June 4, 2017

Patch Birding Reports

The popular view of birdwatchers (or ‘twitchers’) is of people who rush madly from one end of the country to another to tick birds off their lists. But behind the headlines are an army of enthusiasts who do quite the reverse – they stay devotedly within a small local area, their Patch, and enthuse and obsess about the birds within in. They are every bit as committed and eccentric as their far-travelling counterparts.

Dominic Couzens, A Patch Made in Heaven

The Patch Birding Challenge deadline is 30 June 2017!

Patch Birding Report

Example Extract from a Patch Birding Report

With the summer heat upon us and the monsoon just arriving, birding is more difficult. This makes it a great time to reflect though, and time to make some sense of the many checklists we’ve been diligently entering to eBird. And for those of us who have been regularly watching our birds locally, it’s time to finalise our Patch Birding Report and maybe win a great prize in the Patch Birding Challenge!

First a reminder of what the Patch Birding Challenge is all about: last year we introduced the delights of patch birding, suggested how to find your own patch, how to document and share your observations, and then announced a great competition based upon a written patch report. Now is the time to finalise and submit your reports: we have extended the deadline to 30 June to give some more time for write-ups. The period for the report itself remains the same, i.e. from whenever you started in 2016 up to the end of April 2017.

Spotted Redshank © Abhishek Ravindra

Have you been lucky enough to see any breeding-plumaged passage waders on your patch recently?
Spotted Redshank © Abhishek Ravindra

The idea of the Patch Birding Challenge is to produce a report, based on your personal observations as well as those of others who have visited the same location (that you can access via the eBird hotspot(s)), that details the birds (and other wildlife) at your patch over the past winter period, and maybe helps to answer some questions about bird behaviour. For example:

Great Cormorants

Great Cormorants; illustration by Dave Nurney in Dominic Couzens’s A Patch Made in Heaven

  • Have you noticed large feeding flocks of Cormorants?
  • Which species: Great, Little or Indian?
  • Do they occur at particular times of year, or particular times of day?

Don’t worry if you didn’t register earlier: if you have spent a reasonable amount of effort recording birds at a single location then you can still register now and get your report to [email protected] by 30 June to stand a chance of winning.

Good luck, and enjoy patch birding!

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