Thank you most heartily for allowing me to enter that most hallowed of competitions, the Golden Mallard. I can't claim I will bring you tales of cripplers and megas, rarities and vagrants, days spent scouring the seas for errant petrels. In fact, if I bring you tales of anything even half interesting I'll be surprised.
I must correct an error. I see "Winchburgh" has been listed as my patch. Winchburgh? That washed up, former shale mining village with no more birds than a crappy urban park! No, my fabled patch is around Philpstoun, a former shale mining village with no more birds than a crappy urban park. Quite different I'm sure you'll agree.
To introduce this avian paradise here it is...
The highlights? The Union Canal, some fairly poor woodland, and a flooded field. Stunning I'm sure you'll agree.
Best bird by some considerable margin was a hobby that shot over on my birthday several years ago.
So far this year the patch has probably already shot its bolt with a couple of waxwing, better birds may be hard to find. A singing dipper this morning added some winter delight but we shall see how the rest of the year goes.
Snowy! Here boy!
PS Did The Proclaimers mention that I found the best bird on his patch in recent years?