Friday, 9 January 2015

You've Got to See Linnet to Win It

Patch birding is a bit of a lottery, and the chance of getting all the numbers is infinitesimally small, but I am getting quite close now. After today’s foray the combined patch yearlist is on 71 species and I’ve seen 66 of them, I don’t need to tell you that’s 92.9627%.
The usual dilemma confronted me this morning; Reservoirs vs. Marsh. The wind was the decider and I plumped for the soft option and headed over to the Riding Stables, in actual fact the wind was quite mild and probably wouldn’t have been a problem on the reservoirs.
The Little Egret that thinks it’s a Cattle (should that be Horse?) Egret is still plodding around in the front paddock, also there were a few Redwings and a Fieldfare. Winter Thrushes definitely outnumbered by Mistle Thrushes and Song Thrushes at the moment.
I bumped into Neil V, hopefully a more regular visitor, who had just had what I wanted....., Linnets. Without further ado I scooted up to the back paddocks and, there they were, about 30, possibly more, there were a similar number of Chaffinches too, not a bad number for the patch and certainly worth keeping an eye on as they could easily attract something more exciting.
Unless anyone can think of something I’ve forgotten that means all 71 species known to be present have now been seen by someone on the patch. Of course as that wise old birder Ronald Dumsfeld once said “as we know, there are known known’s; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns ....the ones we don't know we don't know”.
I saw Neil again on the Waterworks but that was pretty much all I did see, though a heard only Reed Bunting still counts. Just need five more numbers to hit the jackpot.

PW @birdingprof


  1. 71 is great! Are Stonechats normally so present this time of year? Don't seem to remember this much the last two Winters. GH

  2. They're back to normal (about half a dozen) after a few bad years PW