Patchwork Challenge - Part 1

This year I’ve decided to do the Patchwork Challenge for Langford Lowfields. It’s simple enough – how many birds can I see on and from the reserve. I thought it would be a bit more motivation to visit the reserve more often this year. I also thought that it would provide some neighbourly rivalry for my friend Nick Crouch, who does Patchwork Challenge for Collingham Pits and Besthorpe Nature reserve to the north of Langford Lowfields. See his blog for details of his progress.

One of the rules is to submit sightings onto Birdtrack ( so it’s been good practice of getting into the habit of using this useful and important recording tool.

For more information on the patchwork Challenge see

My personal tally, as of 1st March, is 83 species (Nick is just beating me on 84 species) from 14 visits. Highlights have been:

Bittern – just one sighting after several dusk vigils, but was fortunate to see a bird fly from the northern end of Phase 1 to roost in the reedbed just north of the boardwalk.

Yellow-legged gull – a smart adult bird amongst the gulls that gather on the muddy islands on phase 2 (viewable, albeit a bit distantly, from the new viewing mound).

Smew – pleased to catch up with the two redheads from the new viewing mound.

There’s a few I know I’ve missed from speaking to Jenny and other visitors, and seeing reports from the reserve. These are: whooper swan, pink-footed goose, Egyptian goose, goosander, marsh harrier, merlin, golden plover, ringed plover, black-tailed godwit, curlew, woodcock, tawny owl, and lesser redpoll. I still haven’t seen grey or red-legged partridges. So, at least 96 species have been seen on and near the reserve so far this year (without counting partridges).

After the cold, squally weather on Sunday afternoon, I’m looking forward to spring and the arrival of summer migrants – can’t be long now before the first singing chiffchaff and sand martin.

Species seen:

barn owl, bittern, blackbird, black-headed gull, blue tit, bullfinch, buzzard, Canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, coal tit, common gull, coot, cormorant, dunlin, dunnock, feral pigeon, fieldfare, gadwall, goldcrest, goldeneye, goldfinch, great black-backed gull, great crested grebe, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, green sandpiper, green woodpecker, greenfinch, grey heron , grey wagtail, greylag goose, herring gull, house sparrow, jack snipe, jackdaw, jay, kestrel, kingfisher, lapwing, lesser black-backed gull, linnet, little egret, little grebe, little owl, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, meadow pipit, mistle thrush, moorhen, mute swan, oystercatcher, peregrine, pheasant, pied wagtail, pintail, pochard, redshank, redwing, reed bunting, robin, rook, shelduck, shoveler, skylark, smew, snipe, song thrush, sparrowhawk, starling, stock dove, stonechat, teal, tree sparrow, treecreeper, tufted duck, water rail, wigeon, woodpigeon, wren, yellowhammer and yellow-legged gull.