Local Patch

Date: 2014-06-12 11:25:42 | Category: Bird Watching | Author: Neill Hunt
I’m sure that the regular readers of this blog know that I am a mad keen Bird watcher, since the age of 10 (37 years ago) I have been passionate about the hobby. I am passionate about the birds, the habitat, the natural world in general and I’m passionate about my local Patch in Southport that I visit frequently to keep an eye on what is going on ‘Birdwise’.

‘The Patch’ as you may be aware is the site of an old tip, now landscaped, planted up with a good selection of plants, shrubs and trees. It has a good network of paths and a selection of ‘mini habitats’. I have set up feeding stations and keep them stocked throughout the year encouraging many common garden birds to feed and nest near by.

I started watching this particular area about three years ago when it was still being developed and I have now seen approximately 105 species on the site, it is about 3 acres in size so it’s only small and very easy to watch.

One Friday evening, 4 weeks ago, I managed to add another species to the growing list of birds that I have seen here. Now then, remember this is a site which is on the outskirts of a large town (Southport) 20 minutes walk from the town centre, 2 minutes from a huge Tesco, B&Q, Homebase and other retail outlets, there’s a Dobbies Garden Centre in the middle of the site and a main road dissects the site in 2! It’s not ‘out in the wilds’, it is a suburban oasis surrounded on 3 sides by shops and houses and a business park.


Considering its size and location I have had some cracking birds there and last months addition was no exception. Whilst walking my usual route, I stopped to scan an adjacent field and to my surprise, running up and down the furrows of a recently ploughed field were 2 female Dotterels!
Dotterels are waders, beautiful birds, reasonably scarce, enigmatic in their travels and a real surprise find on a local urban patch, fantastic. I managed a few distant photo’s before, (after an hour and a half) they took to the air to presumably carry on with their journey to the breeding grounds in northern Scotland and northern Europe.


Will my patch ever see another Dotterel? I don’t think so, but, as long as I keep going out, there’s bound to be more surprise additions in the future.

What surprise birds have you come across on your local patch? Why not tell us and share your news, it’s all very interesting stuff you know!