With news that Crammy is not keeping a 2012 patch list, and assuming The Guvnor is remaining loyal to N-b-t-S, it looks like the competition is ebbing. I guess the best time to retire is when you're at the top of your game, and assuming Crammy won the 2011 race, and even may have beaten The Guvnor's record, ceasing now is probably about right (despite the fact he's not even 20 yet!!!).
Nonetheless, had a crackin' three-hour stint today and only used a few thimbles of diesel.
First stop was Arcot, with a handful of Greylags over west as I got out the car, and a gull-commotion over the SE corner of the lake, the cause was two very successful Cormorants who pulled a few nice sized fish out (they looked like Roach). The Goosander team was now 11, with four males and seven females.
Off to Plessey Mill Farm and surrounds in search of Yellowhammers (Our Survey Said...). But had a brilliant Buzzard on a telegraph pole:
In the wood added Nuthatch and Dunnock, and saw GSW (F), Blue and Great Tits, Blackbird and Wren. Pheasant, Grey Partridge and Redwing swelled the list too (in the surrounding fields). No Treecreeper yet tho'.
Walking back to the car, a Kestrel was sat in the hedge:
Mallard on the river, but no Dipper, and West Hartford was 'flat', save for a mixed flock of Goldfinch and Siskin.
Beaconhill (path to Arcot) had Golden Plover (11 in their usual field), half a dozen Bullies (fantastic), tits and a Song Thrush.