Tuesday 14 May 2024

Quail hello there!

 Yes indeedy, I managed to bumble into a full-fat patch tick last thursday in the form of a quail that the Hound of Destiny kindly flushed. Which was nice. Sadly, Old Spoons also managed to verify/validate it later on cos I stupidly gave him too precise directions. Ah well. Karma and that eh?

No photos but here's a snap of a whitethroat and a sedge warbler from the patch last weekend instead...

A sedge warbler, yesterday

Er a whitethroat, yesterday also

Anyway, that along with a few other bits and bobs such as common sandpaper and whitethroat moves me on up (as it were) to a bang average 95 species for the year, which is pretty much exactly where I should be as the May doldrums settle over the patch for the "summer". Checking the percentage scores, I see I've dropped in just ahead of Bushveld in the league table - sweet!

See you back here on the 1st July for the start of the seawatching season....

Thursday 2 May 2024

Springing ahead... ish

May rolled around yesterday, and the welcome addition of Whitethroat elevated me to a healthy 88.56% on the leaderboard. Majik!

Spring brought with it a smattering of the usual migratory suspects, including the hirundines, the common warblers (here's looking at you Willow, Blackcap and Sedgie) and a couple of handy Groppers. Wheatears finally put in an appearance in late April, and a couple of Sarnie Turns off the wee headland at Tra an Oilean were most welcome.

Other notables included a couple of SEOs on patch in April, and a fine Yellow-legged Gull in amongst the large gulls at the Blind Harbour roost.

One of two (count 'em) SEOs on patch in April

Undisputed bird of the spring on patch... and one of the birds of spring for the whole of County Cork, according to our infamous local birding TD (the Irish version of an MP), was the fabuloud Red-rumped Swallow duly highlighted by Seppy in this post (thank you kindly sir). Seppy twitching birds on my patch is the ultimate form of validation, and is rapidly becoming something of a habit. Long may it last.

Here are a couple of shit record shots of it, just because...

Look at the red rump on that wee fecker!

Apart from the swallow, it's been a quiet spring on the rarities front, with nothing much out of the ordinary turning up anywhere. And it will be June soon... roll on the summer doldrums *sigh*.


Wednesday 1 May 2024

Playing catch up

 With such a slow start to the year and being well behind on my average by the end of March, things could only get better, as they say.

April is usually a frustrating month up here, with Spring not quite sprung and winter clinging on but not delivering.  This year winter did cling on as usual but April certainly did deliver, A total of 34 patch ticks over the course of the month; easily a record total for the month.  Obviously many were birds typically scored in March and 18 of them were 100% 'ers, i.e. get seen every year, so don't really count for much.  However a few nice extras included a scattering of migrants at the end of the month, with ring ouzel and redstart being the best of the picks.  The two goosander on the 8th were only the third records for the patch.

Bird of the month though was the 1st winter Glauc sat in a field on the 4th April, being only the second record for the patch.

Which puts me nicely on 82 species and a much improved 66.31%.

Happy days


Tuesday 30 April 2024

Reid it and weep

 For we are back! We had a mechanical with the server that runs the recording studio in 2023 that meant we lost our lists and our next couple of albums. The latter was a shame as they were by far and away our best work (think OK Computer meets Bizarro with elements of 4AD releases). Anyway, we are back and up and running. This weekend topped up the list nicely with northern wheatear, ring ouzel and Eurasian curlew all added to the list. These gems brought us to a whopping 68 for the year. As we are chasing 86, this translates into 79.07%. Come on.

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Big Up Basil

 Yes indeedy, there's still not much happening at Galley. A trickle of common migs in the last few days, with sedge warbler, house martin, sandwich tern and blackcap all gleaned, but not a lot else.

Things got so bad that I was forced to go and validate Basil's red-rumped swallow that he found at Squinse, and has steadfastly refused to document here so far. This is fine though, as I get to showcase my amazeballs pics thusly:

A red-rumped swallow yester, er last week, er ages ago

Proof of life, as Basil has a bit of a history with wild swallow claims....

Friday 5 April 2024

Slow spring

 Yes indeedy, the spring has been that slow so far that even the Golden Mallard has shown no signs of migrating! Oops!

I have gleaned the odd year tick here and there tho, including a few common migs such as chiffchaff, willow warbler and wheatear, which was nice. A tystie down dirk brought a certain Stevie G to mind, while an adult iceland gull in the next door field was seasonally expected. More recently, I just happened to be lookin oot the window at a fortuitous moment to catch a fine shelduck go by, thusly...

A shelduck yesterday

Things finally picked up a bit this am when I stumbled across a load of slightly out of date but still perfectly edible cans of beans and a tasty pasta sause which had obviously all just come in on these freshening southerlies....

Just fresh in, by the looks of it

So there you have it - thats me up to date till the next biggie shows up...

Sunday 24 March 2024

Oh, so, so slow

 Nearly the end of March and my first posting of the year and it really isn't worth it.  With a tally of 47 species and at 38.01%, 2024 has been my slowest start to a year ever, with all previous years having scored in excess of 50 species by this time. Little grebe in February is the only notable species being the third year for this species and the first time they've not been in the autumn.  All other species are pretty much 100% ers.

The first summer mig of the year appeared today in the form of a rather nice chiffy flitting around a hedge and brought hope of better birding days ahead.

Happy Days