So, here we are at the cusp of 2022, all portentous and laden with promise. For all of about a fortnight, after which year ticks become few and frustratingly far between as usual.
Or maybe not!
Because this year Seppy's incessant bleating about how shit my patch is finally pushed me over the edge, and I've adopted myself a brand new patch down on the coast. I'd like to introduce you all to Squince/Myross Island -- let's just call it Squince for short.
|View from/of the new patch.|
Here it is on the Googly Maps yoke.
A fine coastal patch incorporating a lake, inlet/tidal estuary, tidal lagoon with marshy bits, gardens, small copses, farmland, etc., etc. In other words, bags of potential for that coastal birding shenanigans Seppy is always preaching about.
For a bit of geographical context... here's where it is in relation to Seppy's Galley Head patch and my current patch at The Mall. It's 12km as the chough flies from Galley, and 8km from the Mall.
I will of course keep checking The Mall (at least from the front garden) while Squince is "getting established", but so far, so good. Based on a target species list of 122 for the patch (arrived at using Seppy's stringent and ludicrously punitive "finger in the air" criteria), things are off to a cracking start with two trips down to Squince so far yielding 56 species or 45.90%. That puts it in second place so far behind... drumroll... The Mall, where a few casual glances from the front garden and one quick look at the lake has netted 37 species or 47.23%.
That said, I suspect Squince has more staying power in terms of year ticks than The Mall, so might hold my interest a tad longer, and being in first and second place simultaneously is quite novel. There have been a few records of rares from Squince over the years, but as far as I know nobody checks it regularly. It's seriously underwatched, which, of course, is unlikely to change, but it does mean I might inadvertently blunder into something good when I am down there.
The downsides? Well, it's a drive away (about 12 minutes -- 16 if I stop in the garage to pick up a breakfast roll on the way), so I can't just roll out of bed and look for year ticks from the jax window. That might also mean I check it less often than I should, and will miss heaps. The other problem is that it gets gulls (ewwww) and waders (urrrrrghhhhh) and is likely to involve a degree of seawatching at some point *SIGH*.
|Waderly shenanigans: Seppy was doing his damndest to encourage me to string this Common Sand into a Spotted on 01 Jan (presumably so he could call a Stewards Enquiry and ban me from the competition at a later date, the cad)|
So there we have it... a new year, a new patch and all to play for. Same old (shit) birder though. Ah well... them's the breaks I guess.