Thursday, 5 September 2013

Patchwork on Bubo

Patchwork Challenge is now on Bubo. No, not a slightly unfashionable social networking site for kids but the best place to be for keeping up on your listing exploits. As the number of species seen by the combined entrants into this years Patchwork Challenge has mushroomed so has the task of keeping track of what is going on in addition to keeping a record of years past (let's hope this thing has legs). Most importantly from the teams point of view it is the most effective and open way of recording how many species have been seen during the competition for turning into donations by Meopta and Forest Optics for the BTO's Out of Africa appeal to help fund our cuckoo Patch.
My first task on joining the team was to get the Bubo list sorted out so after a couple of hours of head scratching and cursing at Excel it was all entered and up to now the list stands at 282 species. Some excellent finds amongst as documented in the Meopta and Forest Optics best find competition but also some big misses which I will come onto shortly. Because of the way Bubo works we can't provide a direct link to our lists here - instead if you look at the widgets in the right hand margin, somewhere below Birdtrack and Birdguides is a button that takes you to the website. We wanted this to be open to all to enter their finds so you will find the lists by logging on as Patchwork Challenge and the password is Patching (capital P). First sightings obviously trump later ones for the list.

What Bubo also offers is a chance to see which species we are missing and below is a screenshot of what the targets list looks like (access this by clicking on the bullseye when you have viewed a list). 

Who would have thought we could get to 282 whilst still missing Red-crested Pochard, Ring-necked Duck and Red Grouse  - surely somebody must have a distant bit of moor and some time to scope it from their patch. With species such as Great Grey Shrike, Shore Lark and Yellow-browed Warbler still to add 300 species (and thus £300 for the Cuckoo appeal) remains in reach so we urge all you patchworkers to get out there and spend the autumn toiling on your patch. You never know, a Parula would get us an extra pound too.

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