Friday, 31 July 2020

Ton up

Scraped past a 100 species this week, with a bonxie during a sea watch.  

All very quiet on the patch, but a cuckoo hanging around the quarry for a few days was a full fat patch tick and is the only highlight during a long spell of nothingness.  

Just need 24 species to match last years total, which isn't going to happen.  But the autumn is almost upon us and I still live in hope that it will be a cracker.

Happy days.

Bushveld.


Thursday, 23 July 2020

Holidays in the sun


Yesterday evening had a Mediterranean feel to it on my our patch. Third record for the patch and the first for this year. No sangria though.



A gull yesterday (moulting from first summer into second winter plumage.) 


A flock of crossbills flew over recently too, chip chipping into the distance. All this sums to 84 species, which translates into 107.7%

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Off-patch japes

Two full fat lifers in a week but neither of em on patch - disgraceful behaviour but just happened to be in the area for the first one, and just happened to have to go for the second! Luckily I managed pants photos of both birds for your delectation!

A Pacific Golden Plover last week


A Brown Booby earlier, before it was taken into care
That'll probly do me on the tick front for a while! Did manage Common Sandpiper from the majik patio the other night so autumn is upon us at last!

Monday, 15 June 2020

When T2006 strikes....

After years if not decades of almost full dormancy, the T2006 (for it is er, it), has finally landed a big wan on its own patch. Whilst barrelling along the western perambulatory corridor of the Bridge of Don at near terminal velocity, whilst lasering unaware pedestrians, its internal voice recognition software assimilated strands of a putative Blyth's Reed Warbler from the central island of the River Don, below the bridge.

At almost the same time, other circuits on board this frankly awesome piece of electronic tin-cannery, were placing repeated voice calls to a certain dead tap dancer who resides close by, who was at this time feverishly clutching the controller of his gaming device in his pudgy fists, determined to slot yet another virtual goal past the vanquished losers on his virtual fifa champions league final and emerge victorious, blissfully unaware of the brown bonanza nestled only metres away from his fat ass on the sofa. or something.

Eventually, after celebrating winning the final with the usual shirt-over-head, arms-windmilling-furiously, cat-scattering jubilation, Big Royzah (for it is he) remembered to have a look at his phone, where he saw the 9 missed calls from the T2006, and reached for his bins.

With the bigs guns assembled, it was only a matter of time before the afore-mentioned Blyth's Reed was fully assimilated, grilled, nailed, and papped by the gathering masses. The rest is, as they say, is history, and Old (ahem, New) Snowy could be winging his way back norf after two years resting on Seppy's mantelpiece - we shall indeed see.

Here's a snap of a snap of a snap that someone else took of what is presumed to be the Don bird....

A blyth's reed warbler, yesterday (Thanks to the photographer for the photo)
As if to add insult to injury, the T2006 further upped the stakes this very morning, by claiming that its digital circuits have also recorded wigeon, greylag goose, arctic tern and cuckoo of late. Frankly outrageous!

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

Bushveld




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.