Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Bresser and Forest Optics Best Find - February 2015

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 prize tbc, hopefully next month we will be able to reveal all

February had been a somewhat mixed month weather-wise, starting off with colder than average temperatures before ending the month with them being slightly higher than average. This seems to have had a knock-on effect with the birding world.
The only rare of the month was the Bonaparte's Gull found at Llanelli WWT by Laurie Allnatt, well done that man! Not only finding the bird but getting a decent photo of it as well.

Bonaparte's Gull - Laurie Allnatt

 There were lots of scarce birds during the month, mainly multiple finds of a few species rather than loads of species. 

We'll start with Great White Egrets, or Great Egrets as we are supposed to call them now, 3 patchworkers found  them during the month; Anthony Bentley at his Frampton Marsh/ Frieston RSPB patch in Lincolnshire, also Drew Lyness at UEA in Norfolk and Dave Craven who had 3 birds on his Hale & Pickering Pasture patch in Cornwall. 

Next a couple of Ring-billed Gulls, oddly enough both in Ireland, one at Larne Lough found by Neil Warnock, the other on the Boyne Estuary picked up by Gerald Murray.   

Back to England for Great Grey Shrike, again a couple of birds, one on Benjamin Ward's patch at Aubourn in Lincolnshire and the other giving Matthew Dick the points on his patch in Darley Dale, Derbyshire.

The west of the PWC area had the next multiple sightings, Green-winged Teals for Balivanich in the Outer Hebrides, a nice one for Stuart Taylor and also for Eamonn O'Donnell at his Ninch/Laytown patch in Ireland. Keeping the Western trend going Pete Marsh had Cetti's Warbler on his Heysham and Middleton patch in Lancashire, the first winter record for his area. 
Green-winged Teal - Johnathan Farooqi
Moving across to the East of the map we have a couple of good birds found in Norfolk, starting with Crane for Gary White  at North Walsham/Trimingham and the only Rough-legged Buzzard on patch during February found by Tim Hodge at his Horsey Mill patch.

Mention should go to David McGrath who found a Dusky Warbler on his Marton Mere patch during January, a good winter record. David was late in registering on the challenge so we'll let him off this time. 

As I write March is half over and the first migrants are being picked up on the South coast, can't wait for next month's listings.

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