The only information here which you may not know is the league that you will be in, leave this blank if unsure and we will ensure that you are allocated to the appropriate league based on your patch location in time for the start of the challenge.
Later this month we will send out the rules and information required for next years competition, including details of any new rules and changes for 2015. This will include an update on the new website and database which should deliver even more value to participants as well as more information on birding trends. Keep your eye on the blog and social media for these updates!
Any questions, feel free to e-mail us and one of the team will be happy to respond.
In the meantime, if you are thinking of entering or have registered your entry for next year, here are some useful things that are good to know.
- Your patch must be no larger than 3 square kilometres. It can be any shape that you wish it to be as long as it is joined together. There is a mapping tool available as a link on the blog to help map out your patch.
- All birds seen in or from your patch count. Therefore a bird seen outside your patch area but whilst you are standing in it can be added to your scores.
- PWC has it's own scoresheet which can be downloaded from the links box on the right hand side of the blog. Birds have a value of between 1 and 5 depending on rarity value. Birds scoring higher than 3 points receive additional points if they were found by the patcher. The best part is that the spreadsheet will calculate all of this this for you! All you have to do is type in the bird name and if it gives 3 points or more enter whether or not you found it and the scores will calculate automatically.
- The leagues are based on geographical location including different leagues depending on whether you are a coastal or inland patch.
- There are also leagues for green birding (no use of motorised transport) and an NGB members league.
- There are two types of scores, points score and comparative. The former is the straightforward score for the year. You can start scoring comparative in your second year with PWC. This will be a comparison to your previous year in the competition and will give a percentage. It is this that allows all patches to compete on a level playing field.
- We have prizes which will be announced by the end of the year .These include the Forest and Bresser Optics Best Find. A shortlist is drawn up at the end of the year, and then it is open for patchers to vote for the winner. A Semipalmated Plover won in 2013, just edging out an inland Pied Wheatear and a Mourning Dove This year there are a number of contenders, but the inland Blyth's Pipit this month will be a contender and shows that anything can turn up anywhere.
- We encourage participation in BirdTrack. We would love it if all competitors to put their data into this BTO initiative. It is easy and provides a vast swathe of data to the BTO from across the UK, including many under-watched areas. Many patchers already contribute and we hope this will increase next year.
- We plan to run events throughout the year, many in association with our partners. We work closely with Birdguides, BTO, Birdwatch magazine, Birding Frontiers, NGB and Trektellen.
- We have a social media presence on Twitter (@Patchbirding), Facebook and the blog. Join us and enjoy all of the latest updates, discussion and observations from patchers.
- We expect to have a new internet site and database for the end of December which will run alongside the blog. It should provide much more information and functionality and add to the PWC experience.
- Finally, PWC is about enjoying your birding above all. It is a hub for birders who all share the same love of birds and patch working. Whilst there may be competition with others, it adds enjoyment to your own birding experience too.