Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New years day traditions.....

Being Scottish you would think that the main tradition I have on new years day is to sleep off a monsterous hangover or continue on with ‘hair of the dog’ but no, I let the alcoholic Scottish stereotype down badly. I go birding! I have spent the vast majority of my new years at my parent’s house in Whiteford and my dad has kindly woke me up at dawn to do some patch birding every year. I have enjoyed these days to varying degrees, from my pre-alcohol days and finding a snow goose to walking around drunk/badly hungover and remembering and seeing very little and desperately needing some sleep.
A cool and sobering new years day
We do a bit of planning prior to the day, what walks will lead to the most species? We scope out hard to see species in the days leading up to the 1st. Inevitably it all goes a little wrong in the lead up and we find some hard to see species such as woodcock or brambling and foolishly hope to see them again on the 1st but normally fail. I'm always optimistic and aim to see 50 species on the patch to start the year off with a bang but have never reached it and normally achieve about 40 species. I’m sure you will hear about my successes and failures on 1st January 2013 on this blog.

N.B. We managed a respectable 47 species (54%) this year, highlights including a couple of tawny owls, a redpoll flock and a pair of goosanders.
We would love to hear about your first visit to the patch in 2013, a short paragraph is all thats needed (send them to patchworkchallenge@gmail.com) and we will post them on the blog to give everyone a taste of the year ahead.

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