Sunday, 21 December 2014

Bresser and Forest Optics Best Find - November 2014

The Bresser & Forest Optics Best Find Competition is the highlight of the Patchwork Challenge year. 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 for one lucky contender.

Sadly November was not the month for mega's that both October and September had been, indeed only a single mega species was located by a patchworker. Step forward Brian Rabbitts from North Uist, he was advised by Jamie Boyle of a possible coot with white under the tail on Loch nam Feithean at his Balranald Nature Reserve patch. He found the bird and more importantly clinched the id as American Coot giving him a steady 15 points to add to his tally for the year. 

American Coot at Baranald  Photo -Steve Duffield

There were numerous scarce birds ticked during the month with possibly the most unexpected being the Hoopoe Sean Foote found on his North Portland patch. Hoopoes are birds more usually seen as a spring overshoot migrant, so Sean was very lucky to get a bird this late in the year.

Hoopoe Photo - Lee Gardiner

There were plenty of warblers found during the month, Barred for Michael O'Donnell at his Kilmichael patch, 2 Dusky for Sean Foote and Yellow-browed for both Phil Woollen (Backford Cross) and Kev Rylands (Dawlish Warren). This was Kev's 6th Yellow-browed Warbler over the last 2 years but he has still to log a Coal Tit. This perfectly illustrates the joy in patch working, the commonest bird can be patch gold.

Dusky Warbler at Portland  Photo - Peter Moore

Siberian Chiffchaff

Photo - Mark Lewis

Ducks also featured well with Ed Keeble's (Brantham) Surf Scoter being a notable find, whilst Ring-necked Ducks were bagged by both John Bowler (Isle of Tiree) and Andy Mackay (Eyebrook Reservoir) and a Green-winged Teal for Paul Bowerman at Severn Beach. John's bird was his third of the year.

Marcus Lawson finished the month by finding an adult Ring-billed Gull on his Swineham GPs site, this being the fifth American species to feature this month.

With the influx of birds in September/October you'd think that Rough-legged Buzzards would be off the menu but not so. Martin Garner (Flamborough-North Side) managed to add one to his patch list without having to brave the elements, one benefit of having your patch based around your house I suppose.

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