I am sure that there are many birders who don't share my passion for "patch watching" - each to their own, as long as we are enjoying the birds we see, there can be no right, or wrong, way of doing so. I find myself in the sixteenth year of watching Newland's Farm and still get excited by species which are, at best, very ordinary. The beauty of my situation is that I actually live within the patch, my boundaries are of my own definition and the requirement for any "official" intervention in my records is non-existent.
I've been out, again, this morning and it came as no surprise that there is very little happening. A Chiffchaff has set up (temporary ?) residence at the end of Vine Close and is advertising it's presence by continuous bouts of song. There are two Song Thrushes doing the same - one over in the main farm complex and another over in the gardens of Park Avenue; things are looking up. Still no sign of a Wheatear, or Swallow, as yet but I did manage a little bit of "patch magic" when, yesterday morning provided a flyover Yellowhammer - the first record since autumn 2007. It is amazing how such a simple experience can elevate a day into something special - I was buzzing!
Linnets are now back around the farm, in decent numbers, and I was able to get a half-decent image, of a male perched in the main hedgerow, whilst it's mate was prospecting for a nest site below. An ordinary farm in the middle of Thanet - I live on the eastern edge and work on the western one, what more could I wish for from a patch?
It was always going to happen! Just as I was feeding my birds, prior to leaving for work, the gulls went up and a Red Kite drifted over the garden. I rushed indoors and grabbed my camera, but the bird was already circling over the fields beyond Vine Close, by the time I got back outside - probably 300m away? I rattled off a series of shots - more in hope than expectation. This is the best I managed and is a very heavy crop.