Monday 31 December 2018

Taiga, Taiga, shining bright

Following a precedent set last year by Pacific swift, we suggest we skip the annual farce vote and give the award of best find to Seppy’s red-breasted, sorry, Taiga flycatcher. Nothing else really  comes close. Please let us know in an essay of around 10000 words if you disagree so we can confirm the result in the next few days. Then the new ol’ Snowy can make its way unharmed from Longhaven to Galley.

Saturday 29 December 2018

Last gasp full fat

A wee influx of black-headed & common gulls the other day had me out scanning from the magic patio, just in case. One adult common-type gull on the lagoon outflow caught my eye, with a good bill band and pale iris, I quickly twigged I was looking at my first ever ring-billed gull on the patch! Amayzing! As I was trying to work out the best way to try for shots, all the birds lifted, and although I was able to keep my eye on it, it drifted off over the lake and out of sight. Hopefully, it'll make another appearance in the not too distant future....

Crucially, this full-fat patch tick was just enough for me to clinch 3rd place on the podium too! Happy days!

Sunday 23 December 2018

Last gasp little gull

Gleaned a rather smart 1st winter little gull out the window this am, which was nice! Less than annual around here, I probably see one every 3 years or so.

Just one more year tick required for me to sneak onto the podium - I'd best get out there...

Thursday 20 December 2018


Humdrum at The Mall of late... and pissing down.

Which is tedious, but did result in a whopping great puddle/mini-lake in the field across the way that had a Whopper Schwan sitting on it one morning in early December, along with a small flock of wigeon, a gadwal (year tick) and a pintail (full fat patch tick).

Very ropey phone-scoped record shot of the Whopper on the whopping great puddle

That takes me stumbling to 87 for the year... or 99.62%. As I'm heading off-patch for Christmas/New Year on Sunday, that's probably me done for 2018 -- barring an errant flyover or two over the next couple of days.

So congrats to the winner... commiserations to the rest of you losers... see you in January when it's back to square one.

Tuesday 4 December 2018


Its been dull on Boghall of late but following two bramble finches on patch at the weekend we have been moved to update our scores. We are now on 98.25%, or 75 species (total in 2016). The obvious gaps are greylag goose and whooper swan, the addition of which would take us over the ton. Nae flycatchers though.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Y-front from the jax window

Stuck me bins out the jax window this am and lo and behold there was a goose on the deck! A rare sight indeed at Galley!

Y-fronted Goose

Closer inspection after the school run revealed it to be of the Greenland race, as opposed to first thoughts of Russian. But you shouldn't try to race geese, as generally they fly too fast....

Thursday 1 November 2018

Royzah's up into second place!

He's been bangin 'em in like a good 'un the last couple of weeks, with a fine white-billed diver, pom skewer, purple sand, GND, redpoll, siskin and grey partridge all added in the last phew days! Enough to take him well clear of Mr Nimmo who is seemingly marooned in 3rd place, with nothing much left to add.

In other news, I knocked in long-tailed tits yesterday - it doesn't get any better than that!

Turning the screw

Out with the dogs this morning and scored a snow bunting. Precisely three years and one day since my last one on the patch.

112 species = 107.69%

Happy days


Monday 29 October 2018

Quantity but no quality

I spent a whole 2 hrs on Saturday morning seawtaching.  This is without doubt the longest seawatch I've done in the last ten years, or more.  However, I was rewarded with a number of patch ticks including  three red-breasted merganser, three long-tailed duck and three adult sum. plum. great northern diver.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't convince myself that there wasn't a white-billed diver amongst them; although I strongly suspect one or two of them were.  Amazingly no Poms either, surely the only place along the east coast that didn't get one.

Still three birds for the year, along with a much later than normal jack snipe this morning.  So that puts me nicely on to 111 species for the year and 106.73%.

Easterlies tomorrow...

Happy days


Thursday 25 October 2018

Taiga on the patch!

Some of Ciaran Cronin's shots of the Taiga Flycatcher at Shite Lane

And a couple of sound recordings from Harry Hussey

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Migrants and blunders

An eventful few days at Galley, with a fly-by, calling richard's pipit last week, a few yellow-browed warblers appearing over the weekend, while on Sunday I nailed my 4th ever great crested grebe on the lake, before bumping into a immature red-breasted type flycatcher at shite lane, which we'll have to come back to later.

What a beauty!
What wasn't so nice was deciding to go on fieldwork the next day, allowing Old Spoons to slip three (count 'em) tree sparrows (full fat patch tick), 2 stock doves (not had stockie on patch for 3 years) and a firecrest past me - Doh! I got back in time for an evening thrash but to no avail. He got photographic evidence of two of the claims so I can't even rubbish em!

Back on patch on Tuesday....

An eared owl sp last night in the dark was inked onto the list as a short-eared owl. After missing a patch tick & 2 good year ticks on Monday, there's no way I'm missing out on another one just because I couldn't actually ID it!

I've updated the leader board for Bushveld, Mr Nimmo, Royzah and moi. Two over the ton already - could be a nail-biting finish!

Thursday 18 October 2018

off-patch japes

Had to go for the Veery on Cape....


Me & Basil also relocated the Scarlet Tanager and caught up with the White-rumped Sandpiper too! A grand day out!

Wonder whats on Galley....

Sunday 14 October 2018

Sunday 7 October 2018

Triple full fat

Been a bit slack, but when I noticed I could be top of the leaderboard I thought I might as well give an update for the year. So last year my only full-fat patch tick came in the form of a Hawfinch, but frankly this felt a bit cheap what with several million of them in the country.

This year however has seen three more (count 'em!) patch ticks. The first was a Great White Egret, also somewhat cheapened by there being gazillions in the south east, but it was still full fat so I ubered it from the studio where I was making yet another ground-breaking comedy series. I made it back in just over an hour and I don't think anyone missed me.

The "Big" bird of the year however was Black-tailed Godwit - I found this myself one morning and it turned me to jelly. Mega. I mean really mega, one confirmed record in the last 15 years of a flyover. This one paraded on the deck like a good 'un for over two hours. Ooof. Also happened to be #150 for the old patch so a bit of a landmark bird.

Finally a long talked-up bird that I predict we will get every year without fail and we never do, a Red-backed Shrike in the hawthorns. I was making a show in Switzerland when it turned up so it could have been a massive grip off, but luckily it stayed the next day and then the next 9 after that. Bloody loads of lame twitchers came visiting and had the temerity to try and talk to me. Anyway, seen YLG, Spotted and Pied flycatchers, Redstart, Sedgie and a jammed Green Sand flyover since then which puts me on a magnificent 97.59% with a good few bankers to come. Need another 4-5 to get to 100%, though, so it will be touch and go.

Who needs migs?

Even with the winds solidly in the west, Bushveld's patch skills have kept things moving on.  First of all there's always the added bonus of checking the list, making sure you've counted everything you've seen.  This brought in two additional species in the form of golden plover and Arctic skua, both seen in the spring and never counted.

Then there's always the scarce 'almost annual' non migrant species and a flyby great spot woodpecker, along with bullfinch and barn owl add another three to the ol' list.

Finally, there's always a bonus bird to be had.  A small flock of long-tailed tits this Saturday were a full fat patch tick.

Six additional species and not a migrant amongst them,   95.19% and counting

Happy days indeed.


Tuesday 18 September 2018

Flycatching up...

While galavanting aimlessly around the UK, Seppy found time to check the blog, and took great glee in sending me a message to say I'd slipped off the podium.

Which prompted some frantic checking of spreadsheets and updating of same. Luckily the addition of some glaring omissions on the sheet, like swift, coot, spotted flycatcher and long-eared owl (heard, but they all count right) sidles me back into second place. Phew!

Monday 3 September 2018

Royzah's bangin them in

Yes indeedy - the phone is almost red-hot with all of Royzah's news as he lugs his unwieldy frame around the Donmouth, perspiring profusely as he picks off the year ticks..

In just the last couple of weeks alone he has added bonxie, greasy grebe, arctic skua, little gull, a near-mythical black tern, little egret, garden warbler, whinchat, a fackin barred warbler and to top it all, two (count 'em) buff-breasted sandpipers, flying south past the Don. Feck knows what they really were, but they must have been something new for the year I suppose.

Its all go on the Don these days!

Monday 20 August 2018

Patch ticks and bats...

Spent last night trying some petrel ringing on the patch for the first time.  Managed to catch a few stormies (a full fat patch tick no less!) and rather unexpectedly 8 bats of three species, including a couple of Natterer's (a new bat for me) and rather randomly a long-eared bat (nowhere near a single tree) and some pips.  The first time I've ever been ringing and caught more bats than birds!

Not to worry, the stormies and a redshank the other day put me nicely on 89.42 and slips into second place.

Happy days


Tuesday 31 July 2018

Where's me scope?

At long last the wind has rolled round to the south-west and started to pick up. Time to dig out the scope and fling me leg over the wall at Galley for a seawatch or two! Its been ok too, good numbers of Great Shearwaters (360-odd, count 'em) and Cory's Shearwaters (51, count 'em again), plus a couple of Balearic Shearwaters and a good few Sooty Shearwaters. Plus padders like Tystie, Common Tern (Thanks Ross!), Bonxie and the like to bump up the numbers. All good. Sadly just shy of Bushveld's total - looks like I'll have to give the sea another lash again shortly!

Monday 9 July 2018

All a bit swift

I feel bad for doing this to Bushveld, but we've just updated our score. Swift and the two martins, together with red legged partridge takes us to 95.63%. Its pretty dull out there just now, but that does free up plenty time for cycling.

Thursday 5 July 2018


My first Lesser black-back gull since 2nd April 2016 puts me just two species away from a place I've never been.

Happy days


Monday 25 June 2018

A rosy patch tick

Happy days

A rosy starling has graced Bullers this last week, nicely in the patch.

Added puffin at last and three swifts of the common variety.

Puts me nicely on 85.58%


Sunday 20 May 2018

Ol' Snowy returns ... or does he?

When the parcel arrived yesterday morning it was with great anticipation and just a little excitement that I began opening it.

Ol' Snowy returns back to his natural homeland.

I knew it had to be Ol' Snowy, returning back to his natural homeland of NE Scotland.  As I carefully peeled back the layers of parcel I pondered briefly on how he'd faired down in Kent, so far south and such a long way for this ageing owl to migrate.  I began to feel sorry for it.  The last time I'd seen the poor creature it's wing was badly broken and knowing that, over a year ago, it had made the  movement south on the basis of a claim of a feral great bustard must have made the journey all the more painful.

But now, back safely, and very neatly parcelled was Ol' snowy...

Ol' Snowy neatly parcelled in a new box..

Puzzled by the neatness of the packaging and the newness of the box (Usually it is bunged in a bit of  bubble wrap and a reused envelope), it was with increasing trepidation that I opened the box.


A fine piece of porcelain, but not Ol' Snowy!  

Check out the suspended moult in the outer two greater coverts...

Full Frontal

This isn't Ol Snowy, it's an imposter... surely some mistake.  Maybe that cretin from Kent has kept the original and tried to pass off this poor imitation...

 or maybe Ol' Snowy just couldn't face the long journey back home.  He's now passing his remaining days in the warmer climes to be found in 'Garden of England'...and who could blame him.  He's done sterling work since he arrived on the scene, having graced many a mantlepiece up and down the patch list land.  His presence providing a warm reminder to those who have bagged the patch list find, the Megas (or not so Mega in some years) that have graced our patches.  And for those who take on the challenge it is a prize, beyond all others, to win this much coveted trophy.

So, there we have it, a brand new Snowy, which will, no doubt, become as widely travelled across the patches in the years to come.  

New Snowy appreciating a quality patch find.

(That's enough of this drivel)

Happy Days


Monday 14 May 2018

Stop yer 'grine-ing

Inspired by the presence of the Golden Mallard, we've been out at it again. The last couple of weeks have produced a haul of Sylvias (well, garden warbler and whitethroat) along with a great fly by peregrine.  This 'should be annual' species is by no means guaranteed on Boghall. Also of note, but not a patch year tick, was first May record of jay. All this brings us to 69, or 90.39%. It'll be a long slog from here on in though.

Wednesday 9 May 2018

May the migrants arrive

Having been the very temporary custodian of the much coveted golden mallard during it's long and sometimes dangerous migration to lowlands of Scotland, I'm now even more focussed on winning what must be the most prestigious award in the UK's ornithological community.  Better still my loving and most considerate spouse upon setting eyes on the fine piece of porcelain commented by saying... "you're not trying to win that piece of shite are you?..."  All the more reason to try and win it I do believe.

So on that note I've been bashing the patch.

No real quality birds so far, but five species of warbler to date and a few mildly bonus birds including stock dove (the first one since 2015), barnacle geese (yes three of them on the 8 May, first since 6 October 2016) and a few black-tailed godwits (last seen on 6 May 2016).

A good indicator species for how well the patch is doing was the first blue tit of the year on the 6 May (the day after my first whitethroat of the year), that's a whole 135 days earlier than in 2017.  evidence, if needed, of how this year's going pan out.

So for the totals.  81 species - 77.88%

Happy days


Thursday 3 May 2018

Trophy handover part II

Craig (or is it Charlie) of The Proclaimers was pleased to receive The Golden Mallard from Prof. Jeremy Wilson, Vice President of The Scottish Ornithologists' Club, earlier today.

Trophy handover

As part of the long migration south, I managed to arrange the logistics so that Bushveld could collect the Golden Mallard from Royzah, in order that we could make the presentation to the Proclaimers in person today.

Here is Bushveld (left) doing his best to wrestle the Mallard from Royzah's pudgy gin-soaked fists.

Royzah puts up a fight for the Mallard

As luck would have it, despite pinpoint logistical perserverance, both the proccies had buggered off for lunch so we had to just leave the trophy on their studio sound desk. They probly just didn't want any publicity. They sent a subsequent photo of it settling in.

Worth 50 Quid on Ebay
Not since Nimmo's victory have I seen such terrible disrespect for this much-coveted trophy

They won't have it long anyway...

Thursday 26 April 2018

The hollow hills

A tour of de upland areas and hollow hills on the patch yesterday evening produced fine crop of wheatear and snipe. The 'ears were all over the place, including the regular breeding area where every year they occupy the Dark Entries of rabbit burrows. A real god in the alcoves.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Just like busses

After getting a full fat patch tick last week, a few days later a second one appeared in the form of a water rail.

Happy days


Monday 16 April 2018

In the flat fields

Spring is long overdue. But at last there is some cheer with chiffchaff singing (if that is the right word) on Thursday, and two swallows yesterday. The latter were added to the list while sat in the recording studio garden drinking coffee in the sun. Our type of birding. Them plus stonechat brings us to 62, or 81.22222%

Still no sign of a golden mallard.

Friday 13 April 2018

It's bean a while...

It certainly has been a while since I got a full fat patch tick.

After a few weeks of not making it onto the patch a couple of visits this week produced the first migrants of the year, with blackcap and chiffchaff both putting in an appearance.  A non-migratory coal tit was also much appreciated having not seen one at all last year on the patch. But best of the bunch was a Taiga Bean Goose in with a small flock of pinkies.   A full fat patch tick no less.

Happy days


Still no sign of any snowy owl....

Tuesday 10 April 2018

trundling on

As Basil says, it has indeed been quiet. Once again I didn't miss anything vital by being off-patch and overseas for a week or so. And whilst I tried "getting in amongst it" on my return, I haven't managed a great deal, with just chiffchaff, swallow, manx shearwater and tufted duck to show for my efforts - haven't even had a wheatear yet.

All still to happen then.

Monday 9 April 2018


Just now... from the front garden... which along with a few dribs and drabs like Jay, and a noteable Shellduck on the lake since I last updated the blog, leaves me on 76.72%... or nipping at the heels of The Proclaimers for that vaunted top spot on the podium.

But it's slooooow and incredibly tedious, with birds few and far between.

Anyone else getting fed up with this patch birding caper?


Chiff singing on patch bumps me up to 77.86%!

Tuesday 20 March 2018

where have all the birds gone...?

Bugger all on patch

And still no sign of a migrating snowy owl.

(not so) happy days


Monday 19 March 2018

Been a bit mute of late

Boghall has seen a lot of snow in recent weeks. However, this has failed to translate into many birds except 2 woodcock a couple of weeks back. Subsequent birding trips have found mallards trying to break the ice to find somewhere to breed. And the second ever record of mute swan for the patch. These were fly overs, rather than flying over from a distance. A few stock doves brings us to 77%. Now looking forward to the first chiffchaffs in 7 days time.

Still no sign of the golden mallard on the patch though. Come on, stop being anasaly retentive.

Monday 5 March 2018

bit of movement through the crease

High excitement here as we've had large volumes of snow over the last few days. This together with large volumes of winter thrushes and waders everywhere, desperately feeding on every scrap of open ground.

View from the magic patio
Over the course of the snow-filled 5 days, I managed to score fieldfare (just a few...), bar-tailed godwit, redpoll, wigeon, merlin, and best of all a fantastic jack snipe, which was only my 2nd ever on patch after one in April 2005 or something. All good!

Snowy scenes at Shite Lane

"Shite lane hill remains impassable..."

Monday 19 February 2018

Hard weather movements of wildfowl

Despite the cold weather for much of this year there has been no evidence of wildfowl movements from Donmouth to Boghall. Perhaps there will be a reverse spring migration....

Tuesday 30 January 2018

And the winner is....

Yes indeedy, I did a quick canvas of the most active competitors in last years arena, and everyone concluded that we didn't need a vote and that the flyaway winner (see what I did there?) was Bushveld with his majestic PACIFIC SWIFT, way back in July.

This was probably even good enuff to win Patch Find of the Decade, but we wouldn't want him to get carried away.

Well Done Bushveld!

Booooooooom!!! (Photo by Reg)

Monday 29 January 2018


All of which leaves me bottom. Of those that have bothered to post a score anyway. At least I have made that effort! Where are the rest of youse?

Dear Roy

Dear Roy

I am a record breaker and the stats back me up. This January I have seen 72 species (count ‘em!) in Wanstead, which is the highest I have ever managed in over ten years of trying. 72! This includes one full fat tick in the shape of a Great White Egret in early January which I was so desperate for that I twitched it from the broadcasting studio in an Uber. I’ve since refound it twice on the patch. Natch. Anyway, if you could see your way to coming round and #verifying the record that would be super.

Dedication’s what you need!


PS That's 65.06% in real money.

Mad as snow

As KOD sung, and it has been pretty snowy of late too. This culminated in our "wish it would snow" bunting, and lo, last weekend we found 12 of them on patch. Not since 2013 have we seen a flock of these guys on patch. But they were all in the usual place too on the ridge between Hillend and Caerketton.  Added to this is a load of other stuff, including oystercatchers making a tentative return to their inland breeding areas (it didn't last long). And the dippers have been in full voice in the garden.

What happens now? well, we are on 55, or 72.05%, which means we take the top spot. Smiling. When in heaven....

Sofa So Good - doing a Bon Jovi

I haven't exactly been bustin' me @r*e out around Galley so far this year, but there's been slow & steady progress. Highlights so far include purple sandpiper, which are less than annual, glossy ibis  (from the upstairs jax window) which I only ticked last year, lapwing, which has become v tricky these days, and was one I missed last year, and glaucous gull, which I also missed last year.

All of this excitement, moves me onto a whopping 66 species, which translates into 50.00% in real money. This is almost certainly due a celebratory pint later, I would imagine.

Friday 26 January 2018

Dipping onward

After a cavalcade of year ticks early in the month the tail end of January petered out to become predictably barren. However... a dipper on the Roury was a welcome addition last week... and edges me back to the top of the podium temporarily. Which is nice.

Not my dipper... stolen from the Ireland's Wildlife group on Flickr #winning

Still a couple of sitters that have yet to make an appearance... but really not much more to get until spring. It's going to be a long February.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

And we are offf...

New year, new list. And we are chasing 76.33 this year after the bonanza that was 2017. We are off to a good start too. We got birding on the 1st January despite a bloody cold, and we have managed to crawl our way to a woeful 49 species so far. That translates as 64.19% though. Over half way already. I feel it will be a long year. Highlights include jay and nuthatch. Oooh!

Monday 8 January 2018

Ringing in the New Year

Well, last year dawdled to a close with a dismal showing on patch to leave me floundering off the podium for the first time in a long time.

Oh well... onward and... well, onward at least!

This year started well enough, but the highlight by far was when Seppy "helped" me re-identify a dubious scaup that turned up on the lake on New Year's Eve as a female ring-necked duck. SCORE!

Patch tick... and retrospectively my best patch find for 2017. As it stuck around until the 05 Jan it's also likely to be my best patch find of 2018.

Other highlights of the New Year so far included a female blackcap on my nuts one morning and a flock of a dozen or so wigeon on the lake. A greenfinch hopping about on my nuts this morning takes my tally to 49 for the year so far... or 55.11% in real money.

All of which sees The Mall in top spot... again... temporarily. #theonlywayisdown

Tuesday 2 January 2018

2017 - this is the story

It is 30 years since we arrived on the scene with "This is the story" so it is appropriate that 2017 was the year of our highest chart position - numero uno! As noted by Seppy, our 114% score represents the first time we’ve won the precious Golden Mallard. We came close in 2013 but Reg did even better and we were third in 2016. And unlike the (unproven) accusations about Haddock’s big year, we are in the clear of accusation about low effort in previous years.
January was quite dull as ever, with little of note but in February all those hours checking our inland gull flock paid off when we scored Mediterranean gull. Two of them in fact. That represented the first of five patch ticks over the year. March saw us take top spot with 70%, and some convincing photographic evidence of the Med gulls. Chiffchaff was the first summer migrant of the year, and we landed it the same day that Bushveld has his first wheatear of the year.  About a month later we really scored with the second patch tick of the year - a lesser whitethroat in full song. Not a bad bird for Lothian.
A long summer silence ensued, broken by a few common gank and, of course, a documentary about our activities (see : This is the story), but nothing to come close to a specific swift. A July break took us to Ireland to check up on a few patches over there and get some inspiration. Basil did his best to slow us down with vast quantities of beer but we made it back to the safety of Boghall. About 6 weeks later, boy wonder Lachlan found a dotterel on my patch (trespass) which he then suppressed until he was safely having a cup of tea in a nearby cafe. However, as we were fortunately ‘working  from home’ that day, we got our third patch tick of the year. It was followed closely by an inland cormorant which slowly circled over the patch from Glencorse, making it four patch ticks for the year. Madness, but could we make it our year? It all depended on how good an autumn it was was a crap one. Some the normal autumn bonanza failed to materialise for the competition while we kept going. Seppy tried hard to break back with both Melodious and Icterine warbler simultaneously, and a case of thrush.
A final big push was needed, and as Bushveld points out, we discovered the power of a telescope to nail the fifth and final patch tick of the year - mute swan. Cracking stuff, and before you scoff, Bushveld also ticked it for his patch this year. After a few beers Seppy was unable to find any issues with the claims. Jay, snipe and finally woodcock put the icing on the cake. And end this dull summary.
It’ll be tough the next two years, but we eagerly await the mallard arriving safely in the post from Royzah.

Happy birding all,

Craig and Charlie

2017 - what was got and what was not...

Well, the aim at the start of 2017 was to avoid the relegation zone and hopefully not end up in mid-table mediocracy.  I had dreams of finishing in a podium position and fantasies of actually winning the mythical mallard, but alas all to no avail.  The Procs late discovery of a telescope put an end to that, not helped by work effectively stopping me from hitting the patch for the whole of December.

So a summary of 2017... what was got.

There was an impressive 8 full fat patch ticks this last year.   There was, of course, that swift, back in early July but that only counts as one, as did the following seven new birds for the patch...

Mute swan
Common sand'
Icterine warbler

But what was missed, what stopped me from getting my mits on that mallard (aside from a quite ridiculous total by the Procs) .  Well, I managed to avoid lesser black backed gull (which is annual, but only just), I also somehow missed getting a coal tit or a barnacle goose, both of which is daft.  A general lack of migrants on the patch meant that I missed lesser whitethroat for the first year ever along with both spot and pied fly's.  And really, I should do more seawtaching for which there is no excuse.

But even if I'd got all the expected regulars and irregulars, could I have won.  Nope, not a chance, would have needed another 20 species, which just wasn't going to happen.

So here we are, at the start of another year and another challenge.  Only need 104 species to get a 100%, so should be easy and I'm nearly a quarter of the way there already.

Happy days and happy patch listing in 2018.


Monday 1 January 2018

Prockies romp home with the Golden Mallard!!

Yes indeedy, for it is true - the birding twins from Boghall have finally won the Golden Mallard (still worth at least £50 on ebay) and in some style too - 114.74%!! That's the largest winning total ever, even higher than that sham of a year when Cap'n Haddock went for it after three years of drifting about the harbour in his rowing boat!

Anyway, for posterity, here are the 2017 scores on the doors - Ross Geller claimed a mistle thrush two days ago but was too pissed to recalculate his score but he's still second as it didn't affect the overall result. Rest assured, the powers that be shall insist that it is added to his 2017 score for target calculation purposes, as his initial "guesstimate" was well short of what it should have been....

Mr Derek Nimmo made the podium again, with a fine third place, which is quite frankly amazing given how much time he spends with his globetrotting these days. #alwaysonholiday

Basil Faulty was the best of the rest (just!), with no-one else getting near the 100% barrier. Questions have to be asked of the efforts of the lower placed contenders - I guess they forgot their log-in passwords again!

Happy New Year (list) to all 2018 contenders - Let the games begin again!

A scorecard, yesterday