Well Patch League 2013 came to an end. It has made me very reflective on its pros and con. The general idea remains sound but having everyone keep separate spreadsheets was a nuisance to say the least. It meant I had to carefully count a lot of cells and put the data across. With this in mind I can now introduce PATCH LEAGUE 2014. With a new super sexy spreadsheet. With formulae that made me break out in a sweat (in contemplation, execution and ecstasy). There are still a few ideas I’d like to implement but the nuts and bolts of it are in working order.

Have a look at the new layout here.

So if you have any interest in joining just email me at robertjaques26 at gmail.com and I’ll make you your special page, with which you can do what you like (as long as you want to input the correct sort of data).

There has also been a few rule changes. No longer will a patch not have to be a nature reserve. A lot of people live near them and put their natural history-themed time into them so it seems churlish to expect people to change that. It’s also very much up to the individual and what they wish to count or not. Plants are a pain and it’s hard to tell whether their origins are human or natural so we’ll leave it to the discretion of the entrant.

Patch League 2013 personal conclusion

I went into the year with predictions. Most of these were dashed against the brick wall that is realism. In spite of this, I have managed to find several delights which I wasn’t expecting. In no particular order these where 1. Little Ringed Plover 2. Water Rail 3. Red Eared Slider 4. Black Darter 5. Eel 6 Great Diving Beetle

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That lump in the middle is definitely a Black Darter

That lump in the middle is definitely an Eel

That lump in the middle is definitely an Eel

Dytiscus marginalus

That lump in the middle is probably a Great Diving Beetle

The latter 3 where all new to me and nearly entirely unexpected. If my research was correct then my Black Darter was only the 2nd record for Hull (although there has probably been unreported sightings).

There was also several notable omissions from the list, Mistle Thrush being the most striking, but Buzzard and Woodcock where both seen in previous years and failed to make an appearance this time around. I also expected Common Blue in spite of never noting one before. The largish patches of Birds-Foot Trefoil apparently aren’t quite enough to entice any in.

Patch League also got my trying IDs out on taxon I might not have previously tried. Springtails and slugs spring to mind. Its also enabled my plant knowledge to grow, with a good chunk of the species I found on patch being entirely new to me at the time. No orchids though (yet).

On that note, PATCH LEAGUE 2014 GO.

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