Monday 30 January 2023

Farewell New Old Snowy

 Finally managed to pack up New Old Snowy over the weekend all ready for the short stay (only 11 months till it'll be coming home) in the Kingdom of Kent. Hopefully this time the pearly king himself will be able to refrain from pawing at it with his pie-greasy mitts....

Fair enuff advice really after last time around

Monday 23 January 2023

Here we go again

 First update from the Hall of bogs, and we are in third place just above Galley. Nothing of note to report yet but I suspect the only red grouse from any patch this year. Might it be a contender for Ol' Snowy next year on this basis?

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Predictable trickle of resident gank -- with special guests

And so January trundles merrily on. Luckily, Squince is providing a steady trickle of resident gank to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Things started well on New Year's Day, when the lone whopper that had been lingering most of last year (before disappearing just before Christmas), returned with a friend. The coot stayed into the new year too, as did the female shoveler. Score!

Always lovely to see a cracking pair of whoppers on patch!

Other than that it's been the usual suspects all the way... with a couple of notable exceptions.

First up, a fine little auk on Blind Harbour on the 10 January -- only my second ever, and quite the find on patch. Picked it up in flight while scanning for divers... first thought was puffin, but it looked awfully small and dumpy. It splashed down onto the water and good views through the scope clinched the ID. Majik!

Alas my rudimentary dodgyscoping skills weren't up to relocating the bird on the phone screen when attached, so no shots. By the time I'd dismantled the dodgyscoping contraption for another look the bird had disappeared. Anyway, it defo was one... so anyone out there of the mindset "if you don't have shots, you didn't see it" can FRO!

The other exception was a great crested grebe on the sea just off Trá an Oileáin yesterday (while looking for coal tits). A full-fat patch tick -- which is hardly exceptional given this is only my second year doing Squince -- but its also the first one I've seen off this stretch of coastline in the 20+ years I've been here. Happy daze.

All of which pushes me to 62.10%, leapfrogging Shakey to take the top spot... for now.

Game on!

Saturday 7 January 2023

And the winner is....

 Yes indeedy, the votes have finally all been casted and counted. and then the IP addresses were all checked and all Basil's childish prankster gangster votes have been kicked oot, leaving the following final votes:

In joint last place, with zero votes - Basil's Fea's-type petrel and the Proclaimers unidentified Been Goose species

In 4th place, with one novelty vote (from Basil) - Pheasant

In 3rd place, with two votes - Lesser Scaup

In 2nd place, with a whopping (but not whopping enuff) three votes - Seppy's amazeballs Western Subalpine Warbler!

Alas, and alack however, there can only be one winner, and even though its probly not even all that rare in kentish circles, all the northern and south-western gimps on here who didnt vote for pheasant, voted for Shakey's Dartford Warbler!!!! So with a whopping five (count 'em again), that's five votes, Shakey wins Old New Snowy for only his second time, after that well dodgy released Great Bustard "in off" a few years back. Congrats to Shakey, and hopefully Old New Snowy will be winging its merry way to Folkestone before the year is out....

Old New Snowy in his rightful habitat - he'll be back in 2024....

Sunday 1 January 2023

Best Patch Find 2022

 Yes indeedy, it has been decreed that there is no obvious outright winner for the best patch find this year and so for the first time in ages we will have to endure the misery of a public vote. No doubt the usual suspect will do his best to b*gg*r up the results but such is life. Remember, as always, the voting question is "which of these species would you most like to find on your patch?" 

So, the runners and riders in no particular order are featured below:

In One - Shakey reckons Dartford Warbler was his best patch find at Da Cleefs but what say you?

In Two - Basil weighs in with a quality find in the form of a female Lesser Scaup, but is it glamourous enough to win?

One of these ducks is apparently a lesser scaup but not shure which one....

In Three - They didn't even bother to ID it to species level, so can the Proclaimer's claim of Bean Goose be a serious contender?

In Four - Big Royzah stumbled across a Rosefinch as his best patch find on the Don, but does it blow your trumpet?

In Five - The only serious contender really, and a kwality score for Seppy at Galley Head - you really should be voting for Western Subalpine Warbler

Vote for me please

In Six - He really shouldn't get two cracks at it, but Basil's two Fea's-type Petrels off Squince beats the pants off Lesser Scaup so we'd best include it really

Basil celebrates his big find

In Seven - ahem, well, poor Derek didn't want to be left out but Pheasant is the best he could come up with - it wasnt even a full fat patch tick so there's very little* chance of this winning, no matter how many votes it gets

So thats it - the remaining riders didn't feel their efforts were worthy enuff to enter a contender - so be it - better luck next year.

To cast your vote, simply click here

 *Pheasant will not win - use your vote elsewhere!

Ten years of tears

 Yes indeedy - its been 10 long years since I've been king of the heap, but as of midnight last night I'm officially back on top and the Golden Mallard will soon be returning to its rightful and true home on my mantelpiece!

The official 2022 final scoreboard is presented below for all posterity thusly:

A scoreboard yesterday

So all to play for once again! Lets see how 2023 turns out - good luck and let the game begin again!