Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Bresser & Forest Optics Best Find Competition - Best Bird of 2014

Bresser and Forest Optics very generously donated a pair of Bresser Montana 8.5x45 binoculars as the prize for the best bird found by a patchworker during 2014, as voted for by all Patchwork Challenge participants. 

A total of 12 birds were in the ballot, in alphabetical order they were:

·        American Coot

·        Blyth's Pipit

·        Blyth's Reed Warbler

·        Broad-billed Sandpiper

·        Brunnich's Guillemot

·        Collared Flycatcher

·        Eastern Bonelli's Warbler

·        Franklin's Gull

·        Kentish Plover

·        Myrtle Warbler

·        Pechora Pipit

·        Red-flanked Bluetail. 

There was clear winner with over 60%  of the poll, the other 11 birds all scored almost equally and as such should consider themselves joint second. We think this was a pretty fair result.

Congratulations go to Jonny Holliday who found the Blyth's Pipit on his patch at Pugney's in Yorkshire at the end of the year, not the bird you would expect at a site so far inland. The bird hung around to delight the crowds at the end of 2014 and into early 2015. This will be a first for Yorkshire as the Flamborough bird from 1994 still hasn't been accepted, and is only the 23rd record for the UK.  We hope you enjoy the binoculars Jonny.

The fact that he found the bird at the end of the year should offer hope to everyone, just because someone else finds a good bird early in the year, never give up on your patch as you never know what may turn up.
Blyth's Pipit - Jim Welford

Commiserations to all the others in the poll, each of them worthy birds but I hope you agree that the best bird won.

Now we start on the quest for 2015's best find, there will be a prize for the bird voted the best at the end of the year, as yet we cannot tell you what the prize will be but be assured we'll let you know as soon as it is sorted.

January 2015 best finds

Sadly no megas were found on patch this month.  However a handful of rares did turn up during the month and Scotland was the place to be for most of them.

American Herring Gull - John Bowler
John Bowler, on the Isle of Tiree, found a 12 pointer on his Balephuil patch in the shape of a first winter American Herring Gull

Green-winged Teal - Jonathan Farooqi
Next up a trio of Green-winged Teal - seen right across the UK, firstly Paul Bowerman on his Severn Beach patch, Jonathan Farooqi also scored at Druridge Pools in Northumberland on his very first patchwork outing, and lastly Alastair Forsyth when visiting his Old Nisthouse patch on Orkney found not only Green-winged but also Blue-winged Teal during the course of one walk.

Alastair also had a Gyr Falcon on patch but as it was a dark phase bird and they are popular falconry birds, with many 'hacked' in Scotland, he has put this down as a highlight rather than a point scorer.

There were other raptors found on patch including Hen Harrier in two locations in the Inland North league and three White-tailed Eagles, where else but Western Scotland. 

Can I ask a favour - if you do find a good bird and manage to get photos please email them in to PWC so we can use them for the monthly review, it would save time when composing the reviews. 

The address to use is patchworkchallenge@gmail.com

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