Monday, 31 December 2018

Patchwork Challenge

An end of the year look back at the patch and the patchwork challenge. It looks like at the moment i'll be finishing 64th out of 79 on the Inland North league and 389 in the National League, with 53 species and 54 points, this is two more species than last year but the same amount of points!

I think the birds suffered around the woods this year somewhat, due to the stream and pond drying out completely for a few weeks over the summer with the heat and lack of rain. The number of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs there were definitely down on last year.

The flip side of the weather this year of course was the 'Beast from the East' in February, this caused a lot of bird disruption and brought flocks of Lapwings over the patch and Fieldfares and Mistle Thrush to the garden. Also one morning  a flock of several hundred Starlings filled the sky as I walked to work, a highlight of the year, quite an amazing sight!

I managed to add a new bird to the patch the first day of the year with a Treecreeper and then only added a further two new ones the whole year - Skylark and my favourite - Yellowhammer!

Not for want of trying though, I spent a lot of time walking around this year, I now know where and when to expect certain birds through the patch and really anything else is a bonus. I think i'll be staying around the same number of species again next year (unless someone decides to create a wader lagoon instead of the 500 houses planned on the farm in Churwell!!).

I'm still birdtracking all over the patch, mostly the walk to work, i've just checked i've submitted 366 patch lists this year which has surprised me, I didn't think i'd done that many! I've kept up with the garden birdwatch too, sitting with a cuppa and watching the garden come to life first thing in a morning is still one of my favourite things to do.

So despite the low numbers compared to many patches i'm pleased there's some consistency with last year!

The full patch list (in order of sightings)

1. Blackbird
2. Black-headed Gull
3. Robin
4. Wren
5. Pied Wagtail
6. Goldfinch
7. Greenfinch
8. House Sparrow
9. Starling
10. Carrion Crow
11. Great-spotted Woodpecker
12. Magpie
13. Treecreeper
14. Coal Tit
15. Great Tit
16. Blue Tit
17. Long-tailed Tit
18. Collared Dove
19. Woodpigeon
20. Feral Pigeon
21. Sparrowhawk
22. Pink-footed Goose
23. Mistle Thrush
24. Redwing
25. Herring Gull
26. Rook
27. Jackdaw
28. Song Thrush
29. Dunnock
30. Chaffinch
31. Goldcrest
32. Nuthatch
33. Jay
34. Canada Goose
35. Grey Heron
36. Buzzard
37. Bullfinch
38. Stock Dove
39. Lapwing
40. Fieldfare
41. Siskin
42. Cormorant
43. Chiffchaff
44. Blackcap
45. Swallow
46. Swift
47. Red Kite
48. House Martin
49. Skylark
50. Kestrel
51. Lesser black-backed Gull
52. Yellowhammer
53. Willow Warbler


  1. The competition is one thing, Pam, but the sheer joy you get from monitoring this familiar area is something else entirely. I think that all birders can appreciate your persistence and dedication and applaud you for it. It saddens me to hear that more land is being lost to housing. When does this all end? I wish you all the best for 2019 with great results from your patch.

    1. Thanks David, it certainly is a joy. Oh it's dreadful that all this green space is going to be built on, it was fought against but as usual money wins.

  2. You have grown intimate with your patch and that means everything...I hope you have a wonderful new years celebration, our eve is over already just a meal with family but it was priceless! Looking forward to all your 2019 posts!

    1. Thank you Sondra, I hope you did too, ours was quiet and with family - just how I like it :)

  3. Knowing your patch so well and enjoying the bird sightings is the thing that matters Pam and you have had such a great and rewarding year and the new ticks are great news.

    Look forward to reading more of your patch sightings this year. I do the BTO Garden Birdwatch too and it is fun and encourages you to watch the garden more while contributing to science.

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year :)

    1. I really do enjoy it, it makes you look at your surroundings with a whole new outlook!

      Thank you Caroline and the same to you and yours :)