Friday, 13 May 2016


I've joined the Patchwork Challenge for the first time this year. I'm not sure whether it's been a good or a bad thing... I've certainly got out more, but probably at the expense of other things I enjoy. Before, I would describe myself more as a general wildlife enthusiast and not a birder... I would focus on small photo projects and spend a lot of time in one place. Now, the desire to keep the list ticking along is forcing me to cover more ground and focus predominantly on birds.

I'm currently on 99 species for the year, including two lifers: merlin and firecrest. I set myself a target of 100 birds for the entire year and so have exceeded my own expectations. I think I'm going to get to 100 and then take it easy for the summer, maybe starting in earnest again in the Autumn. That got me thinking, what will the hundredth bird be?

Below is a list of birds I have previously seen locally that I've not seen yet this year. I've ordered them into three groups: birds I expect to see; birds I might see; birds I don't expect to see again on the patch:

Birds I expect to see:
  • Siskin
  • Great Black-Backed Gull
  • Spotted Flycatcher
  • Hobby
  • Peregrine
Birds I might see:
  • Cuckoo
  • Greenshank
  • Sedge Warbler
Birds I don't expect to see again:
  • Rough-Legged Buzzard
  • Turtle Dove
In addition to these, there are a few birds that I've never seen locally that I remain optimistic about. After all, I'd never seen redstart, woodcock, grasshopper warbler, merlin, stonechat and firecrest before this year.
  • Pied Flycatcher
  • Jack Snipe
  • Dipper
  • Reed Warbler
  • Whinchat
  • Willow Tit
  • Pink Footed Goose
  • Waxwing
So what will my hundredth bird be? Well... it not being winter rules out a lot of the above, so I'm going to plump for hobby. They are a favorite bird of mine having seen one for the first time just a couple of years ago chasing swallows on the long river loop. That encounter made me seek them out in the raised bogs of Shropshire and I was lucky enough to witness a couple of birds hunting dragonflies. Stunning.

UPDATE 15/05/16 - my hundredth bird turned out to be a reed warbler

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