I was beginning to wonder where my additional points for Patchwork were going to come from, yet somehow managed to accumulate four more points from four species up on Soil Hill today...
First of all was not just a point, but a full blown patch tick, my 80th species up on Soil Hill in my 9 years of birding there. I was just photographing a distant Greylag Goose when I could have sworn I heard a Redshank somewhere. I scanned around me but could not pick it up, but it called again. Realising I had a patch tick on my hands but could not see it was infuriating to say the least. More infuriating perhaps was that I would be able to count it for PWC on call, yet it wouldn't actually be on my patch list...
My fears were put to rest when the bird dropped from the sky and landed on the largest pool in the center of the track and proceeded to feed there. It lingered for about 5 minuets before heading off NE. What a start to the walk.
The next points came from a similar source. I could hear an Oystercatcher calling somewhere down in the valley but I could not for the life of me pick it up. It took a few minuets but I eventually managed to get the 3 Oystercatchers coming south. They then turned, flew straight over me and then off Eastwards. That was another nice addition, and only the second time I have seen the species on the hill.
The other two year-ticks were a Solitary Grey Partridge which gave me quite a fright when I spooked it and a single flyover Linnet, which is remarkable given then are usually fairly abundant on patch. Todays new birds put me on a nice 47 points from 43 species. Not bad going given I've probably clocked only around 2 weeks worth of visits over the course of the year.
Soil Hill: Blackbird, Goldfinch, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Kestrel, Starling, Redshank, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Jackdaw, Grey Partridge, Linnet, Pied Wagtail, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon,
Conditions took something of a turn for the worse today, with the wind speed picking up and the rain falling down. I went up yonder hill late morning in the hope that a migrant or something might have been forced down but if there were any then they were taking shelter.
One additional point from the hill was a nice Goldcrest down in the dell on the western side, another one pointer for PWC.
Soil Hill: Meadow Pipit, Carrion Crow, Skylark, Kestrel, Starling, Lapwing, Herring Gull, Goldcrest, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Jackdaw,
A bright but breezy morning, so spent a couple of hours up on the hill. I gathered a good species list but little of any real note. Up to four Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk were nice for the raptors. I flushed a Grey Partridge again and had 2 cock Pheasants. There was a flock of 10 Fieldfare in the fields just down from the hill too, presumably they will now be thinking of making their way back.
The main plus for the day was a patch tick, although its so long overdue I can hardly get excited about it. A Cormorant flew past the hill. The birds frequently move in and out of Ogden so how its taken me this long to spot one is beyond me.
Soil Hill: Linnet, Chaffinch, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Curlew, Lapwing, Herring Gull, Kestrel, Feral Pigeon, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Starling, Sparrowhawk, Cormorant, Jackdaw, Grey Heron, Pheasant, Grey Partridge, Pied Wagtail, Fieldfare, Moorhen, Mallard,
It was a bleak day today, but a marked improvement on the last couple days which I missed. That being said the birds were a little thin on the ground, possibly as a result of the snowfall keeping things in shelter. Once more there were no migrants around. The best of the birds today was a small flock of Golden Plover, 7 birds, which flew south at some distance away. No additional points for patchwork today unfortunately
Soil Hill: Carrion Crow, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Skylark, Moorhen, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Wren, Common Gull, Kestrel, Grey Heron, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon