Sunday 29 October 2017

What a difference a day makes

I messed up the clock change a bit but still got out at a relatively decent time. However what a difference a day makes! This morning was abysmal in comparison - I suppose this is just the nature of the patch, but it won't take many mornings like this to convince me that staying in bed is the preferred option. 

There were a handful of Woodpigeon, low hundreds probably, and then very small numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare. Finch action was limited to a couple of Redpoll and then perhaps a dozen Chaffinch and Goldfinch. Highly boring in other words, not remotely on a par with other mornings. I wish I was better at predicting what weather patterns result in decent viz-mig, it would be far less effort and ultimately more rewarding just to go out on the good days, knowing I was missing nothing on the days where I either blissfully asleep, or eating warm toast and drinking coffee. As it is I kind of feel I need to be out all the time lest something pass me by, and after all there are plenty of relatively easy ticks that would take me to the landmark 150 for the patch. When those Glossy Ibis fly over, as surely one day they will, I don't want to be hearing about it from someone else!

Those 148 have taken some getting - something like 13 years of wandering around the local area now. My first few seasons here I was pleased with a year list of 80, whereas nowadays 100 is always expected. Nonetheless it wasn't until my fifth year hear that my overall patch list reached 100, and it was another year before my list reached the stage where it couldn't be exceeded annually. I remember being flabbergasted seeing Vince's Dagenham Chase list, thinking I would never get there in a million years, but all it is really is a factor of time. Those newer patch-workers that started perhaps a few years after I did are mostly a few species behind simply because they just haven't had the extra years of tramping that I have. I suspect it all evens itself out in the end though, as it's just not possible to sustain a level of, say, five new patch birds a year. And so ultimately whether you've worked a patch for 10 or 20 years probably doesn't result in much if any difference. Other than the number of highly boring days like today that you have had to endure!

October 2014 - how long will this be a blocker for?


  1. I respect your true feelings for birds.I have read your blog and got to know about different kinds of birds and those problems which they do face