Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Monday, 28 January 2013
Thursday, 24 January 2013
|A long-tailed duck yesterday|
Cute eh? Only me 2nd in Cork I think - rare bird on the south coast and all that! First patch tick of the year, but hopefully not the last. I too am currently doing better than last year - 10 species better in fact! And last year was a record year!
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Monday, 21 January 2013
Too cold for patio birding but four patch ticks all from the house.
A mediocre 57 species, 36.63%
Still no reed bunting though.
Sunday, 20 January 2013
Local residents recognizing i'm not getting any younger have been most kind over the Christmas period leaving both a mattress and a rather fetching leather armchair at key locations on the patch presumably in the knowledge that I may need to take a rest occasionally. I am eternally grateful and will ensure they are thanked in my next Oscar speech.
I have moved myself into the third spot in the table on the basis my name starts with a K which comes before S in the alphabet.
And then, not to be outdone, the patio duly provided this afternoon, in the form of a kingfisher sitting around in the sun! Another tricky species at Galley, and one I probably only get every two years, so all in all, a most productive day!
Over the 50% barrier too - good goin for January! And ahead of the proccies and in 3rd - even better!
Saturday, 19 January 2013
Scanning the scenery from the garden this morning bagged me a peregrine going hell for leather, seemingly in a hurry to be somewhere else. Also had lovely views of a soon-to-be mummy fox not far from home (must remember to lock up the chickens early from now on) as I tramped around the patch in search of the aforementioned "dead cert" reed bunting.
Fieldfare practically vermin proportions -- at least 8 million on patch at the moment, outnumbering the redwing about 10 to one. Literally couldn't lift the bins without clocking at least a dozen of the blighters. Bloody foreigners!
Reed bunting though was proving a tad more elusive.
A sudden squeeling from a nearby reed bed was good news though; either someone was surreptitiously slaughtering baby pigs, or I had water rail on patch... and several of them. Reed bunting duly gave itself up too, bringing up the magic half-century, and taking me to 60.61%.
Happy days! Almost made up for having to power wash the patio when I got home!
Friday, 18 January 2013
Had more or less given up on patch year ticks today when a Kestrel from the car on the way home from Skibbereen this afternoon added to the tally. Great stuff this patch birding. Keeps me within a dead-cert reed bunting of the top spot. Will have to go thrash a bit of boggy scrub in the morning.
57.49%, and my latest Fieldfare EVER - by 17 days funnily enough....
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
A dismal weekend patch wise and a slow start to the third week sees me surging into the lead. Well, OK, stumbling inadvertently to the front then....
Didn't think I'd get out on the patch at all today, but an opportune trip to the post office gave me the chance to take a detour around the far side of the patch to the lake on the way home. Nothing new... just a couple of cormorants and the ubiquitous teal. Out of luck I headed for home and nearly took out a female sprawk as it hurtled across the road after a song thrush. A dipper on the little stream added to the tally... both without having to get out of the car. Bonus!
That's 47 for the year... or more importantly 55.76%... nudging me in front for the first time. It's quite a nice place to be... guess I'd best savour it while it lasts, which inevitably won't be long.
Sprawk photo is from last year in the garden... but enough of a tenuous link with this post to use it I think.
Monday, 14 January 2013
Sunday, 13 January 2013
Friday, 11 January 2013
No patch birding per-se been going on the last few days... but that doesn't mean there hasn't been progress.
Well, progress of a fashion, but hey, they all count. A lesser redpoll at the peanuts this morning and a small flock of linnet overhead keeps things ticking over and keeps me within 1% of the top spot on 52.12%.
Off patch all day tomorrow though... anything could happen! And probably won't.
Thursday, 10 January 2013
To kick off a short-eared owl on a fence post, followed by another, then another... These were followed by a fine drake goosander, pintail and pair of whooper swans all on Cotehill. Not sure what the outcome of the phone conf was but four nice patch ticks made it.
So after ten days the patch total goes on to 52 species and 33.42%. Somewhere mid-table.
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
First day of sunshine for 2013, so used my New Year Resolution to be more active as an excuse to take the bike for a spin around the patch. Dipped on dipper at Cononnagh for the second day running, nothing new along the river, no raptors hanging out at the little disused quarry, flat calm and empty lake.
It was all looking a bit desperate until the squeeky front brakes flushed a male pheasant out of some scrub. I knew lack of maintenance on that bike was the way to go. Ganky game bird it may well be, but that pheasant takes me to 42 for the year and up to 50.90%, just 0.3% off the top spot. Oooohhhhh!
Sunday, 6 January 2013
The Blackdog patch list is growing with an exponential function. Look at that r-squared value - can't argue with that now. So although the golden Mallard might not be flying my way soon, running the model forward, the 200th species will come in 2014 and, by 2018, I'll be topping 220.