Wednesday 31 December 2014

And the 2014 winner is....

Hearty congratulations to Senor Basil Faulty of West Cork for winning the prestigious Golden Mallard trophy for 2014!! Although offpatch and overseas between August and November, none of the rest of us clowns could get it together enough to actually see any birds on our respective patches, and so we are left muttering about it being a crap autumn while he waltzes off with the main prize (worth a whopping 50 rag on ebay don't forget!)

Fortunately our roving reporter was there yesterday to record the moment when Mr Faulty heard the news of his big win...

An ecstatic Kenny Rogers yesterday!!
Final Scores for 2014
As I can never remember what everyone gets each year (purely for verification purposes), here are the full final scores for 2014:

Basil Faulty aka Kenny Rogers: 100.79%
Statto: 96.57%
Shaking Stevens: 95.03%
Reg Hollis: 91.48%
Roy Castle: 91.43%
Sepp Blatter: 90.28%
Derek Nimmo: 88.95%
Bushveld: 86.92%
The Proclaimers: 74.47%

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Not enough of the ruff stuff

Well, that's another year pretty much done.

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 tat decorative art.

Happy New Year y'all... and remember, the day after tomorrow they ALL count again!

The last post...

The last post of 2014 from the new kid on the block.

Longhaven hardly shook the patch listing world but still made it's mark.

Highlights of the year being hobby, Dicks pipit and a little bunting.  Also missed a few with red-backed shrike and red-breasted flycatcher both occurring and a fine honey buzzard just off patch.

Surprisingly few waders and wildfowl recorded even with a large flooded field easily 'scopable from the patch.  Still think the patch has potential, even though the final tally for the year is a mere 113 and 86.92% of my estimated total made 12 months ago.

Hoping to win that golden mallard one year, but really going to have to put a lot more effort into 2015!

have a good one

Happy Days


Shakey shakes it

After another subtle hint Shakey admits that he's "picked off some late gank", which has increased his score. He doesnt divulge what this gank consists off, but I'm sure it is all legal & above board!

Monday 29 December 2014

Reg Declares

News from Reg tonight that with only 2 days left & even after stringing a goshawk the other day, he doesn't think he'll get any more additions. Thusly, he slips in at fourth position overall, just 0.05% ahead of Royzah, as things stand. which is annoying. he's a twat.

Update: And he forgot to add mistle thrush. twat.

Monday 22 December 2014

Blowing Mr Castle's Trumpet

Some news at last from the dead fat trumpet tootler of South Don - he managed to find a quiet hour at work today and update his spreadsheet - imagine one day he may be able to set up google drive on his mobile and be able to update his spreadsheet anywhere (like in the jacks at work)!

Anyhoo, between the jigs and the reels, I can't remember what he's claiming to have seen lately (maybe jack snipe or something) but he's reached the dizzy heights of 128 species or 91.43% - annoyingly at least 2 species ahead of me! The git!


Monday 15 December 2014

last gasp at Galley

Been pulling out all the stops (i.e. stringing) to try and get some last minute additions to the year list - its paying off too as I managed a little auk on a 1 hr seawatch yesterday am, whilst today vigourous scanning of distant off-patch fields from the comfort of me garden (on-patch) successfully netted the frankly embarrassing missing mistle thrush. So thats over the 90% mark at last but can I catch Shakey?

Wednesday 10 December 2014

quite garralus

Whilst off work last week due to  man flu, I dragged myself out for a slow saunter about the patch. And scored with a full fat patch tick: jay, flying low along a hedgerow. I recall Ali Miller (some might remember him?) telling me they were regular at a site 10 km away in the 1980's, and I recently saw one while driving to buy plumbing supplies about 2 km from the patch. But all this counts as nothing as it's now on the patch. Thumbs up for corvids.

Monday 8 December 2014


Blackdog has entered something of a Groundhog Day phase - and it is a day with no birds. Whooper, Redwing, Brambling and Short-eared Owl in second half of October and then Snow Bunt and Greater 'pecker in early November kept old Statto in the running but since then there has been stalemate. Is four more needed to nudge the top spot too much to hope for now?

Oh, and take a look at my 'pecker:

Statto (122 species, 96.57%)

Friday 5 December 2014

Stone mad and back in the game!

Finally back after the EPIC trip and astonished to find myself still ahead of the posse despite being off-patch since the end of July. Imagine that!

Great to be out around the patch on my own again. Four month's with Sybil is more than enough for anyone. Even better was the pair of stonechats around the back end of the lake yesterday morning.


99.61% and only a few weeks left in it... it's good to be back!