Monday 31 October 2011

Stop yer ‘grin-ing

At last some movement (in more ways than one) over Boghall. Although it remains the only place in the UK not to have claims of both pallid harrier and pallid swift this autumn, the birding gods delivered 3 fly over crossbills and a peregrine at the weekend. The latter is a full fat patch tick. Not that it makes any difference to the rankings, but it puts a little space between ourselves and the oily T-2006 (for now at least).

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Going nowhere fast

East winds meant an afternoon spent on the coast today. Another yellow browed but it does nothing for may patch list.

Monday 24 October 2011

gettin there

Strugglin on here - finally nailed yellow browed on satday courtesy of "old spoons" and strung a flyover brambling calling (once) this morning so some progress. Looks like i'm fecked for spot fly & reed warbler tho but - oops! Shouldn't have been so slack back in de spring!

Short Eared

South easterlies at last but pretty strong so it's hard work. A couple more added though, short eared owl (2) and brambling to take me to 98.34%. Hopefully summat a bit more interesting out there............

Friday 21 October 2011

Want to see our Dick's?

Finally grabbed something out of all these sibes but a Dick's Pipit is small fry when there's been 2 Bluetails and a Daurian Shrike in the county. Twitched the latter as I've seen 'Isabelline Shrike' before in Kent but wasn't entirely sure if that would be quite the same thing when someone goes and splits them. SE Owl too but it's not great for October. Away at Chessington at the weekend too. In South-easterlies. Hmm, probably will do well to only miss a Crane.

Thursday 20 October 2011

A kick in the nuts

Was out on Galley this am, but not a whole lot to report - indeed, 2 yellowhammers de best of it - good views too! So I thought it would be safe to flake to Mizen to see de Red-eyed Vireo there - Cork tick, like biy!

Vireo duly hoovered, giving great views, when I got a call from Claire "I'm watching a crane circling outside the house" - Arse! The house being 1 hour away from the Vireo. Shortly after, got another call saying "its flown out to sea!"

That's showbusiness, Kevin!

Tuesday 18 October 2011

never enuff!

A fine drake ring ouzel on satday and a flyover golden plover this morning bumps me well clear of Boghall's finest but there's been no sign of yellow browed despite birds to east & west and i'm gonna seriously struggle for missed gank like spot fly & reed warbler if we don't get some more easterlies very soon! And i missed 2 jays on sunday - doh! Not lookin good despite me current 4th place!

Just been lookin at me spreadsheet and discovered i hadn't ticked lesser whitey - result! All is not yet lost...

ahem...or barred warbler - woohoo!

Monday 17 October 2011

'creepering up

Some good birds recently but no additions to the year list until the weekend.

An arse-end view of a ringtail harrier three days after the Pallid was, in all likelihood, the same bird but not seen again. Hen Harrier would still be a patch tick.

Two days later, a viz mig count for two and a quarter hours from dawn produced 13,732 Pinkies outhbound (and 30 confused birds going north). The same count produced patch record viz mig counts for Goldfinch (101), Tree Sparrow (14) and Linnet (630).

More recently, a Bar-wit has been linkering with the Oiks, a Peregrine went south and a Long-tailed Duck has returned.

Far more important, of course, were a female Blackcap up at Millden Links on Saturday (almost annual) and a Treecreeper in the Blackdog Burn sycamores on Sunday (4th record, I think - all at the sycamores).

The year list is 123. Next species puts me over 100% though need two species to overtake Shaky.


Saturday 15 October 2011

Through the 100 barrier

Well it's been a while coming but finally limped through the 100% barrier courtesy of Lap Bunt and my first Sooty Shear since 2007 - second shearwater species of the year (probably too late for Manx now - not seen one since 2008! and not had 3 shearwater species in a year since 2006. Galley Head this is not!)

Gettin closer

Slowly moving towards the magic 100%. Two more added in the last couple of days in the shape of Woodcock and Yellow Browed Warbler, 96.92% now.

Thursday 13 October 2011

see ya bye proclaimers!

Yes indeedy - successfully twitched a barred warbler in Dirk yesterday for a full fat patch tick, and then out again today and bumped into a Galley Mega.... (wait for it) coal tit! Yes, indeed, rarer than yellow browed and my first since the monster year of 2008 (when there was 3!). Also netted buzzard (honest guv) and a fine pied fly - the new feather dna App for Android really payed off for that one!

One small step for me, but a giant leap in front of the proclaimers, at feckin last!

Tuesday 11 October 2011

How I R'oll

Another eight patch ticks over the weekend. By far the 'best' was Redpoll - a full fat patch tick no less although honourable mentions must go to Barnacle goose (miss them some years) and Merlin (only my 3rd on patch).

El Castillo gets Redpolls most years though so I've just been blind until now. Sensors now feasted on such jewels it will be interesing to see if I ever spot them again or lapse back to usual ways.

85.39% with still some rank-rotten common stuff to connect with. No sign of a decent bird for the year yet though. The joys of patch watching.

Monday 10 October 2011

galley update

Been a while! Had a dodgy skulky redstart sp in de garden a couple of weeks back which I'm having as common redstart cos it was keeping to trees (and I've had black red already!). After umpteen blip views of pallid harrier on Shetland, it was no surprise to get a blip view of a harrier from de house the night after I got back - just a hen tho - good one all de same. And finally, twitched a fine juv woodchat shrike on patch on saturday - got me out of the painting - huzzah! Just 1 more year tick needed to shoot past the Prockulator Fiscals!

Have a pic!
A woodchat yesterday

Some shetland snaps over on me other blog here

Tuesday 4 October 2011

You are not alone

No YBW down the Don either. And no Pallid harrier too although I was down there at the time, just neck deep in the Barracks bushes - it could have easily snuck past me down the Royal GC channel.

Another 4 patch ticks anyway since my last update, best being fly-by Pintail and a Lesser whitethroat at the Barracks.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Another cracking patch tick weekend thanks to Paul and Chris doing some proper birding on the Ythan. A text just before 9 on Saturday morning that they had a Pallid Harrier circling over Inch Geck sent me racing out of the flat. However, once I had cleared Aberdeen's traffic, a call to Chris put me in a dilemma of which way to go. The bird had drifted off, maybe going south east (towards the coast) or maybe it had gone back onto the extensive area of harrier habitat on Forvie Moor. Not much of a dilemma though so, with the patch list firmly in mind, I pulled up at Blackdog a couple of minutes later, left the car and scanned north. Within a minute there it was, coming over the rifle range straight towards me and continuing on away to the south. The camera was on crap settings and I didn't have the composure to adjust it in time but, with a bit of imagination, these point and shoot efforts at least show its wopping great collar.

Five folk just off Shetland (including a BBRC member who shares his name with a European country) were scoter scanning from the dunes and also clocked the bird as it went through.

A few other additions - a lone Barnacle Goose south with Pinks on a morning viz miggin session last week and a northbound lone Golden Plover Saturday morning too (both virtually but not quite annual). Redwing on Saturday was a banker whilst today (Sunday) saw the first Short-eared Owl in three years. The Black Scoter remains but I must have been the only birder out today who failed to find a Yellow-browed Warbler.

With four patch ticks this year, the patch list moves on to 187. How long now to the big 200? Year list is 121 which equals 97.84%.