A couple of fly-by common gulls over the last week knocked the overall tally up to 85 species for the year... or (the far more important number) 100.79%. Welcome addition -- as I only ever get them on patch during winter, and then not every year.
Best find on patch... and a full fat patch tick... was a flyover blackwit (hardly earth shattering, but waders are a scarce commodity up here in dairy land). A probable ruff, flushed from the muddy farm track over the back wall during the week, would have easily been the bird of the year-- but I didn't get enough on it, and Seppy's assurances that it "wouldn't go far" and "would probably be back" turned out to be bollocks. The one that got away!
So, after four months off patch, and missing the Autumn entirely, I find myself still ahead of the posse. I half expect someone to post a dozen species they've been holding "in reserve" tomorrow and oust me from the top spot.
Wow! Looks like the first challenge of 2015 will be persuading Sybil to make room on the mantelpiece for a fine new piece of
Happy New Year y'all... and remember, the day after tomorrow they ALL count again!