Thursday, 6 December 2012


I've signed up to Patchwork Challenge. I'm proud of my little patch of Norfolk. Even though it has no open water, no wader scrapes or sea views, it still manages to produce a steady trickle of good birds and even once a mega. It's position 8 miles inland along a river valley for birds to follow probably helps.
Now I just have to set the boundaries enclosing 3 square km. My first thoughts were the boundaries would just form a rough squarish/irregular polygon sort of shape extending out to Haddiscoe Island with my 40 acres (my true patch) in the middle but then I started looking at other entrants patches. They vary from the classic irregular square to blobs joined by narrow lines to complicated patterns with thin tentacles reaching out in all directions to touch upon as many different habitats as possible. I got to work with the mouse on a map and worked out that by doing the latter I could incorporate Hardley Flood (a large open body of water for ducks and grebes) AND Cantley Sugar Beet Factory (lots of wader habitat). This would be great for the "patch" list in overall number of species but then is this really my patch? Although I go to Cantley quite frequently, I've never been to Hardley so no, it's not really my patch at all. MY patch is the area I've birded virtually every day for the last 16 years, even if it is only for the 20 minutes I'm outside feeding the sheep in the morning before work, or glancing out of the bedroom window as I get changed. The irregular polygon wins.

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