Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Mid-April Musings

 Indeed and we are nearly halfway through the spring already! And its been pretty quiet at Galley - a trickle of the usual, expected summer migrants but little in the way of anything more exotic.

I've managed to claw me way up to 88 species or 67.69%, which is bang average to be honest. Still a long way to go....

A wheatear, yesterday

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Marching on

 A belated update for March.

eight patch ticks for the month the best being the previously mentioned long-eared owl.

Instead of birding I've been playing around with the spreadsheet to see what make believe stats I can come up with, to encourage me to keep going...

The good news is that eight patch ticks in March is my highest ever March total! contributing a whopping 7% of my annual total.  Which is considerably better than the five year average which is only 2% of my final total.  So things are looking good.

The bad news is that in April I get, on average, 15 patch ticks and so far this year I have none...

Time to either give up or get out more...

Happy days 



Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Spring has sprung (with added snow)

After my last post resulted in gross slanderous accusations from old eight eyes (Remember the dotterel, eh? What have you ever found for me on my patch?) I am pleased to say that the trickle of species has continued meaning I am happily crapping on the Boghall total, long may this continue.  

Summer migs have started to appear, chiffchaff, sand martin, willow warbler and blackcap so far along with loads of passing meadow pipits. Nothing outstanding yet and redshank still the only patch tick this year. Doesn't really matter as long as we stay ahead of the Midlothian muck raker.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Livin' on a prayer

 Thankfully February is now behind us, Spring is just around the corner (Actually spring is another couple of months away really) and the patch is picking up a few birds.  

Best bird over the last few weeks was a long-eared owl in the migrant bushes and the first one I've seen on the patch which hasn't been ringed.

Other, not so quality, patch birds have included the likes of lapwing, oystercatcher, shelduck etc etc. I won't go on but we have to hold on to what we've got.

Patch total now at a whopping 60 species, that is 50% and we're half way there...

Happy days


Sunday, 7 February 2021

Too much too soon? (or Have we shot our wad?)

Perhaps its due to the pandemic and spending more time on my patch rather than going elsewhere to actually see some birds but the start of 2021 has been unprecedented in comparison to previous years. A whopping 67 species have already been seen including one patch tick in the form of a brief visit by a passing redshank (to feed on the one square metre of open water on the frozen flooded fields). Not really any other highlights though a few uncommon species such as brambling, coot and kingfisher have been nice to see. Peregrines are becoming regular and oddly my patch seems (according to recent Bird Reports) the best place in West Lothian to see them. 

Snowy is rightly concerned that we may have peaked far too soon and have well and truly shot our wad. We shall see over the next few months. At least at the moment we are keeping ahead of the Proclaimers on their rival birdless agricultural wasteland.

Monday, 1 February 2021

one month in

 Following three years of record breaking totals my patch average has increased by a whopping 12 species compared to what it was three years ago, making the reclaiming of the mallard a near impossible challenge.

Having said that, the year has started better than ever with a grand total of 44 species (36.67%) recorded on my, almost daily, dog walks.   No real bonus birds, but wintering jack snipe are always welcomed and saves waiting until September.  A mistle thrush on the 19th and snow bunting on the 23rd are probably the best of the bunch and the only two species which haven't been annual.  Everything else has been as expected, including being in last position which is the norm for this time of year.  Luckily still 11 months to go to try and catch up.

Happy Days.


Thursday, 7 January 2021

And the anser is

 white fronted geese - two of them on our patch this lunchtime with a flock of 19 greylags. Boom - first full fat patch tick of the year, and not a bad record for Lothian either. No photos unfortunately as we didn't have scope or camera with us, and they were flushed by the time we'd nipped back to the recording studio for them. That and brambling and tawny owl takes up to 48 species, which is 59.5%