As I’m sure you were all on the edge of the seat for the first post of 2013 and its inevitable patch league-iness, I better not tease you any longer. How are things shaping in the first few days? Well the dramatic answer is…. PREDICTABLY.

I’ve hit the patch twice, and have managed a hedonistic 44 species so far (29 birds, 2 mammals, 5 flowering plants, 5 invertebrates, 2 fungi and 1 moss). The highlight so far has been a surprise visit from lesser redpoll and siskin. Also gave identifying some woodlice a go and I managed not to be sick on myself with stress. The same can’t be said for earthworms or glass snails.

James hasn’t provided any figures yet but I know he’s managed to snafu kingfisher and grey seal (got by cheekily throwing a seawatching spot onto his patch). I’ll imagine he’ll have a species of ghost or something insane soon.

I’ve heard nothing from Jess or Stacey yet but I’m imagining they too busy sifting through obscure guides to thrips from the 18th century and organising their spreadsheets.

“BUT ROBERT AND JAMES, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO IDENTIFy THINGS BUT I WANT TO JOIN THE FUN, HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?” I hear you screaming your bedroom/toilet/fridge. Using free online keys and guides is the answer. So here are some that should be helpful.



Lesser Boatmen




Leaf miners


Bit of everything

If any one knows any more then I’d love to know about them. Mosses or lichens would particularly lovely.

The next post should be a round up of 2012 or a review of BBC’s Africa series, which ever strikes my fancy.


Ahoy there!

I was sat at home, minding my own buisiness, when suddenly, somehow, I became aware that Robert had updated the blog. Call it intuition perhaps, or a latent psychic ability. Or that the fact that he text me and told me. Anyway, I have so far managed a grand total of one visit to my patch for a couple of hours on the 1st. I can confirm that so far Robert is indeed romping merrily ahead. So far I have seen 33 birds from the patch (personal highlights being Kingfisher, Oystercatcher, Wigeon and the first ever Lapwing I’ve seen there. Unfortunately, the pair of Water Rails and the Grey Wagtail that had been very reliable in the run up to Christmas seemed to have moved on – as is life, I suppose). Additionally, I have seen 3 mammals (Grey Squirrel, Human and Grey Seal), 1 mollusc (Great Pond Snail) and 1 plant (Hart’s Tongue Fern) – giving me a grand total so far of 38 species. Not far behind Robert, really, and considering I haven’t even started with plants and inverts yet I think I can soon make up the difference. Unfortunately I won’t be back on patch until the 8th, so still plenty of time for all the other leaguers to thrash me into last place.