I’ve been competing and patching for a year now and am now going into my second year of Patchwork Challenge and loving it! Last year, I went a little quiet during the summer since I went venturing out of the country a lot but this year I have decided to knuckle down and really try this year.
Instead of just patching WWT Llanelli like I did last year, I have given myself a second patch. WWT Llanelli attracts a lot of birders and it’s a little disheartening to constantly hear “Oh you missed this yesterday!” or “Did you see this? ohh never mind..”, instead I’m going to be patching another part of my beloved estuary which is also my WeBS counting site and have recently started to walk it a lot so it was a logical decision.
The new patch is the Coastal Patch which starts from outside the entrance gates to WWT Llanelli, then travels up through some woodland area, it has a wonderful view over the saltmarsh and the little pools and some fence posts, the next view point overlooks a majority of the estuary, about three quarters of the way along there’s a viewpoint for the close part of the estuary and overlooks to Penclawdd, lastly there’s the end of the Coastal path which reaches Loughor Bridge. It’s a lovely route to walk and easily accessable. Note: This isn’t my WeBS bounardies just what I consider my patch, it’s essentially just the coastal path but its full of wildlife!
I visited for the first time since I registered the patch for PWC 2016. Highlights were 10 Goldeneye just lazing on the estuary, good numbers of Great Crested Grebes, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk both made an appearance but a cheeky Spotted Redshank was a beauty to see.
I’ve done three WeBS visits to the site now and the species which feautre on the RAMSAR and what the estuary is known far have always made an appearance. The site gets amazing numbers of Pintail (100+ indv), Brent Geese (100+ more at low tide), and my favourite waders are also featured on the RAMSAR: Oystercatcher (10,000+) and Greenshank (100 or so), the numbers for Oyc on this small estuary are outstanding aswell as the number of Greenshank that the Estuary and Saltmarsh get is just amazing.
So far, after my first visit, I am on 40 points and 33 species. My biggest challenge is going to be finding Passerines and peckers since there are no feeders on this site so no birds coming to you, it’s going to be them turning up whenver. I have managed a few passerines, the more easy to spot ones like Robin, Wren, Greenfinch and Chaffinch but finding some others is going to be tricky. The target I have set myself is to reach 70points, 60 species by December and have atleast one 3pointer bird!
Here’s to many more Patch visits!