At the end of last year I drew up a list of my 2015 patch targets - 77 species that are considered to be absolute nailed-on certainties, with a further 40 species that are deemed to be a lot trickier to record. Those 40 are:

Little Grebe                                                                                               
Little Egret                                                                                                         
Greylag Goose                                         
Red Kite
Marsh Harrier
Red-legged Partridge                              
Water Rail                                
Golden Plover
Common Snipe
Common Sandpiper                               
Mediterranean Gull                                
Yellow-legged Gull                                   
Barn Owl                                                   
Short-eared Owl                                      
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker                
Tree Pipit                                                   
Yellow Wagtail                                          
Black Redstart                                          
Common Redstart                                  
Ring Ouzel                                                        
Grasshopper Warbler                            
Sedge Warbler                                          
Reed Warbler                                                   
Dartford Warbler                                    
Wood Warbler                                                                                         
Spotted Flycatcher                                          
Marsh Tit                                                                          
Common Redpoll                                    
Common Crossbill                                                          
Reed Bunting

Species such as Sedge and Reed Warbler appearing on this list might be surprising, but they are both scarce passage migrants through this largely dry area. I will certainly not record all of these and will just as likely record others that do not appear on this list. Such is the nature of birding, and as a local birding celebrity was once fond of saying, "each year is different".  Three of these - Little Egret, Water Rail and Common Snipe are already bagged. This simple form of birding is strangely liberating!

More of the extended patch - this pond on Walton Heath has a couple of rare plants, a handful of dragonflies but does well to pull in a Moorhen. A few metres away, the recently constructed golf course reservoir (about the size of a football pitch) has little water in it at the moment, with the result that the patches only Little Grebes have deserted. Let's hope the golf club committee decide to fill it up soon!


Warren Baker said…
Shame to see Cuckoo on the ''scarcer'' list :-(
Steve Gale said…
21st century birding there for you Warren­čś¬

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