Wednesday 28 December 2016

Off work but off patch

I've been off work since 23rd for the festivities, but have hardly managed any time on the patch. A walk on the beach in a howling gale on Christmas day and a quick look through the geese yesterday. The look through the geese brought what will be my last addition to the patch list before we head off for New Year - bean goose, my first on the patch since 2010.

I've spent my free time on a project to track turnstones, we have been colour-ringing and radio-tagging them. Working on the birds meant I had no time for photos, but Dave Elliott has some good shots on his blog.

Here are some photos I managed today from the catching site.


Sanderlings in flight 

colour-ringed and tagged turnstone

Turnstone in flight 
Feeding waders

So, my bean goose meant I finished the year on the 174 species for the patch two ahead of any previous year. Omissions from the year list include bullfinch (again), pomarine skua, little auk, grey plover, hobby (seen for last six years) and spoonbill (seen every year bar-one since 2006). I added two new species to the patch list - broad-billed sandpiper in May and Leach's petrel in July. The patch list now stands at 240.

I've been doing the Patchwork Challenge thing again this year - a bit of harmless fun. I am doing okay but can't compete with the Spurn/Easington boys. Here is the latest report from the Coastal North . I've already signed up for the 2017 competition.

It will probably be January 7th before I am back on the patch, so I will take this opportunity to wish you a happy, healthy and bird-filled new year.

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