Panini football stickers have a lot to answer for. In the 1970’s I did not even know what a Partick Thistle was, but I knew it had a centre half who never appeared in the packets I bought and he only became mine after some expensive swaps inside the transfer window of the bus ride to or from school.
Some of these tetrad walks I predict will become a bit like that. Up until now I have gone out and looked and listened and recorded what I saw. And having been around so many streets it is a bit blurry as to what species has been seen in what tetrad. All I knew was that by the end of January Blue Tit was the only species that had been seen in all 25 tetrads. This was different to the lists I inherited from BirdTrack as the only species in all 25 was crow. Bizarrely for some in the East of Newcastle it was only Crow. Hands up who took the time to record Carrion Crow and saw nothing else not even a Feral Pigeon in Wallsend?
Anyway by the end of February this was joined by Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon and Herring Gull.
And now to raise the species total in each tetrad it is feeling a bit like a panini sticker collection, but in a good way. Each new entry raises the tetrad list higher. So by the end of this month I will be looking through the list and thinking what do I need from Walker Park/Cow Gate/Jesmond Dene/Windy Nook. Even the highest scoring tetrads have only achieved 56% of the overal total which now stands at 83.
So I find myself this morning before heading out thinking did I really not see Jackdaw in Newcastle City Centre? Or feral pigeon in Leam lane? Or Dunnock in the centre of Gateshead all of which would take them species to a full set and that tetrad one species higher in this 10km square sized sticker album.