Wednesday 26 September 2012

Paddyfield Warbler 8.9.12 Logie Buchan, Ythan

Thought about time the Paddyfield Warbler got its picture in lights as well, I know off patch, but its only a few miles away..

Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler


Bushveld's revenge..Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler!

I won't steal his thunder too much but suffice to say I had a treat in store after work-
Sorry a bit blurred!

news from reg

the bugger found a little bunting on patch this morning - Arse!

news from Royzah

He's fat, he's round, he's always on the ground - particularly these days after a footballing injury, however he was out yesterday and scored lesser whitey, redstart & 2 (count 'em) jack snipes - redstart from his window no less - skills! He's nearly 90% now...

Saturday 22 September 2012


Jammed a barred warbler pretty much first thing after getting started this morning, That it was not on th patch was a slight shame, but no way I'm staying home in easteries. That said, I've had good vis mig of hirundines and mipits all week (Statto can come count them if he wants). Flushed 70 of the things from a patch of stubble mid week - was just like being in da northern isles. Nothing new for the patch though (unless pinkie is a year tick). More east tomorrow....

Da Procs in frocks.

The east wind doth blow...well nearly

Great day, blue skies, warm and mostly windless...but there were migs to chase. Best of it I suppose were the 2 Yellow-browed Warblers. Found the first in the usual location in the roadside willows, and then South Dons finest payed a flying visit and found a second, despite hobbling around on his injured ankle. Also delivered Yellow Wagtail to me which was nice, and probably in truth bird of the day given how common YB Warblers are becoming.
Other birds in included Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Chiff-Chaff.

Good numbers of Meadow Pipits seemed to be streaming through all long till  North-East Scotland gets its second Pechora, or amazingly its first Red-throated Pipit. Here's hoping.

Friday 21 September 2012

Rosy Pastor a full fat Folkestone tick and brings the 100% up in style. Good to get Seppy out me arse too!

90% there

A fine flock of knot during a seawatch (good for the patch) along with a fly by grey wag push me over the 90% barrier.

With easterlies forecast things should be looking up and we should be getting some long awaited migs.  Only fourteen to go for the ton!

Happy days


Tuesday 18 September 2012

Catching Up

A poor year on the patch this is turning out to be though I've only myself to blame, lacking in application and far too many away days elsewhere. My numbers are updated and I've managed to add two more ticks to the tally in the last two days, A flyover Crossbill yesterday and today a male Bullfinch that I'm guessing classifies as 'gank'.
Obviously being a Yank I'm a little confused by this term gank one's urban dictionary suggests it means 'To steal or take something that does not belong to you' yet this Bullfinch was all mine, there was no one else to see it, hear it and punch the air in feigned delight at another patch year-tick. An alternative offer from a different website suggests the term can be used as a verb as in ' To kill, ambush, or defeat with little effort' Though my personal favourite comes from the Star Wars wiki, apparently Ganks, also known as Gank Killers, were a bloodthirsty, bipedal sentient species. Members of the species usually wore high-tech battle armor from head to foot, so to most non-Ganks, their physical appearance remained unknown. Under the armor, Ganks were hairy and powerful, with yellow, squarish faces and beady eyes. They sported cybernetic implants that allowed them to communicate with one another silently. Ganks were rarely seen alone, as they moved around in packs and worked together to accomplish their aims. They relished opportunities for violent mayhem and massacring others, a joy that only embellished their reputation as bloodthirsty killers.

So I think my Bullfinch lacking the yellow squarish face may technically not be gank. Any views?

Friday 14 September 2012

At last...

Finally get round to updating on Collieston.Some good additions in the last 6 weeks or so since returning from my hols.The extended spell of easterlies in August proved rich with Icterine Warbler and then 2 Juvenile Long-Tailed Skuas flying over my head as I stood in my drive.
A reasonable range of common migrants kept me busy in-between with good numbers of Garden Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat and the odd Lesser Whitethroat and Redstart.
More recently waders have been the main attractions with Ruff and Black-Tailed Godwit all featuring among others.
2 Pectoral Sandpipers circled in over my head on 7.9 as I stood by one of the Feu farm pools, circled a few times  calling in a distinctive low pitched, short growl and dropped onto another , nearby field pool.Bushveld rounded off his Paddyfield weekend(cheers for that one by the way!) by finding a third bird on the same pool.Atmospheric scenery shot just for good measure as well.  Here's hoping for more such interest this weekend...

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Autumnal surge

A few bits and bobs recently puts me on 114 species, just one behind this time last year -  some more-or-less bankers remain and still time for a late run out of the bottom half of the table in this high-scoring year. Highlight was Red-necked Grebe on Saturday - just my second for the patch and coming just two days short of the seventh anniversary of the first.

Then a Greater-pecker this morning was a patch 4th - and second year in succession. With the plantations are getting so big these days maybe it will become a regular - actually there could already be Black Woodies breeding in there now.

And then there's the Feral Pigeon issue - I decided to take a principled hard line this year and not count any that seemed to come from the pigeon loft. Was starting to panic a bit that I might miss out so have counted a couple of birds flying distantly over the old Tarbothill Landfill site - probably as good as any of this year's Peregrine records anyway!

Statto on a roll  (90.48%)

Monday 10 September 2012

Did I mention...

Oh... did I mention

found a paddyfield warbler at the weekend

but alas not on the patch.  A first for NE Scotland can't be bad.

Happy daze


Flex those Pecs

After the ol' bill scored heavily last week with a couple pecs on the patch the birds duly settled in a puddle in the middle of a field just outside the patch.

or so I thought....

Having seen the two pecs yesterday  and, for good measure, found a third one with them I checked out the patch boundaries.  Dusting off an old OS map it was clear that the birds were actually miles inside (well about 100 yards at least) and therefore eminently tickable.  Full Fat Patch Tick.  Sorted.

 I also found a G-spot today so things are looking up.

137 for the year and 88.39%.

well off the pace but who cares

Happy days indeed.


Sunday 9 September 2012

Right up Shaky's arse!

Nowt new on a two hour seawatch (60 sooties tho - not bad!), so was desperately scanning the lake for a year tick when what should pop into view? Only a less-than-annual-and-you-can't-be-counting-on-one-showing-up Wigeon! Fantastic! Two to go for the ton!

Thursday 6 September 2012


five of the buggers - banker duly banked! Three required for the ton, 6 required for new patch high score, 4 months left - piece of piss!

Monday 3 September 2012

Powering on through

A rare Nuthatch, only the fourth I can remember in 8 years, takes me over 100%. Very hard from now on in, I am missing practically nothing expected. Tree Pipit is the obvious one, but they seem pretty thin this year. Brambling, Waxwing and Green Sandpiper are all possible, but all difficult. December on the other hand is always good for heard-only Mealy Redpolls......
I’ve also been thinking long and hard about what to enter for the patch find bit. We don’t really get rarities here, not like coastal spots which get the proper good ‘uns like Daffy Duck. The best I can probably offer is a Jack Snipe, which is mega by virtue of it being the first on the patch since October 1979 - a staggering absence of a third of a century.


Sunday 2 September 2012

Blackdog year-list Mired in Escape Scandel Shock!

Here, far from leaky collections at Pensthorpe or Edinburgh Zoo (you had the Scarlet Ibis on yer patch yet, Proclaimers?) the Blackdog list has been nothing if not pure (excepting a Fife White-tailed Eagle, ahem). This knackered Guillemot was certainly not questioning the credentials of the Peregrine that was helping it to perform a merry jig and some fine breakdance moves.


So imagine my incredulity when the Peg allowed a close approach and revealed a bloody blue falconer's ring. I mean - it wasn't even a dodgy Gyr-like hybrid or something. Surely they just grab wild Peregrines from nests don't they? And it throws the whole year list into turmoil. Is this the same bird I've seen a hunting along the beach a handful of times these last few weeks? Do I need to do some list cleansing? And what about all those dodgy scoter - should I have checked those more closely for rings?

Whinchat and Turnstone (if you can believe their credentials) in last couple of weeks bring the now plastic-polluted list to 109 species (=86.51%).


Kentish seawatching

The amnesty was a handy prompt to update my score following a very useful seawatch last weekend. Ok so there was no Fea's, this being Kent, but Balearic Shearwater and Black Tern are never easy here. Also a Dotterel recently. 99.03%