Dave Spratt

From Londonbirders

I am relatively new to birding (2 years keeping records and year listing). I have always “watched” birds but never recorded this. When I my early teens I spent a lot of time on Brownsea Island (Poole Harbour) doing conservation work and Birding. All serious activity then stopped for about 20 years (you know the story). I then moved to Waltham Cross and settled down with family etc (my patch for 2006, Mid lea Valley, is a short walk from my home). The birding gene was up-regulated again while taking my young kids over to Bowyers Water to feed the ducks where on various occasions I spied the odd duck (I always took a small pair of bins) which was a little odd. When I eventaully looked these upin my ancient Collins they turned out to be Gadwall, Smew and Goldeneye – all of which were new to me and really cool. This along with the now legendary Bitterns was the catalyst for what I am doing now.

I don’t have an impressive life list (actually it’s unimpressive) although I try to get out and about (Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk) a few times a year. I have never listed my patch although I spend a lot of time on it. The competition seemed a great opportunity to get me out and about more and perhaps do something useful (and enjoyable). Although “my patch” may be Premier League in 2007 I feel relegation a real prospect (I’ll need to attract some talent in the transfer window!).

2006 PatchList Competition, Mid Lea Valley (species shown in order seen)

1. Wood Pigeon

2. Blackbird

3. Magpie

4. Starling

5. Collared Dove

6. Black Headed Gull

7. Carrion Crow

8. House sparrow

9. Robin

10. Blue tit

11. Chaffinch

12. Dunnock

13. LBB Gull

14. Moorhen

15. Mallard

16. Tufted Duck

17. Coot

18. Mute Swan

19. Wigeon

20. Gadwall

21. Canada Goose

22. Great Tit

23. Goldfinch

24. Great Crested Grebe

25. Greenfinch

26. Green Woodpecker

27. Shoveler

28. Fieldfare

29. Lapwing

30. Wren

31. Cormorant

32. Sparrowhawk

33. Teal

34. Smew

35. Long-Tailed tit

36. Pochard

37. Golden eye

38. Grey Heron

39. Golden plover

40. Snipe

41. Siskin

42. Kingfisher

43. Little Grebe

44. Greylag

45. Mediterranean Gull

46. Common Gull

47. Herring Gull

48. Song Thrush

49. Jay

50. Lesser redpoll

51. Pheasant

52. Reed Bunting

53. Mistle Thrush

54. Great Spotted Woodpecker

55. Redwing

56. Pintail

57. Buzzard

58. Grey Wagtail

59. Chiffchaff

60. Willow Warbler

61. Sand Martin

62. Swallow

63. Blackcap

64. Redshank

65. Jackdaw

66. Little ringed Plover

67. Shelduck

68. Kestrel

69. Skylark

70. Garden Warbler

71. Whitethroat

72. Little Egret

73. House Martin

74. Sedge Warbler

75. Cuckoo

76. Ruddy Duck

77. Lesser Whitethroat

78. Nightingale

79. Common Tern

80. Wood Sandpiper

81. Grey Partridge

82. Goldcrest

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