Monday 23 May 2011


A useful one on Friday afternoon - a tystie sitting on the sea, followed by a couple of Arctic terns bombing past. That's my first tystie in almost exactly two years.

spring satday seawatch

A quick seawatch early doors on sat produced puffin, arctic tern and dunlin for de year - sadly no poms tho!

Friday 20 May 2011

Marginally less mediocre

Managed to scrape up a whimbrel yesterday evening. Actually, this was an assist, a birding friend heard it while I was blethering on the phone, and I managed to see it as it flew north past the 'Sloppy Black Dykes'. No, not an over-sentimental lesbian of Afro-Caribbean origin, but the local name for a stretch of the coast.

We had an awkward moment after that, when I admitted to my pal that I didn't notice a white rump on the whimbrel. Not did he. All too late to do anything about, so we'll just cast a veil over that one I think.

Also flushed a couple of grey partridges, which is just as well, because I was feeling guilty about my record from earlier in the year, which I was considering de-ticking on the grounds that it was probably a pheasant.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

moving swiftly on

Ach, we cannae compete wi' that kind o' Mediterranean madness. I'd better declare the swift I had last week (just after Seppy had his).
Otherwise Lothian remains a birdless desert. The best reward for the weekend efforts was some common sandpaper. Ouch.

Monday 16 May 2011


Pics, now there's an idea. Here's one of our rumpers to grip Seppy off just that little bit more...

The mediocrity continues

Well, I added house martin and siwft at the weekend, but in spite of my best attempts, have failed to add a single decent migrant this spring. And with the weather looking set for south-westerlies, this seems unlikely to change. My position in the table is flattering, because Reg and the Bushveldt don't seem to have updated their scores.

errrrr....sorry I'm a bit late...

Well I guess I'd better re-engage with this and declare my score! Spring has ticked along nicely at the ness. (when I've been here....I've spent a lot of time offshore fending off *****-******* ******...all names have been deleted to protect somethingorother)

There's been nothing out of the ordinary, but some nice spring migs such as tree pipit, whinchat, and my first spring reed warbler on patch were very welcome. But enough of all that bobbins. It's the digits you're after and the digits you shall have.

80 species or 62.8%. Right back up there to mid table mediocrity, which is exactly where I belong.

Saturday 14 May 2011

Rumper run

A quite ridiculous run of Red-rumped Swallows here (3 in the space of a week) finally included one that I managed to see on patch and a contender for best find too. After garden-ticking Rough-legged Buzzard in April (my first locally for 10 years) one appeared on patch today too, as did a Red Kite. Tree Pipit, Turtle Dove and Nightingale have also fallen recently.

On the down side I've only got 6 bankers left for the year(!) and not that many 50/50s. A quick calculation suggests that something in the region of 107-108% could be on - which, looking at previous years winners, could put me in contention

Flying visit

After two weeks of being totally neglected, Blackdog would have been well within rights to have presented me with nothing but Eiders today but, no, it welcomed me back with open arms and a Marsh Harrier. A cream-crown, flushed from the burn behind the dunes and dissapearing over towards the Links was a patch 2nd (first was in 2008). Cue dodgy photo of bird dissapearing into distance:

With singing Whitethroat too, I move on to 93 species or 75.2% and am back in a medal position. Back to pipits in Perthshire next week though...


Update at last

Finally I get round to updating my total:
Some of the spring delights so far are Yellow wagtail, Garganey, Garden warbler, Wood Sand, Black Tailed Godwits, Common Sand and Black Redstart. Coal tit was a patch goodie a few weeks ago now.Maybe slow down a little now as winds gone westerly; though quite an influx of commoner waders onto Feu on thursday night...20 ringed Plovers, 8 Dunlin and the Common sand (and includes the wood sand that Bushveld had the next morning).
Otter on Cotehill first thing this morning as well...only my second or third sighting ever on the patch, with the garganey now showing well on Feu pools.
Total is 103, or 64.98%.
I will try to post a little more frequently from now!

a couple of nice ones

Amongst a fair few gap fillers.. including such corkers as lesser black-backed gull and whitethroat, a flighty wood sand at a Feu Farm pools and a fine drake garganey at Meikle shuffles me on to a mighty 62.46%. Not quite leader board stuff but still in the chase...happy days

Thursday 12 May 2011

moving swiftly on

Two swifts over the lake this morning - last gasp before the May slump hits I'd say! See ya in July!

It's all s**te

Tried yet another seawatch, and yet again there was nothing moving. The sum total of migrants during this spell of easterlies has been 1 willow warbler. All the summer migs are logged, bar stuff like swift and house martin. So, don't think I'm going to be challenging for anything this year, except the wooden spoon (if we've got one).

Tuesday 10 May 2011

'ard graft

After a weekend of easterlies and a fair amount of rain produced very little. A tree pipit being the best of a bunch of thin pickings. However this and a few other gap fillers lifts my total to a staggering 58.04% and 6th place; catching Seppy up fast and well ahead of Reg... Happy days

Monday 9 May 2011


....are visits down the patch for the T-2006 this year.

Fleeting forays to the DLNR on Saturday and Sunday saw it move to the heady heights of 49.75% although most ticks were purely of catch-up value.

Best bird so far this year still the glaucous gull from a few weeks back.


Corking stuff

Scored a good patch tick yesterday in the form of Seppy. After 10 mins on ma patch he was all ready to jack in Galley and move to da silent bloody hedges of Midlothian (not). Still, he did get red legged partridge for the year.
Otherwise, a garden warbler on Friday brings me to 84.41. Miles behing Mr Stevens, but at least i have a clear conscience.

Sunday 8 May 2011

Done with Doves!

Just happened to be on patch when some proper birders dug out a turtle dove for me - easy skankin'!

Thursday 5 May 2011

Seawatching bonanza

Some of the best spring seawatching for years has seen me add a plethora of species, a number of which are far from annual e.g. first Arctic Tern since 2009, first GN Diver and Greenshank since 2008, first Slavonian Grebe since 2004, and some notable others e.g. Arctic and Great Skuas, Eider and Little Gull. Also had Hobby and Osprey in off the sea. Little on the land though did add Raven (at last), Corn Bunt and twitched a Garden Warbler this evening. All of which puts me on a quite ridiculous 93.93% and at my highest at this stage since 2006. Beginning to think that maybe it might be my year

Hull's finest

A poor weekend on the patch, but Lothian birding was rescued by a fine shore lark just (well, 40 miles) off the patch at Barns Ness. Closer to the patch, yesterday's bee eater must have been only 3 miles from my patch.
However, none of this counts, unlike Hull's finest indie pop quarter who paid me a visit yesterday. Yes, the first house martin of the year takes me to 83.12 % apparently.

Monday 2 May 2011

Ice Ice baby

A few bit and bobs to update from last week. The best of the bunch was an Iceland gull at the rivermouth ably supported by whitethroat, arctic tern and little tern. Also had the annual collared dove which flew over the back garden on Saturday never to be seen again as is their wont on the Don. All of which takes me rumbling on to 75% .

To cap an interesting week I had a touch of the exotic with a cockatiel being chased for it's life by a gang of gulls on Friday night too and a new set of wasters disturbing what tranquility there remains on the Don in the shape of some BMX'rs who've thoughtfully made a track and a jump through the bushes at the mouth. Lovely.