Thursday, 27 August 2009

A rummage round the past

The safari hasn’t been out safari-ing since the weekend but after following Warren’s escapades for a while I asked him if he could supply some photos of his daily walk round his patch. Which he has very kindly done. Reading his (almost) daily reports got me to thinking here was a serious patch worker had he ever heard of the magazine/pamphlet for birders such as himself – cunningly entitled Patchwork. I was under the impression it came out in the early 90s but on asking the Rangers to track down our copies if they still had them it transpires that it was issued much later; in 1998 in fact – but jeez that’s still over a decade ago, when I was still in my 30s.
I don’t think there ever was a Volume 2 and we don’t quite have a full set. Does anyone remember the publication? Did you subscribe? Did you contribute? Does any one still have their copies? If so have you got the full set?

One of the Rangers, who was then a volunteer, and myself both had articles printed, mine (about ducks) even got a response…ooohhh. I have scanned them but our machine saves them as pdf files and don't seem to be able to add them to the post - anyone know if it's possible?
I think it was published as the antithesis of the glossy birding magazines which were prevalent at the time (maybe they still are – I don’t know), and which I contributed to too, whose main focus seemed to be garden birds and twitching…again something I was known to do from time to time 50,000+ miles in 2 years in Lada estate!!! All four countries of the UK in less than 24 hours etc etc. Thankfully my carbon footprint is a little smaller now despite the replacement of the Lada with a Land Rover. Anyway there seemed to be a gap in the market for dedicated birders who trawled away on their own patch without much recognition in the glossies.
So there you have it – all there is to know about Patchwork. My patch now is either the park of a couple of acres and pretty crap for birds other than the regular garden species - one day I'll find a biggy in there, it should be possible I'm there early doors in all weathers and it is the highest as well as being one of the most wooded parts of town - and/or 30 or so square miles of ‘empty’ sea that I regularly stare at- seem to miss all the good stuff that flies up and down the coast - Sooty Shearwater last week and Surf Scoter last winter spring to mind – now why doesn’t someone build an island just in range of my 10x42 Swazzers.
Where to next? Milestone birthday tomorrow (½ a hundred!). So won’t be out ‘n’ about for a day or two until…well it’s going to be a safari with a bit of a difference so you’ll have to wait and see…unless someone has organised a ‘surprise’ something or other and I can’t activate the planned safari…the plot thickens…anyway whatever happens I’ll be back in a coupla days.
In the meantime let us know how big your outback patch is and what there is lurking in it.

In the twilight of my 40s I'll leave you with a lovely Blackpool sunset picture...bye for now. Well it does have Black Headed Gull in it, what more do you want the bird flying more aesthetically pleasingly into the picture rather than out of it? The spot at 4o'clock from the sun is another BHG not dust on the lens this time!


Monika said...

Great stuff as usual Dave. As far as the scanned pdfs go, you should be able to open them in whatever program you use to open images and then save them as jpgs, I think.

As far as patch sizes go, I'm technically limited to the front porch of the houseboat and what I can see of the marina from there! I usually include all the docks and the scrub around the staircase up to the street when talking about my "yard", but it only takes me about five minutes to slowly walk the whole thing. So far, using this larger definition of a yard, I've recorded 29 species here this year.

Monika said...

Oh, I forgot to say Happy Birthday!!

Warren Baker said...

thanks again for the 'patchwork' stuff Dave.
Now get out on your patch and find us a rare one ( with a photo:-) )