While flicking through my old copies of the Young Ornithologist's Club's Bird Life magazines (yes, I've still got them, beginning from the Jul-Aug 1977 issue right up to Nov/Dec 1985), the Twitchmeister came across an article entitled 'On My Patch' in the Jan/Feb 1985 magazine. The patch in question was the Whitchurch Canal Nature reserve no less! The piece was penned by Shetland Wildlife impressario, photographer extraordinaire and one time local birding luminary, Hugh Harrop.
Geth was very happy with his respectable patch list of 84 - but he isn't any longer. Much to his chagrin, Hugh's patch list was a mighty 94! There wasn't much detail in the article about what species Hugh had seen on the reserve but it did include Little Owl (which isn't recorded there anymore) and Gethin howled with pain when he read that it also included Red-backed Shrike.
The clinching sentence in the article about the patch was that Hugh "visits it four days a week". That's dedication. The Twitchmeister visits it no more than twice a week (but more often in school holidays), and so he's going to have to up his game to beat Hugh's total. A challenge, he tells me, he's willing to accept. How will he get on? Watch this space!