Sunday 21 October 2012


I'm currently hopping with sheer happiness. Why such stupidity? Well, my patch yearlist has crept up to 111. The eleventy-first tick was a full fat patch tick this morning, thanks to Nick's sharp eyes. I was actually at home enjoying a leisurely breakfast with my Aunt who is over from America, when I noticed I had a missed call from Nick. This is usually incredibly bad news, as it means something mega is happening on the patch in my absence. And so it nearly proved today, when he told me that with his mega-bins he had just had a Short-eared Owl over Jubilee. I was halfway down the street by the this time, and was not surprised to hear he could no longer see it. So close yet again, why had I not heard my phone!! Curses!

But wait, he had it again! An agonising five minutes of panic ensued whilst he vectored me in. It's actually a pretty difficult thing to do when one of you is stood in one place with the other somewhere else. Even when both of you have excellent patch knowledge and complete awareness of local landmarks, knowing which direction one of you is looking in from where he is, and therefore where you should look..... Got there in the end though, and there it was gloriously evading a Crow somewhere over Leytonstone. It occured to me at this point that it should be visible from my house, so I had to leg it back home. Pausing at the front door only to take off my wellies and resinsert my left lung, I dashed upstairs and out onto the roof, but to no avail. Nonetheless an awesome start to the day.

My Aunt now understands me a little better. Funnily enough we had been chatting about the delights of listing over breakfast and how things viewed from the garden also counted towards the patch, and how garden ticks were best as they not only went on the patchlist but could also (at times) be counted for London and possibly for Essex too. How wonderful for her therefore that she got to see real patch-tickery in action, I mean what were the chances of that - she visits perhaps every three years? Lucky doesn't even begin to decribe it, and I reckon she was almost as thrilled as I was.

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