a lot more action than I have become used to...
Partly for personal nostalgic reflection and partly because I've got nowhere else to post crap photos, here is a pictoral run down of these nine patch ticks in 2010.
Bullfinch (31 Jan) - a male in the village - no pics
Gadwall (11 July) - the stuff patch list dreams are made of!
Roseate Tern (26 July) - adult on beach for a few minutes.
Spotted Flycatcher (10 September) - having been away when a deluge of migrants hit the region, I was thankful that some dregs hung around until I returned including 2 Spott Flys to plug a gaping patch list hole.
Sea Eagle (14 to 26 September) - seen on three dates. A tagged bird (yellow E) released in Fife a couple of months earlier and named Vilde after a boy who lives in a house near the Norwegian nest.
Lapland Bunting - (7 dates from 14 September to 12 October with a peak of 9 on 30 September). All sightings were of calling birds in flight and no pics were taken.
Barred Warbler (29 September) - One on the rifle range on a really grotty day. No pics.
Whooper Swan (14 November) - Another long overdue, species, 8 (4 ad, 4 juv) flew south, then back north again 10 minutes later.
Twite (20 November) - Another somewhat overdue, given the regular wintering flock just a few miles to the north. One bird among a large Linnet and Goldfinch flock by the Millden landfull site at the very northern boundary of the patch.