Sunday, 1 January 2012


As a measure of how desperate I am to earn fifty quid on ebay, ever since I knew I was going to be competing in the illustrious patch challenge I've basically been avoiding the patch like the plague in case I saw something that bumped the average up. Consequently I haven't thrashed it properly for about two months. Getting a job might also have had something to do with it, but whichever, I have not walked as far for ages, and every part of me hurts. I just used this very cool widget to tot up how far I went today, and it's an amazing 10.42 miles. This is basically a very very protracted and roundabout figure-of-eight, mainly due to the Firecrests right near my house seeming to show best at about lunchtime. I very nearly went back home and didn't do the afternoon loop.

Anyhow, the distance works out at about six birds per mile, though the last five birds cost about a mile each. Best of the bunch a Peregrine (annual, but only just), not one but two GBB Gulls (quasi-mega status, tempted to count both of them), the aforementioned Firecrest, five Bullfinches (highly restricted patch-range), Little Egret (normally a summer visitor), a Jan 1st Chiffie and one of the Water Rails. I finished up in heavy rain on 62 species, or 57.94% in Golden Mallard terms, which is six more than this time last year. Knackered though. And fat.

Nearly an armchair tick

So, a great start, but that's basically me done until the Wheatears turn up. There were a few missed today, namely Great Crested Grebe, Linnet, Snipe, Tawny Owl, Grey Wag, Kingfisher, Lesser Spot and Coal Tit, all of which are resident or mostly so, but unless we get a cold snap then I'm going to be trundling round for very little percentage reward.

PS Don't be fooled by the "posted by" name. I have no idea who that is. Cheers, Derek.


  1. 57.94% all ready? feck, maybe we shouldn't have invited such a keen bean! Still, long way to go, and the patch challenge has a habit of crushing those early flyers - except for last year, when fat lad shakey got out of the blocks most unexpectedly! We shall see how it goes, before we have to invoke some serious rule-age to reign ya back in!

  2. Most of yesterday's birds are standard residents, we know where to find em, so off we go. It gets much harder now. And I'm back to work tomorrow! Gah!