Thursday, 30 December 2010

It's a wrap

That’s it 2010 is over and a new year is about to get started. How did we do? Well in common with most London patches Walthamstow got a good working this year. With petrol prices soon to soar and the traffic getting no better I predict local patching is the new twitching.

Having been spoiled (?) by years of travelling for work, which meant easy access to lots of good birds, I am now working and birding much more locally. I think I am getting used to it, (well the birding not the work) it’s just a case of narrowing ones horizons to where the less exciting becomes exciting due to the local context. If that sounds patronising, sorry, it’s not meant too. Far easier to never twitch than to have to scale it down, probably like Heroin.

I digress, not unusual I hear you say, Walthamstow has had a pretty good year, there are certainly more birders using the place nowadays, and more birds are getting found. This is no doubt a good thing given the development pressure that all urban sites are under.

Walthamstow is one of the larger patches in a London context, nearly as big as Rainham, and, given that it is not on the Thames I think it punches above its weight, definitely Premier Division, to mix my metaphors, albeit at the bottom. We will never be able to compete with the coverage that, for example, Rainham and Beddington get nor the geographical advantage of Crossness or Crayford but I think we do pretty well nonetheless. I don’t think any of the local birders are very interested in competing, from a listing point of view, with other London patches, which is probably the best stance given the odds are not in our favour.

The Dusky Warbler was the only new bird for the patch in 2010, and as it happens also a new bird for London. The patch total, of 149 species* for the year, is probably a record too as, to my knowledge, no one has ever bothered to count the cumulative year list before. Bob Watts said about a year ago that Walthamstow ought to be able to get 150 species in a year, I thought he was wildly optimistic, sorry Bob! Not even mildly optimistic as it turns out.

So for 2011 I think we should set that as our target; 150 species on the patch in a year, oh and another patch list addition too would be good. One last target that I think would be fun is to try and get the first 100 before the end of March (it took till 2nd April 2010).

You may have noticed the blog has had a facelift for 2011 and another feature coming soon will be a micro-site guide. Not quite bush by bush but certainly area by area across the patch, hopefully it will give newer visitors an idea of where to find stuff and me an excuse to post photographs that are not blurry dots of some feathery blob half a mile away.

* 1.Mute Swan, 2.Whooper Swan, 3.Greylag Goose, 4.Canada Goose, 5.Barnacle Goose, 6.Brent Goose, 7.Egyptian Goose, 8.Shelduck, 9.Wigeon, 10.Gadwall, 11.Teal, 12.Mallard, 13.Pintail, 14.Shoveler, 15.Pochard, 16.Tufted Duck, 17.Scaup, 18.Goldeneye, 19.Smew, 20.Red-breasted Merganser, 21.Goosander, 22.Ruddy Duck, 23.Pheasant, 24.Cormorant, 25.Bittern, 26.Little Egret, 27.Grey Heron, 28.Little Grebe, 29.Great Crested Grebe, 30.Slavonian Grebe, 31.Black-necked Grebe, 32.Goshawk, 33.Buzzard, 34.Kestrel, 35.Peregrine, 36.Water Rail, 37.Moorhen, 38.Coot, 39.Oystercatcher, 40.Lapwing, 41.Snipe, 42.Woodcock, 43.Common Sandpiper, 44.Green Sandpiper, 45.Black-headed Gull, 46.Common Gull, 47.Lesser Black-backed Gull, 48.Herring Gull, 49.Yellow-legged Gull, 50.Great Black-backed Gull, 51.Rock Dove, 52.Stock Dove, 53.Woodpigeon, 54.Collared Dove, 55.Ring-necked Parakeet, 56.Little Owl, 57.Kingfisher, 58.Green Woodpecker, 59.Great Spotted Woodpecker, 60.Magpie, 61.Jay, 62.Jackdaw, 63.Carrion Crow, 64.Goldcrest, 65.Blue Tit, 66.Great Tit, 67.Sand Martin, 68.Cetti's Warbler, 69.Long-tailed Tit, 70.Dusky Warbler, 71.Chiffchaff, 72.Wren, 73.Starling, 74.Blackbird, 75.Fieldfare, 76.Song Thrush, 77.Redwing, 78.Mistle Thrush, 79.Robin, 80.Black Redstart, 81.Wheatear, 82.Dunnock, 83.House Sparrow, 84.Grey Wagtail, 85.Pied Wagtail, 86.Meadow Pipit, 87.Chaffinch, 88.Brambling, 89.Greenfinch, 90.Goldfinch, 91.Linnet, 92.Lesser Redpoll, 93.Bullfinch, 94.Yellowhammer, 95.Reed Bunting, 96.Red-legged Partridge, 99.Willow Warbler, 100.Blackcap, 101.Common Scoter, 102.Swallow, 103.Osprey, 104.Sedge Warbler, 105.House Martin, 106.Hooded Crow, 107.Lesser Whitethroat, 108.Whitethroat, 109.Common Tern, 110.Yellow Wagtail, 111.Red Kite, 112.Swift, 113.Tree Pipit, 114.Reed Warbler, 115.Arctic Tern, 116.Skylark, 117.Little Gull, 118.Marsh Harrier, 119.Sandwich Tern, 120.Dunlin, 121.Whinchat, 122.Hobby, 123.Garden Warbler, 124.Little Ringed Plover, 125.Greenshank, 126.Turtle Dove, 127.Ringed Plover, 128.Turnstone, 129.Cuckoo, 130.Redshank, 131.Curlew, 132.Whimbrel, 133.Black Tern, 134.Redstart, 135.Merlin, 136.Spotted Flycatcher, 137.Ring Ouzel, 138.Rock Pipit, 139.Firecrest, 140.Siskin, 141.Short-eared Owl, 142.Mandarin, 143.Stonechat, 144.Water Pipit, 145.Golden Plover, 146.Waxwing, 147. Mediterranean Gull, 148.Shag, 149.White-fronted Goose, (149a. White Wagtail ssp.) (149b. Blue-headed Wagtail ssp.)

PW

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