Sunday, 16 February 2020

Another random patch check

Yes indeedy, I notched up a visit to my 5th different patch already this year, with a random spot check at Boghall this very afternoon.

As the proclaimers often proclaim, there were few birds on patch. Although they tried quite hard, they couldn't prevent me from picking out a couple of tree sparrows, which was nice.

Much of the visit revealed feck all, while the proclaimers regaled me with tales of where they regularly find such wonders as chiffchaff and willow warbler.

Ignoring some stonechats, I was quite surprised when the proclaimers proclaimed "stonechat!" quite excitedly. Apparently its good to get them in the fields in January, as they are normally up on the hill later in the year. I was certainly relieved not to have to go anywhere near the hill, so that was a bonus.

All too soon, the spot check was over. All appears to be in order. I could find no evidence of percentage fixing or erroneous claims.

Until the next time!


Thursday, 6 February 2020

2,228 days

After 2,228 days of patch birding at Longhaven ... GREENFINCH!!!

Happy Days


Wednesday, 5 February 2020

January... Dull

Thankfully January is over and done with for another year.  A few visits onto the Longhaven patch produced the usual winter fare.  Best birds of the month were collared dove (annual but scarce) and barn owl, which was enticed into a net one dark night and ringed as was short-eared owl.

The total so far is a modest 37 species (32.86%).

Still, the joys of February to look forward to now!

Happy Days


Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Confused of Boghall

We were delighted to encounter a singing redwing on Sunday. Yes, in a voice far sweeter than ours this thrush did a great job in brightening up a driech day. Top work redwing - my first nomination for the Top Find award.
Other stuff brings us to 48, or 61.53%. Closing on Tintin again.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Take that Tintin

With reed bunting, tawny owl (oh yes, take that Seppy) and a nuthatch (last weekend while repairing a fence), together with padders, we are now back in third place. Who will win in this battle of the Lothian patches?

Friday, 10 January 2020

Roaring into third place

A typically undramatic start to 2020 has pushed Philpstoun up to third in the table (albeit several players yet to post scores). With 50% of last two years total (getting more legitimate!) seen already in 10 days this means that the excitement of adding ticks is already on the wane. Only 355 more days to see another 42 species and I'll be on 100%.  To add to future tedium I've already had two of the best birds I ever see here, waxwing and nuthatch.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

New is the new old!

Happy New Year... same old humdrum.

After a dismal finish at the arse end of the leaderboard in 2019, a flurry of usual suspects in the first week of 2020 (including Jay, which is nice) sees The Mall roaring back to an inevitably temporary sojourn at the top of the table.

The second week is turning out to be predictably shit, on patch at least. Finished 2019 on a paltry 78 species, or just 89.31% -- ooooooof! On the plus side that means I'm chasing a target of 84 species this year, and picking up c.1.2% per species in real money.

Off patch, twitching a Brown Shrike in North Cork with Seppy on two successive days this week (dipped on the first attempt -- NAILED it on the second) was a welcome little January boost. Of course that's a huge chunk of 2020 birding brownie-point credits cashed in early -- but who gives a f**k... it was a Brown Shrike!