Monday, 1 June 2020

Unprecedented Times... Desperate Measures

Well, there goes May and what a waste of time that was.  A lack of any migrants has meant that I've done more sea watching this last month than I have in total over the last six years.  Not that it's done me too much good.

The few highlights of the month were actually a couple of full fat patch ticks in the form of a singing grasshopper warbler on the 18th and a 1st summer little gull on the 29th.   A couple of Canada geese on the 17th were only the second record and a great northern diver on the 10th was only the third.

A few waders during the month included a total of five wood sands and similar numbers of ringed plovers, but little else.

But the good news is that all those passerine migrants that haven't turned up yet are still to be had in the autumn and the patch total is still a quite respectable 95 species but is unfortunately a good few percentage points lower than this time last year at 84.37%.

Happy Days


Friday, 22 May 2020

Don't look, don't find

And with all tours cancelled, we have a lot of time to work on new material (lucky you!), and keep an eye on our patch. Last week we had a spotted flycatcher in the garden of the recording studio. We were sat outside strumming away, writing tunes when we picked it up. Then on Wednesday our ears picked up the sound of a calling quail. Second ever for our patch, which was nice (got a message from a mate nearby yesterday telling us he too had one so it might be a good quail year). That and swift takes us to 81 species, or 103.85%. It's going to be a long, long six months now.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Going cuckoo under lockdown

Another full fat patch tick to report from Boghall - a long overdue cuckoo Yes, it should be annual and indeed it is just off our patch, but we've never managed one on the patch. That changed yesterday afternoon. That takes us to 101.28% before the middle of the year. Its going to be a long slog from here on in.

Friday, 8 May 2020


Record shot, almost, of Wryneck on patch today. 94.09% and already ahead of last year. Taking full advantage of a low average after two shit years

Monday, 4 May 2020

Ton up

Yes, jay and grey heron over the past few days have resulted in the magical 100%, or 78 species, being reached at the beginning of may. This reflects the additional effort going into the patch this spring, and does make the next 7 months rather daunting.
But I know that Shakey and Tintin are not far off the pace.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Suppressors Heaven

Thankfully dog walking and daily exercise are still allowed and I've been walking my dogs and taking my daily exercise on my patch almost every morning for the last six years and very isolated place it is to.

The good news is that in these new times it would be very irresponsible to put out any bird news from the patch, unfortunately though there hasn't been anything worth putting the news out for...  But I live in hope...

March and April have been fairly quiet the best of the bunch being a White-fronted goose, of the Greenland, variety in amongst the pinkies on the 12 April being only the second record of the patch (the first being in October 2016).  A trio of black-tailed godwits on the not so great pool the day before are always a good patch bird.

A scattering of summer migrants over the last week brings the total to 76 (67.50%), which is three species fewer than this time last year.  But the weather is looking sweet towards the end of this week so hopefully I'll soon be finding something which I won't be able to tell you about.

Happy days.


Monday, 20 April 2020

more of it

The cold easterlies continued over the weekend, which kept the mig diversity largely limited to willow warblers, wheatears and a smattering of blackcaps.

However, saturday morning was livened up considerably with a cuckoo calling and flying around the gardens at Shite Lane! Checking back in the annals reveals that a whole 8 years have elapsed since my last cuckoo on patch, which was part of the big fall of 1st May 2012, which you can read about here!

Sunday morning was quieter, with no cuckoo, but Old Spoons usefully dug out a grasshopper warbler, which allowed me to stroll down and casually bag it for the year, easy enuff, bringing me over the 70% barrier for the year.

'ear we go! #blurredandonthehuh