The Bresser & Forest Optic Best Find Competition is the jewel in the crown for Patchwork Challenge. This is the best find of the whole patchbirding year as voted for by you, the competitors.
For the winner of the competition, those fine folk at Bresser & Forest Optics are very generously furnishing the winner of this esteemed competition with a pair of Bresser Montana 8.5 x 45 Binoculars worth £665.00. Follow the link to check out this superb reward that awaits one lucky patcher!
July is traditionally one of the quietest months for rarities, and for many this is reflected in their scores for the month. A large majority of patchers reported a very slow month, but a few lucky people did manage to connect with quality birds.
The two stand-out birds of the month were a 2cy Baltic Gull and a Lesser Yellowlegs.
The Baltic Gull was found by Martin Garner on his Flamborough patch and adds a very healthy 15 points to his total. This is Martin's second entry into the contenders list following his Northern Treecreeper earlier in the year.
Toby Collett picked up 12 points with this Lesser Yellowlegs from Frampton Mars, he wishes the quality of the photo was better but you can't beat the quality of the bird. Well done that man.
Other birds of note found by patchworkers during the month were the Aquatic Warbler netted by Shaun Robson at Lychett Bay, a Red-footed Falcon for Alastair Forsyth and his Old Nisthouse patch on Orkney patch and a first for patch Honey Buzzard by Des Roberts at Whitwell Quarry.
Now you wouldn't normally expect Reed Warbler to feature in this column but mention should be made of the bird Sean Morris found on his patch, the first record for the village since 1946. As his patch is Kinloch on the Isle of Rum it makes you wonder where the bird had come from.
Surely the best nearly bird was the Black-browed Albatross seen (but not found) by Joe Stockwell at Portland Bill, if only he'd found it that would have been a crippler and a sure fire contender. Other good birds that were seen but not actually found by patchworkers include Great Knot on Tommy Corcoran's Gt Yarmouth patch, Blue-winged Teal at Lound - Ian Cowgill's patch and a Pacific Golden Plover seen by Peter Donnelly on his North Ronaldsay patch
August should see the first of the returning waders coming through from the North, Hurricane Bertha is just reaching the UK as I write so who knows what will have been blown over with her. Hopefully more people will be catching up with good birds during the month.