Monday 12 September 2022

Patchwork Challenge 2023

 Hello? We've been away for a bit but now we are back. Might be back. Do you want us back? #PWC2023

Monday 30 July 2018

The complete dummies guide to the new website

We unveiled the new website just under a month ago and since then there has been a few additions to the website so here is a complete guide to what to do so far:

You can find the website here:


 Above is the homepage where you can find the mini leagues, latest sightings etc.

To register go to 'Account' on the tool bar and click on Register on the drop down menu. This will take you to the page below.

Registration page
Enter your details and tick the I'm not a robot box (even if you are a robot :-)). You will then be taken back to the homepage. Go back to 'Account' on the toolbar and click on Login on the drop down. It will take you to this page below

Enter your user name and password and you will arrive at your very own homepage where you can add your patch then your sightings.

Users homepage

Click on User settings to register your patch

You will come to this page below:

 Then Click on Add New Patch to get to this page below:

Entering your patch

 Add your patch name, select your mini league from the drop down, enter your scores from previous years (leave it blank for any year you didn't enter PWC). Then zoom in to your patch on the map and draw your boundaries, it will calculate your patch size as well. Click submit once finished.

Add common birds from the list by ticking box
You are now ready to add sightings, for all 1 and 2 point birds you can bulk select from the list by ticking the box. You can enter a species more than once, its score will only be added once so duplication isn't a problem. Please select the date by click on it until there is a green circle round the number.

For bonus point species click on Log rarer species. You will arrive at this page below:

Add rare species

Choose species form drop down, click on date as before, tick Found if you found it and that will log the sighting. You can also add a photo by clicking on chose file, it will be added to your gallery and in the future the PWC gallery on the main homepage. Finally, you can map the exact location of the bird by clicking on the map, the blue crane marking the spot.

Once you have entered your sightings you can go back to the main Homepage and find your position on the Main National league and your mini league.

Adding photos:

You can add photos of common species by going to your sightings history page.

Click on a species name of the relevant sighting and a pop up will appear (see below)

You can then add a photo and map the sighting on your patch map. All photos will then appear on the gallery on your page and on the homepage.

Photo gallery on homepage

There will be additions happening over the coming weeks so will keep you posted.

Good luck, and if you have any problems let us know

Tuesday 31 January 2017

Inland South Minileague - December 2016

Congratulations Tim Farr! Sutton Bingham's finest has had an excellent year (you can read about it on a special blog post here). He had a great final month adding Firecrest and a Black-necked Grebe on the 31st December, an excellent finish to an excellent year which included finders point for a stunning Spotted Sandpiper amongst the most memorable moments.

Stephanie Brown finished in second, just a whisker ahead of Richard Scantlebury in third. Whilst no additions of note in December both had scored over 120%, a superb performance marked with annual highlights of Cetti's Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler respectively.

Twelve patch birders beat or matched their comparative target, three of whom ended up bang on 100%. Great effort all round.

Nigel Milbourne ends the year at Blagdon Lake on 198 points, an excellent total for an inland site and 25 points clear of his nearest competitor. Nigel has been birding Blagdon Lake for 24 years now, but December 2016 will go down in the memory as he added Jack Snipe, Bearded Tit and of course Blyth's Pipit to his patch list in the space of 48 hours. Congratulations to Nigel, the pipit really was a superb bird and finders points added too!

Blyth's Pipit (c) Nigel Milbourne (check out the Blagdon Lake birds website)

Playing for the podium spots, Tom Raven (he of Hudsonian Godwit fame) takes second place despite no additions in December. Brendan Sheils could not take advantage however, and ends in third. Well done all.

December turned up a few good birds around the Inland South league aside from the Blyth's Pipit. A Glossy Ibis at Stoke Newington was an excellent find for Chris Farthing as was an inland Brent Goose. The Cattle Egret influx in December made it's way onto Ollie Thomas's Puddletown list whilst a Little Stint was an unseasonable addition to the Longham Lakes yearlist.

A Yellow-browed Warbler found it's way to Wanstead in December. Caspian Gulls were found in December at Grimsbury Reservoir and Rye Meads while Scaup found their way inland at Dinton Pastures and Linford Lakes. Finally, a good December for Neil Burt saw Grey Partridge, Woodcock and White-Fronted Goose keep the score ticking up right to the end.

Well done to everyone who competed in the Inland South league in 2016. Hopefully we will see many of those in the points league this year move into the comparative league also in 2017. It really was an excellent year, with amongst the highlights Herts' first Bonaparte's Gull, Black Stork, Red-Footed Falcon, Ortolan Bunting, White-tailed Eagle, Wryneck, Spotted Sandpiper and Blyth's Pipit. An amazing year and a credit to those covering a network of patches right across the south.

Coastal North Minileague - December 2016

Long time leader of the Coastal North comparative league (Ash Baines) does it for the west coast and canters to victory. An excellent 132% is a great score topped up with a Snow Bunting in December. Ash's highlight for the year was undoubtedly Desert Wheatear with Yellow-browed Warbler and Pomarine Skua representing a fine supporting cast. Well done Ash, your score will definitely make it harder in 2017! Damian Money had an excellent year at Saltburn to seal second place, scoring maximum points for arguably the #PWC2016 bird of the year in the form of a Siberian Accentor.

Siberian Accentor (c) Damian Money

Third spot goes to PWC's own James Spencer. Barmston sits in the shadow of Flamborough Head and James will be swapping one for the other this year, so it is great to end on a high.

The top eight all surpassed the 100% mark, a great performance. 

The coastal north points league it where the big east coast hitters come out to play. The Spurn and Easington areas in particular always generate some monster scores that top the overall points league and this year is no exception. Tim Jones is a familiar name at the top and does it again, matched species for species by Mick Turton but with a better points per bird total, both totalling more than 400 points!! Paul French will be a force to be reckoned with as well in 2017 and falls just shy of the leading pair this time on 392 points. Tim won't be competing in 2017 so Mick and Paul will be battling it out for top spot but will the east coast get another year like 2016?

Nick Addey finished fourth above Andy Hood at Flamborough. Nick scores more than 300 points as he takes a break for #PWC2017. Meanwhile Andy has entertained us with his pictures from Flamborough all year and some superb birds. Well done both.

December was short on highlights from the coastal north, with new additions hard to come by at these locations after the rush of autumn. Tim Jones and Mick Turton added a Glaucous Gull whilst Mick also enjoyed a Purple Sandpiper, not the easiest bird at Spurn. Nick Addey added Red-necked Grebe whilst a Long-tailed Duck was a #fullfatpatchtick for Nige Lound at Crook Bank. Nige Lound also had the privilege of two Shore Larks at his Rimac patch - a joy of a bird. Final mention for December goes to Will Scott who added a few extra points at the death to finish in mid-table including a White-fronted Goose.

2016 was a tremendous year for rarities in coastal north. There have been some excellent birds found on patches in what has been a superb autumn, particularly in the east. The year highlights include Siberian Accentor, Eastern Black Redstart, Paddyfield Warbler, Desert Wheatear, Citrine Wagtail, Kumlien's Gull, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, Brown Shrike, Isabelline Wheatear, Stejneger's Stonechat, etc etc...

It really has been an excellent year, thanks to all who contributed to it.

Estuarine Minileague - December 2016

Paul Freestone's Hayle patch sweeps to victory in the Estuarine comparative league. A fine year marked by Franklin's Gull and that Pelican was capped off by finally getting Caspian Gull onto the list and securing the title. Ian Ballam had a superb year at Lytchett and pushed the race to the wire, but adding Green-winged Teal (including finder points) and patch lifer Brambling was not enough to grab top spot. Christmas Cattle Egrets galore for Gordon Hodgson helped him to take third.

Green-winged Teal at Lytchett Bay (c) Ian Ballam

More than half of patches in the comparative league beat their target which is a great performance. Well done all. 

In the points league, long term leader Dave Craven couldn't quite hold on to take the title. Paul Sullivan at estuarine tour de force Frampton/Freiston too the spoils, with a comfortable lead of 15 points at the final tally. Paul added Jack Snipe, Velvet Scoter and Shag in December. Frampton/Freiston is better known for its waders, but Paul's highlights this year were Bittern (his only patch first in the year) and finding Glossy Ibis.

Dave really made a fight of it though, and had an excellent year featuring in first place in many of the monthly updates. He just couldn't add anything new in the last couple of months but his year highlights from this west coast patch were Broad-Billed Sandpiper and the number of Yellow-browed Warblers this autumn.

Howard Vaughan managed to keep the other Frampton birders out of the top three by a single point! His comment on the submission form for December: "oh so nearly the first blank month... dire but salvaged with a one point Goosander on 27th - a rare bird here". An important addition in the end, every point counts! The best of the year for Howard Vaughan was a fine male Golden Oriole, there are not many better birds.

Other highlights in December involved the start of the Waxwing invasion with birds at Aigburth. A second Yellow-browed Warbler of the year for Martin Elcoate meant no additional points but is still a nice winter find. A number of patches added Water Rail, Woodcock and Brambling in the month and a Red-throated Diver was the highlight at Snettisham.

Final mention for December should go to Elliot Montieth for his Great Crested Grebe heroics. Spotting that it was caught in fishing line he swam out to it at Bidston Moss in the middle of winter! A hero indeed.

Spoonbills at Holes Bay (c) Ian Ballam

Friday 27 January 2017

Under 25's Minileague - December 2016

Contestants in the Under 25's Minileague were some of the most prolific patch birders in all of #PWC2016 with Amy Robjohns finishing in first place on the comparative table, unchallenged with her mega 142.93% score from Titchfield Haven. Just reward for all the effort put in over the year as well as for keeping us entertained with top quality record pics of each new scarce or rare species added to her list!

Caspian Stonechat at Titchfield Haven (c) Amy Robjohns

Ash Baines finishes with a very strong second place score of 132.47% at Starr Gate - Fairlawn road with Snow Bunting added in December. Cattle Egret and White-fronted Goose boosted the score from Mid-North Gipping Valley to 115.13% for third place Ben Moyes.

Rhys Chivers managed to hold on to fourth place by a matter of .01%!!! Rhys didn't add any new species for Soar Valley Pits in December but his comp score there remained high enough to fend off Espen Quinto-Ashman at Wellington GPs despite Espen having added Barn Owl in the dying moment of #PWC2016 on New Year's Eve!

While there was plenty of success in the Under 25's Comparative Minileague, results from the Points Minileague also showcased the great enthusiasm of the youngest patch birders that PWC has to offer. Nearly 50 contestants make up this table and we can see some closely fought battles down through the rankings, but it is Tim Jones who leads the way, charging ahead of all others with that mega score of 421 points from 231 species and a PPB of 1.823 from the mighty Spurn. 

The BirdTrack effort by the Under 25's was also top notch with Ollie Thomas contributing a truly amazing 637 complete lists and 20,684 records from Puddletown while James McCulloch also gets an honourable mention with 660 complete lists and 6,018 records from Hedgecourt NR & Domewood.

When it came to personal highlights of the year, reading through the list of submissions really gave a flavour of how epic 2016 was for birding across Britain and Ireland with all of the following seen by PWC Under 25's contestants: Caspian Stonechat, White-crowned Sparrow, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, Black Stork, Forster's Tern, Black-bellied Dipper, Desert Wheatear, Dusky Warbler, Purple Heron, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Long-billed Dowitcher, Richard's Pipit, Black Brant, Cattle Egret, Green-winged Teal, Sabine's Gull, Honey Buzzard...

Black-bellied Dipper (c) Ben Moyes

Thursday 26 January 2017

Coastal South Minileague - December 2016

A confiding Snow Bunting during December was the final addition to Amy Robjohn's mammoth patch birding year at Titchfield Haven. Hardcore effort at this site resulted in a final comparative score of 142.93%, one of the highest in all of #PWC2016 and first in Coastal South Minileague.

Amy's Caspian Stonechat find was hands down her highlight of the year but closely followed by Stone Curlew and Semipalmated Sandpiper.

Second place remains in the hands of Paul Freestone at Gwithian who had an equally impressive year, finishing on 121.31% with top finds such as Isabelline Wheatear plus Dalmatian Pelican, Rose-coloured Starling, Wryneck etc.

Mark Lawlor, Dick Best and Paul Bowerman all keep their same positions in the top five at the end of the year, having beaten their comp score targets. Mark's Kentish Plover find is certainly worthy of an end of year mention, the first on Guernsey in thirteen years!

Snow Bunting at Titchfield Haven (c) Amy Robjohns

Joe Stockwell's lead on the Coastal South points table was secured for the year thanks to a wildfowl-fest at Ferrybridge to Weymouth during December which saw Goldeneye, Eider, Black Brant and Egyptian Goose bring his points score up to 277.

Amy's success in the comparative league was complemented by a second place position on the points table where Andy Johnson moved into third place ahead of Paul Bowerman by a matter of two points, helped by Snow Bunting and Long-tailed Duck added at Sandy Point in December.

Some highlights at the months end included a Hume's Warbler at North Portland for Sean Foote, an amazing flock of nine Cattle Egrets found by Ilya Maclean at Loe Pool on 30th December and a patch tick Caspian Gull for Kev Rylands at Dawlish Warren.

Aside from some of the aforementioned megas, the Coastal South Minileague was awash with rare and scare birds during #PWC2016 with the likes of Ross's Gull, Red-throated Pipit, Greenish Warbler, Bonaparte's Gull, Great Grey Shrike, Shorelark, Temminck's Stint, Cory's Shearwater, Ortolan Bunting and Serin making the best bird of the year comments section from this years contestants.

The PWC #patchgold favourite, Coot, also got an honorary mention as bird of the year for Sean Foote at North Portland! ;)

Hooded Merganser at Radipole...eating fish and NOT bread as kindly pointed out by Joe Stockwell :)