Well, that kind of went to plan, something very good indeed was found on the patch today - just not by me.
I'd been out from first-light, flogging the patch, Martin Kitching (aka Scotland Gate's second-best wildlife tour guide) saunters up to the Druridge bushes at lunchtime and finds this.....
A stonking male subalpine warbler. PATCH MEGA!
Thankfully he phoned me, I wasn't far away in the bushes by the Budge screen and was soon on the scene enjoying good views of this stunning little bird. I managed this record shot, it looks, from the brown in the wing that it is a first-year male and by the colour and extent of colouration on the breast/flanks that it is the nominate race (or full species, western subalpine warbler, according to some authorities). But I haven't had much time to do any research.
Elsewhere on the patch, massively overshadowed by this bird, was a lesser whitethroat, garden warbler, yellow-browed warbler, a few whitethroats, chiffs, blackcaps and goldcrests. Skylarks and meadow pipits moved through all day and a handful of swallows and sand martins (late!) headed south first-thing.
So, second patch-tick in a week. On a roll (hopefully on a roller - that would be nice). This takes my patch list 231 and today's haul takes the year list to 160.....canny gannin.
158 lesser whitethroat
159 garden warbler
160 SUBALPINE WARBLER