Saturday 30 April 2011


Nae migs again this am, but did glean a flyover redpoll - unusual in de spring.

Thursday 28 April 2011

Sorry folks

Despite promising to be too busy atlasing we've had a raging NE blowing so I thought feck that and have done a bit of seawatching instead - expected a few waders would be on the cards but didn't expect a male Monti's to come in off right in front of me. Pom Skua the other highlight amongst the more usual. Garden ticked RL Buzzard too, though that's off patch. 85.71% at this stage is my best since 2006, and I still need Gropper

Reely good

Apparently Groppers are everywhere this spring (can't remember where I read that but was somewhere in last couple of days). Even Blackdog had one last night, reeling away on the banks of the burn alongside the folk course (along the "southern extension" of the patch). Suprisingly just my 2nd Blackdog record and the other was years ago.

Thanks to some posh kids getting married, got the day off tomorrow so here's to a bumper long weekend before I am banished to deepest darkest Perthshire, counting Meadow Pipits (yes really!), for much of May.


john, paul, george and...

on the beach tonight - sorted!

And then double wader bonanza as a knot flew over, in with a bunch of whimbrel. Honest guv! News of the incoming knot was received from Old Spoons a couple of miles away, and after the fly-past we concurred that knot was what it was - patch bonus!

Does anybody care..

....about that house crow in Cobh? Every day someone puts it on Birdguides, and every day I care a little less.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

One good tern....or 15 of them

A bit of catch up last night after some gallivanting. House Martin before I stopped the car, Sedge Warbler before I'd got out and then 3 Wheatears on the rounds. Out to sea, the star turn/tern was a flock (yes a flock no less) of Little Terns - 15 or more, jinking, dipping, fluttering and generally making merry just offshore. Little Terns are almost, but not quite, annual and never before in numbers greater than can be counted on the fingers of a one-handed person. Arctic Tern rounded off proceedings to bring me up to the Joe 90 too (or 72.78%).


Monday 25 April 2011

Come on, come on, do the locustella...

Grasshopper warbler on da patch this morning, which was nice. No dotterel though.

Then I went to Aberlady where I was rewarded with more grasshopper warblers. Nothing else doing though so should have stayed on my patch.

Saturday 23 April 2011

nowt on patch

Nothing new on the patch and indeed I could only manage crippling views of Ireland's first Pallid Harrier early on Satday morning - what a great bird! Pics by Old Spoons here

Not a bird but...

Had an otter this morning, only the 2nd time I've seen one at the Donmouth. Bings of wheatears 30+ and lots of swallows coming through, maybe tomorrow will be the day since I'm going to be in Dundee with Patrick!

Dipping in and out

Nothing to add to the list, but I while reclining in bed this morning with a coffee I was watching a fine dipper. Doesnae count, and not a Slav.

Friday 22 April 2011

Slavering slavs

Been thick haar here all week nothing to see.

But then...

There I was grafting a way on a report that's two weeks over due and a quick glance out the window and the haar had cleared enough to reveal a rather splendid Slav on me loch. And very nice it was to.

A few other odds and sods like 'em my first warbler of the year this morning in the form a willow pushes my total to a grand 52.99%

The winds are looking good for something half decent this weekend so should pick up the pace a bit before Monday.

I'll see yours and raise ya

Stung into action after losing first place, I gave the sea an hour where Little Tern and Common Sand were handy additions, before heading inland and adding Cuckoo. Best get back out there Proccies

Creepin on

Managed to sneak away from work bang on 4 today and meander back through the links and up the river. Highlights were 2 whimbrel over and a house martin and common tern at the river mouth. takes me to 71.44%. Maybe bang into a bee-eater or a purple ron if me luck's in this weekend they seem to be everywhere further sooth.

No that's white I like

It begins with a w, but not as good as a wryneck. Yes, whitethroat today for me. Ma list is on ma PC at work, so not sure what % I am on now, but I'll be having the lead back please Shaky. Its tough at the top.


Had the dubious pleasure of old spoons's company this morning - dead as a doorknob it was, till the flat-footed one conjured up a stock dove out of nowhere - happy days!

Thursday 21 April 2011


Added another 3 or 4 since the last update, nothing of Wryneck quality, just regular bits like Lesser Throat, Merg and Merlin. 79.84% though and back into first

Usual Suspects

Had a good scour around since I got back from da Big Smoke. Pretty productive with 5 more falling; Velvet Scoter, Sand Martin ,Chiffy, Wheatear and Blackcap. So I'm propelled up to 69.34%. Pity those Pintail from Blackdog didn't drift my way they're always a goodie on the Don.

you've got a fat neck, fat neck

Galley came good this morning with a fine wryneck and a corking male whinchat, on the same stretch of wall! Feck all else doing tho, but how bad?

Is anyone else actually doing anything on this blog? or this challenge?

art or arse - you decide!

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Joe 90

A singing whitethroat this morning moves me onto 90 for de year, and the May doldrums are beginning to edge a bit nearer!

A bit more excitement this afternoon in the form of a cracking woodchat shrike and 2 flava wagtails, one of which was a belter of a blue-headed along the road at Ross, and sadly (you'll be delighted to hear) just off patch! Still great to see them though!

Piccies I hear you ask? Bein sur!

sorry - didn't get the wagtail! But I'll be sticking up some piss poor wryneck shots later!

Monday 18 April 2011

seppy may find this difficult to swallow

Ha, Seppy thinks he has put daylight between us, but he was not counting on my laziness in updating da scores on da doors. I've had a bit of a deluge since last I could be bothered to write anything of note on this page. No ozzers, no groppers, no wood warblers to report, but loads of gank. In addition to the rather obvious swallow, there are two noeable bits of news from the patch. There is at least one pair of curlew back in the glen, which is good news considering their fortunes in south Scotland in general. I'll have to get oot there and do a fuller survey to determine actual numbers. The other recent highlight came yesterday while perched on my roof painting our chimney. Much comedy could have come from a slip, but instead it was quip quip, coming from a nuthatch in the wood behind our garden. Second for the patch (first in April 2009). If this is climate change, I look forward to the Cetti's warbler next.

goan yursel

Cashed in 3 easy wans in the form of house martin, manxie & sedgie yesterday, and then knocked in a fine gropper this very am, courtesy of a hyper awake small fella so now defo clear daylight between me and the proclaimers, which can only be a good thing!

Friday 15 April 2011

Pin the tail on th list

A cracking couple of ducks this evening with a pair on Pintail on the sea. A real building block with records in only two or three previous years. What with Yellowhammer and Willow Warbler yesterday too the list marches on to 85 species or 68.73%.

Doggin' opportunities are limited for the next week and a half, though, (look out for Balearic Warbler "just off the patch" after next weekend) so maybe time to slide down the table...


Tuesday 12 April 2011

Nearly halfway there!

Creaking up to a mighty 49% with a fine Osprey over Meikle, flocks of migrating golden plover overhead and the first swallow! Still ahead of Reg but only cos he doesn't join in. Come on Reg, tell us your score...

galley is the new deeside

After yesterday's singing wood warbler, today's quality mig was a tree pipit - all I need now is a wintering great grey shrike and some lekking black grouse and I'll be sorted!

Monday 11 April 2011

welcome back after the break

Perhaps being off-patch for the 1st 10 days of April wasn't the wisest move, however, I've mostly got away with it, nailing Saturday's long staying Wood Warbler this morning (patch tick - phew!), along with swallow and shelduck - all good!

Sunday 10 April 2011

Migrants trickling in

A quieter weekend of doggin' but with Wigeon and Swallow on Saturday and then Sand Martin and Chiffchaff today moving me to the heady heights of 2nd place (until Roy Castle posts an update). Keeping up the pictoral postings, here's a colour-ringed Mipit on the Rifle Range today that seemingly is one of Clive Mackay's from Tayside (unless he gave some rings to Raymond to slap on the ones he was ringing last autumn at Blackdog).


Tuesday 5 April 2011

Wish you were (wheat)ear

No strains of Pink Floyd were to be heard above the howling gale on the patch today, but my buffeting was rewarded with a couple of 'ears at last. Weeks after I had them elsewhere I managed to nail them back on da patch (the time it has been since I last got up the hills certainly explains the delay - too busy doing the Lothian coast for such trivialities).

Monday 4 April 2011

A Touch of the Exotic

Saturday finally brought a proper migrant to Blackdog with several Sandwich Terns offshore. Add in the first Tufted Duck and Velvet Scoter of the year (a drake of each on the sea) and the list was walloping along.

Sunday brought altogether higher quality. After an uneventful walk around Blackdog Links, the Rifle Range and then down through the willow plantation into Blackdog Burn, an evening look out from the dunes revealed two Med Gulls, evidently paired up, cavorted on the beach. Both were in gaudy summer-plumage with one being adult and the other a 2nd-summer. They continued to flaunt their stuff, posturing erotically to each other, chasing Common Gulls and generally larging it in the evening sun. Just recorded previously in 2008 (2 separate birds that year).


Saturday 2 April 2011

Can't touch this - (Yellow)hammer time

Spring seems to have finally hit the Don with a singing willow warbler, a swallow over the garden and 21 sarnie terns on the beach. A couple of yellowhammer put in an appearance too and at last I nailed linnet and reed bunting today, don't know how I've avoided them so far. So I'm on to 65.8%