Sunday, January 4, 2015

Patchwork Challenge 2015.

At the onset of last year ( 2014) I had every intention in contributing to an ever growing trend in birding, that of systematically  "working a regular patch". This is increasing in popularity and I can do no better than refer you to the website which gives all the details about the project, how to join the rules and so on. See

As it was I got diverted, didn't even know whether I would be on Islay for any serious length of time so I set the idea aside. I've now resurrected it and have registered a "patch",    SW Islay.

Mainly because of fuel prices, at least until very recently, many people no longer travel around for birds as much as previous and, instead , have taken to intensively working their own patch of choice. This gave rise to the idea of the Patchwork Challenge.  Basically you submit details on  a monthly basis of the species seen within your favourite birdwatching patch, each particular species earns point and you end up with your name in lights or needing to try harder!!.

It's slightly more complicated than that , of course, but it provides an opportunity to make birding fun with an accompanying motivating factor built in. The size of your chosen area is limited to 3 km.squares in extent but the configuration of your area can be your choice.The whole idea is linked to having somewhere nearby to home where you can grab a period of time on  a regular basis and , hopefully, ensure you're not missing too much of what is occurring.

There are lots  of nice little features to this project. Sponsorship has, for example, ensured that the overall combined total of species seen ( 340 in 2014 ) has resulted in a donation of the same amount to the BTO's House Martin tracking project.  Additionally, if you see a "new" species for the year it can be added to the Patchwork Challenge BuBo list.  

Take a look and have a try!

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