23 October 2013

Patch record: mullered!

While it looks like we successfully dodged all the mega rarities in Shetland, the patch, with today's Oystercatcher (Tim's nocturnal rambling on his way home from Stratford) and Mediterranean Gull (Tony breaks my monopoly), has gone and done record-breaking stuff. With 70 days left in the year, or thereabouts, it could get better: 133 species against 130 last year and 131 for 2011.

OK it's a large patch, that's why I split my London Birders Patch list in two, but with two new birds today the flats have contributed all but 7 of the total, and over the last 3 years all but 9 out of 158 species, by my dodgy reckoning. Wanstead is now on the map.

Look at Dominic Mitchell's "Where to watch birds in London" and you'll not see a mention of Wanstead bar a brief sentence on a Red-rumped Swallow which graced the park for a day some way back.  Even the local birders, whose reports can be seen on other pages here, hardly graced the grasslands. Even London bird report mentions are few and far between, but not now!  The change has come about thanks to Jonathan Lethbridge, his blog, and his sightings reports that, to my mind those few short years ago, beggared belief: but not now!. Equally important have been Stuart Fisher and Tim Harris, not only through their own efforts but the encouragement they freely give to others. Subsequently it has been a team effort, so hats off to you fellow patch workers may it long continue.

Here's the record breaking gull in lieu of no Oystercatcher pics, on account of it being dark and Tim not carrying a camera with him at that time of night just in case like!

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