Thursday 28 February 2013

Wednesday 27 February 2013

I hate february

Its pretty dull eh? Freezin and nae burds! Did manage common scoter on the weekend so maybe the tedious february doldrums are nearly at an end! Ho hum

Friday 22 February 2013

You saw it here first

Been a quiet few weeks with the February doldrums well and truely set in. Main highlight has been the lingering Bullfinch flock (just one previous site record remember!). And when they have shown better, at least some features on some birds look a bit Northern Bullfinch-like - but so little do I know my Bullfinches that I really am not sure. Anyway, dig this for the first public showing ever, anywhere, of a Blackdog Bullfinch photos (and dig that saw-toothed upper edges to the cover bar).

And as another first ever photo from Blackdog (scraping the "first" category barrel admittedly), a fly-by Goosander (a useful less than annual building block, a rather less useful pic).

Keep 'em coming.....


Thursday 21 February 2013

You're collared

Not flycatcher, but dove. Which along with oystercatcher and redwing were added to da list over da weekend. Not bad as I spent a large part of the weekend either digging the garden or fitting a new tap. Rock and roll. Also had a great leucistic fieldfare in the big flock of c. 200 of the buggers. White head and breast,. It got us going, I can tell you. We've not been so excited since our beloved Hibs won something last centaury, but our super Swaros soon killed the dream. The boys got to hope though.

The celebrations were jaded by am SMS from the low lister Chris in Burnt Island that he had added tree sparrow to his patch list. Well done boyo - keep up the good work

 So with 67.57%, and  the half ton, we re-take the top spot, but for how long?

Friday 15 February 2013

Wanderly Wigeon

Irish frogs are a bit dim.

Cycling around the patch yesterday afternoon I almost rode through a gelatinous mass of frogspawn overflowing from a tiny puddle in the middle of the road. Stoopid frogs!

Frogspawn in the same ditch -- this clump spotted on 09 January
 I shovelled as much as I could into the adjacent ditch where there was lots more frogspawn and where some of my rescued spawn will hopefully hatch to join the perilous and oft-times blatantly cannibalistic world that is froggy kindergarten. Good luck to them.

Fieldfare and redwing still rife around the patch, gorging on ivy berries it looked like. Crawling with goldcrests and coal tits too....

None of which matters, because they're already ticked.

What wasn't already ticked was the drake wigeon pootling about on the far side of the lake, soon joined by a female paddling out of the reeds. Full fat patch tick -- the second in a week. RESULT! Added to the flyover curlew just as darkness fell a few nights back that takes me to 55 for the year or 66.67%, if you're counting.

Still no greenfinch

Amazingly six weeks in and still no greenfinch on the patch.  Normally one of the most common birds around and they've all gone!  Apparently there's a nasty little virus that's not very nice to them.

But on the other hand...

Three garden ticks this month:  Long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser and a couple of smew.  All from the front room.  Saves getting off my fat arse.

These and a long-staying Iceland gull and other bits and bobs put me on a rather lowly 65 species (41.77%).

Still, the weather is fine and there's still a greenfinch  to be had somewhere...

Happy Days


Monday 11 February 2013


Car ticks are playing quite a prominent role on patch this year. Hightailing it off to Barleycove to catch up with the black ducks yesterday, I glanced up just before going off-patch to see a buzzard circling overhead.

A buzzard... on patch... from the car. Phenomenal!

Just to put that last statement into context, buzzards are still scarce enough down here in West Cork, although they have been spreading south in Ireland for some time, and have been slowly moving into the region from further north over recent years.

This is my first on patch in more than a decade here.

And then I hooked up with Seppy and we went off and ticked the black ducks... and while we did actually get out of the car for a closer look, the truth is we could have car-ticked these bad boys too.

More importantly the buzzard takes me back to the top of the table on 64.24%.

Monday 4 February 2013

Taking stock... and anything else I can get....

Slim pickings on patch over recent days, down largely to shite weather (Welcome to West Cork) and general "can't really be arsed"ness. That said a fortuitous jay from the car a while back and a couple of stock doves on a tramp around the north east corner keeps me in touch on 63.03% -- so close I can smell the leader.

Still a bit of gleanable gank left -- like black headed gull and collared dove -- neither of which are as certain on patch as you'd think. Running out of easy options though, and may have to start actually looking for birds beyond the confines of the car and garden soon.


Not much to report over the weekend but a male tufted duck on de lake was new for de year - whoop!