Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Train it!

130 miles to Bristol the other day added a few to my greater patch while today I am going to expand the patch to all modes of transport - and that includes a trip to Manchester on the train...same rules tho, no optics but I'm hopeful for a couple of additions.

My local patch (daily commute) has kicked off well with a green woodpecker - only my second in 4 years on this trip!

Just home after the first time on anything other than South West trains...it was like another world - smooth ride, nice chairs, radio, even plugs to recharge your phone! Going to London from here is like the 70's! Beautiful snowy fields - I don't think I had appreciated how cold it is up country - very!!! Flippin freezing! Not many new birds fort patch - sparrow hawk I will get anyway but moorhen was quite a good one ( don't see many of them on the M5)...but still no waxwing this year.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Drivin' it

With the Axe birding community diversifying rapidly on the concept of patch lists (by bike, foot, camera, set the target first etc) I felt I had to join in. If I am able I will do 3 lists for the year;
1. My local patch which will be my daily commute from just north of Axminster to Honiton. This passes the delights of a small rocky stream (where I had Dipper in 2012 from the car), a crossing over the Axe, some lovely beech woods and finally great vistas across East Devon. My target for this...40? Is that possible?
2. My extended patch which is everything I see from my car as I travel the length and breadth of this country doing my job. The A303, M5 and others see too much of me and do this could make things better. Did my first 320 miles yesterday towards London & Surrey and immediately faced the dilemma - do I count birds at service stations? No even though the patch Trekkers are scoping birds miles off their walk-it patch, I will stay true to the road (and no optics!!!)
3. Last my lunchtime list - always fun and ever expanding, never wrote up the Black Grouse, Dotterel, SB Dowitcher (right before it left) in 2012 so will try and be more diligent this year.
So where are we at?
1. It's still basically dark on my daily commute so haven't started that one
2. Surrey saw me amazed at just how many jackdaws, magpie and wood pigs there are in this country. Also scored Mute Swan, Cormorant and a lucky Green Woodpecker to give me a total of 16 sp. on that trip.
3. Zip, been all work so far.
Brum Brum the new foot it!