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Your local patch (1 Viewer)

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Wow. 133 this year. That is excellent!
If I limited myself to walking distance, it'd be only about a quarter of that! But it's also about all that I've seen this year - missed out on all the megas that everyone else has been going for in their cars and not giving lifts - no Desert Warbler, Sooty Tern, Two-barred Warbler, Brown Shrike, Taiga Flycatcher, etc., for me. So a thoroughly depressing year's birding :-C
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
My local patch is a marshy area with some woodland surrounded by agriculture 15 minutes by bike from my home, on the way to work (not that I've been there much this year). It's about 2.5 km² (1 square mile).

I am currently at 200 taxa (Cat A, C and E) in 9½ years, with the latest addition Radde's Warbler. I see about one local or national rarity a year. Not bad for a site that's over 2 hours away from the closest bit of coast. It could do with a few wet years though...
 

Warixenjalka

Well-known member
Finland
Everything within roughly half an hour's bike ride from home; all done on foot or by bike, strictly no cars involved, nor public transport. It's mainly urban, but got a few parks and ponds and a tidal river, but no coast or uplands; patch yearlist so far this year 133 :t:

In Finland, we call these an Eco ticks.

PS. Electric bikes are also forbidden. Only your own muscle power (or wind if you have a sailing boat) is allowed.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
In Finland, we call these an Eco ticks.

PS. Electric bikes are also forbidden. Only your own muscle power (or wind if you have a sailing boat) is allowed.
I don't have an electric bike (too expensive!), but I'd not forbid them, particularly not for disabled / low mobility birders (and something I'd consider getting in the future if/when I get too old to go up hills!). No sailing boat either, but that wouldn't be much use to me :-O
 

peter.jones

Registered User
Supporter
I live in North Baddesley, which is the largest village in Southern England (!), Between Southampton and Romsey.
I don't really consider it a local patch, but there is a belt of countryside around the village to prevent it being swallowed up by Southampton and Romsey.
A mile walking in any direction gets me mainly into farmland / horse fields, and a few belts of woodland.
There is some relict New Forest habitat. The village was originally the start of the New Forest, but nowadays the habitat is pretty poor. Either grazed grassland or Bracken. Don't think there is any heather in the area for example.
We have many Firecrest territories, and up to 4 Nightjar territories plus Woodcock. All species just about audible from the garden at least once! Woodlark used to be regular, but I think we may have lost them.
The main excitement is in the few remaining forgotten fields which are overgrown, scrubby and good for migrants. Grasshopper Warbler, Nightingale, and Whinchat typically.
The Test Valley is 3 miles away, and gets better migration with Osprey and large hirundine flocks in particular. A "new" reserve, (Fishlake Meadows), and new Lapwing breeding area to replace land lost to solar farms also have potential with Great White Egret and Otter being my best finds here. These are ~5 miles away.

Not a bad area really, although it doesn't grab the County headlines, as the coast, 30 minutes away, blows it away for sightings.
 
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Paul Chapman

Well-known member
I have a confession. My local patch is enormous.... I bought my house to be in the area in 1998. The patch borders are the M5 with a small extension to cover what used to be my route to work when work took place in an office. Work now takes place on my patch as my house is in the middle (and in my garden when weather permits). The northern border is the River Avon and the southern border is the River Yeo. Over the last 22 years, access to some areas has been closed down sadly. Access to the countryside is being closed down where landowners can get away with it. I used to walk the four miles to the mouth of the Yeo from home and then the four miles back.

The primary checklist area covered by my patch is the area of coast to the south of Clevedon opposite Kingston Seymour. (I use several recording areas.) Illustrated checklist here for Kingston Seymour comprising 167 species with 136 photographed (of which I have records of 165 species of mine currently):-

https://ebird.org/hotspot/L1122760/media?yr=all&m=

That is incomplete but a work in progress. Many historic records to add. Yesterday, when I get to my ebird backlog, I have a picture of Egyptian Goose to add as well as records and photos of Great Crested Grebe and Red-breasted Merganser. I suspect my Kingston Seymour element is c200 but overall for my patch c220.

I thoroughly recommend the ebird functionality for such local recording. Obviously this year is interrupted but the functionality to pull together a local dataset with photos, recordings, etc is extraordinary.

All the best
 
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Farnboro John

Well-known member
I used to say Fleet Pond but two things now mitigate against that: first of all it has been spoilt with dredging spoil being built into islands that now obscure the view as well as removing what used to be a large expanse of open water and holding big numbers of screeching Black-headed Gulls; secondly the whole place is now more country park than nature reserve and far too busy to be fun.

Fortunately many years ago I undertook a challenge against James Andrewes of this parish to see who could record more birds within an arbitrarily chosen radius of 10 miles from home, and I now consider that my local patch. Fleet Pond is still in it but I have other choices of which the best known are probably Frensham Ponds and Common, Thursley/Ockley/Hankley Commons, Tices Meadow (though I rarely go there as the big list of good birds is marred by the inability to get good views without the Hubble telescope) and Moor Green.

The full reach is from Bracknell in the North to Frensham in the South, from Greywell on the chalk in the West to Sunningdale in the East. Hunting around in the gaps between the known hot spots is always interesting, though some haven't justified more than a couple of exploratory visits!

I couldn't tell you the full list but during the challenges - we ran it for two years - I got into the 160s both times, and one was 1993 when I found a spring Citrine Wagtail at Fleet Pond. Good regular birds include Great Grey Shrike, Woodlark, Firecrest, Bittern, Little Egret (one went past my window this morning) Peregrine, Jack Snipe and Osprey, not to mention the fabulous and increasingly heroic multi-year returning Colin the Cuckoo.

Occasionals and rarities have included Pectoral Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Red-footed Falcon, the aforementioned Citrine Wag, Ring-necked Duck, Ferruginous Duck, Great White Egret and both White-tailed Eagle and White Stork before the present vanity projects got going. Merlins, Hen Harriers and Short-eared Owls occasionally stop off or over-winter though their location is unpredictable for the most part.

For an inland patch its pretty good!

John
 

Julie50

Mostly in the Midlands :)
Supporter
United Kingdom
Hi all,

This has changed for me now we have COVID restrictions.

Pre-COVID I would say Upton Warren was my favourite and therefore “local” patch.

But I have to drive there and it has been closed for most of the lockdown.

This has allowed me to explore as a “birder” rather than just for a nice walk the stuff outside my door!

I truly believe that without the Shire Country Park walk which leads to Trittiford Mill Pond and beyond I would have suffered a great deal during lockdown. I intend to keep up with this “local patch birding” after lockdown.

I may not see Glossy Ibis and Glaucous gulls, but I have seen; wookpecker, nuthatch and kingfisher nests, flocks of tits and finches, interesting corvid behaviour and the list goes on!

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/directory_record/9168/shire_country_park
 

Euan Buchan

The Edinburgh Birdwatcher
Supporter
Scotland
At my local patch today I noticed there is a new sign saying it's now officially a Nature Reserve and there weee signposts in the park too.
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
On my local patch today there were teenagers mugging other teenagers with a machete and a knife. The birding pretty rubbish, but the cormorant numbers have increased to 11 though.
 

KenM

Well-known member
Fortunately many years ago I undertook a challenge against James Andrewes of this parish to see who could record more birds within an arbitrarily chosen radius of 10 miles from home, and I now consider that my local patch. Fleet Pond is still in it but I have other choices of which the best known are probably Frensham Ponds and Common, Thursley/Ockley/Hankley Commons, Tices Meadow

For an inland patch its pretty good!

John

FWIW John, I used to visit “your patch” late ‘60’s looking for Hobby and on occasion I was successful, don’t need to now got ‘em on me doorstep. That said, I found a presumed local rare...it looked like a Mistle Thrush with a big yellow eye and long legs of the same colour. I sent off the record to the local recorder and am still waiting for a reply! :t:
 

Lucas_

Member
Italy
I live in Naples, Italy. Here birding is far from being good, but I still found some places where it can be rewarding, including my local patch; it consists of the seaside and a nearby park, where I found, mostly in winter, Italian sparrows, blackbirds, robins, black redstarts, yellow and white wagtails, a possible great tit, hooded crows, yellow-legged gulls, black-headed gulls, sandwich terns and great cormorants. Other sightings (not by me) include kingfisher; yelkouan shearwater, mediterranean, common and lesser black-backed gulls, grebes and starlings.
 

raymie

Well-known member
United States
My local patch is a grassy vacant lot and an adjacent pond about a 10 minute walk from my house. It's best during waterfowl migration but I've seen some interesting passerines there, too. The best sightings I've had there were a Trumpeter Swan and a Northern Waterthrush.
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Wandered around Drummau yesterday with the hound. Nice view of a Red Kite but not much else. Might walk down to the river on New Year’s day to get 2021’s list started.
 

Swindon Addick

Registered User
Supporter
Wales
The challenge around here is finding somewhere big enough to have a decent range of habitat that doesn't get ridiculously crowded. My most regular spot is my local park, which isn't very exciting except for getting a decent range of passing migrants in spring. Driving to the Cotswold Water Park provides more opportunity to get away from the crowds as it's big enough to lose yourself in, but it's too far away to really feel like it's "mine". I used to keep a list for a former workplace that was set in a decent bit of parkland and not open to the public, but moving to an office in the centre of Bristol put an end to that. So the local park it is. What I lose in variety I can partly make up for in familiarity.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
The challenge around here is finding somewhere big enough to have a decent range of habitat that doesn't get ridiculously crowded. My most regular spot is my local park, which isn't very exciting except for getting a decent range of passing migrants in spring. Driving to the Cotswold Water Park provides more opportunity to get away from the crowds as it's big enough to lose yourself in, but it's too far away to really feel like it's "mine". I used to keep a list for a former workplace that was set in a decent bit of parkland and not open to the public, but moving to an office in the centre of Bristol put an end to that. So the local park it is. What I lose in variety I can partly make up for in familiarity.
How long would it take you to get to CWP by bike?
 

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