In 2012, Mark Lewis and Ryan Irvine obtained collectively someplace in deepest darkest Peterborough and thought of the concept of a birding competitors centered on patch-watching. Having a patch has all the time been key a part of birding, however this was a way of bringing that neighborhood collectively right into a format that supplied pleasant rivalry between websites and, much more importantly, competitors with your self.
That concept turned a actuality in 2013 with the launch of Patchwork Problem. I (Peter Williams) joined in that first 12 months at a time once I could not chook additional afield. The problem actually added an additional dimension to my birding and information on my patch simply exterior Keighley, equivalent to Purple-Breasted Merganser and Sanderling, supplied simply as a lot pleasure as most coastal twitches.
Within the years that adopted the variety of entrants grew to ultimately exceed 500, masking all corners of the UK, from Scilly to Shetland. Nonetheless, the workload related to operating the competitors was making it tough to proceed, and the launch of a web site to attempt to assist to fight this didn’t in the long run show to be the answer. Consequently, the competitors tailed off in recent times.
Quick ahead to the autumn of 2022, and through a wholly separate dialog Mark Lewis and James Spencer casually point out that 2023 can be 10 years since its launch, a throwaway remark which resulted in a proposal to relaunch with a revamped version. So, right here we’re right this moment, with presently over 300 birders signed up to participate – and for the primary time it’s going worldwide with a Dutch / Belgian league.
Beneath are eight the reason why it is best to think about coming into Patchwork Problem 2023:
- Specializing in an area patch provides an additional dimension to birding.
- Birding regionally is birding inexperienced. Carbon pleasant birding has by no means been so essential.
- It’s your patch, and subsequently it turns into private. You get to know every space of your patch just like the again of your hand and the lives of the birds that you simply share it with. You additionally get to dream of these that you’d love to seek out in that nook of bushes that you already know will produce a mega in the future.
- Most birders prefer to make lists, and patch-birding loves a listing.
- There’s a nice social media neighborhood on the market on each Fb and Twitter (@patchbirding) which supplies encouragement in addition to with the ability to share your sightings and thrilling patch experiences and luxuriate in these of others.
- Yow will discover your self punching the air in pleasure with #patchgold finds equivalent to a Eurasian Coot. Each patch is completely different and has its personal difficult species that are in any other case widespread all over the place else.
- Your little nook of the birding world can contribute to citizen science by submitting your full lists on BirdTrack or eBird.
- Some pleasant competitors is a superb incentive to get out birding. Many birding friendships have began with Patchwork Problem.
So having whetted your urge for food, what do it is advisable do to enter and how are you going to change into part of the Patch Birding neighborhood? Here’s a fast Q&A to assist.
How does patchwork problem work?
It’s based mostly on the variety of species seen in your patch in a 12 months. Enter your patch into the competitors and begin to chook the hell out of it. Every new species for the 12 months equals factors. There’s a spreadsheet to enter the birds onto which can assist to calculate the factors which vary from one to 5 relying on rarity standing. Bonus factors can be found if you happen to discover a uncommon or scarce chook in your patch. You can be entered right into a league relying on the geographical location of your patch.
What are the principles on what my patch needs to be?
Your patch might be wherever you want as it’s your patch. However for Patchwork Problem it should be a most space of 3km2. It additionally should be one single steady form and never appear like a squashed spider with a number of connecting paths connecting a number of patches. Persevering with with BirdGuides’ #LocalBigYear in 2022, there’s additionally the choice of coming into your patch into the ten km league the place you’ll be able to file all sightings inside a ten km radius.
How can I map my patch?
There may be some actually good software program on the market, simply google ‘map an space’. Google Earth and FreeMapTools are each good choices.
How do I enter?
Patchwork Problem is on Twitter underneath @patchbirding. The pinned tweet has all the information and hyperlinks on learn how to enter and there’s a YouTube video exhibiting you the way too. Alternatively ship an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org in case you are struggling and one of many group can be completely satisfied to assist.
How do I set a goal rating?
Use the scoresheet to enter the birds that you simply assume you will note in your patch within the 12 months. Be bold! The scoresheet will present a factors whole which you’ll be able to enter onto the spreadsheet.
How do I replace my scores by the 12 months and the way do I learn the way I’m doing?
Replace your scoresheet to get the factors whole, after which you’ll be able to replace your rating anytime you want on the rating spreadsheet which is linked on the twitter thread. There are columns to your actuals scores, highlights and bonus factors. League updates can be delivered through our YouTube channel on a month-to-month foundation. Regulate social media for updates!
So there you have got it. The Twitter feed is buzzing with these heady days of early January the place each sighting is a 12 months tick. The passion for native, carbon-friendly birding has by no means been a lot on the forefront of the UK birding scene and possibly it’s time to establish your native patch, be a part of the Patchwork Problem household and discover your personal #patchgold in your 3km2 nook of the world.