Wednesday 26 June 2013

Anyone seen a snowy owl

It's now past mid-summers day and the nights are drawing in but still no sign of that snowy owl...

You would have thought that with a name like Statto he would know a year only has 365 days in it.  But apparently not and having claimed the prize back in 2011 he's decided it warrants a second year.

Anyway, I've been keeping busy and even built a whole new fireplace just hoping for the day that a snowy owl might stop by...

The couple of stock doves last week won't keep the snowy owl but adds one more to the year list.

Happy days


Thursday 13 June 2013

Moving swiftly on....

Sitting outside enjoying an evening beer in the uncharacteristic West Cork sunshine last week when "BOOM!"... three (1... 2... 3...) swifts hurtled overhead.

Breaking the 90% barrier with 90.91%... but frustratingly STILL in third spot.

Seppy keeps telling me I need to get out more... I'm beginning to think he may be right.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Otter have known

Probably time that we two minstrels stopped our idle strumming and brought you up to date. No, not a new album, but happenings on Boghall after a week on Shetland:
Garden warbler brings the list to 69, or 93.24%. Top of the heap.
Oystercatcher chicks running around waiting to be predated by the local foxes
And best of all, yesterday evening, otter in the burn in the garden. Not a bird, but a cracking garden tick (although not as good as Bushy's recent run I grant you). perhaps it was after the goosander.

Happy birding,

Craig and Charlie

Raptors @ Cotehill

After the Monty's last week, a (long overdue) sparrowhawk, (another) Mash harrier and a (first) honey buzzard were all seen from the garden.   The honey buzzard was a full fat north-east Scotland tick, garden tick and best of all patch tick.

Some other non-raptor species for the year include a fine adult pec sand and 'thunbergi' yellow wagtail both at Miekle Loch, a stonechat, hooded crow and a couple of canada geese!  (They all count).

This little haul of patch ticks puts me on 81.62%; 127 for the year.   That's a whole five species more than this time last year!

Happy Days


Tuesday 4 June 2013

A good hobby this birding lark!

It had been dismally quiet on patch for what seemed an age... then, as tends to be the way, it all kicked off at once. Well -- if you can call three year-ticks "kicking off" -- it certainly felt like it after the dearth of activity.

First an overdue whitethroat which turned up yards from home after pounding the patch for hours (typical).

Then the next day I heard the swallows making a commotion, dived out the office door bins in hand to be greeted by a 2CY hobby coming straight at me, going hell for leather. It passed overhead -- only about 20 feet up -- and was gone. Great... if brief... views. Class bird!

Finally, one of my favourite spring migrants... probably because I can identify with its tendency to be late all the time... a spotted flycatcher turned up in next door's hedge.

Those three take me to 74 for the year -- or 89.70% -- STILL languishing in third place.....

Other news: I discovered that I can actually see a narrow sliver of sea from one elevated corner of the patch . It's a long way off, so not sure I'll be able to nail anything at that distance... even with the super duper Meopta S2 scope... but it does introduce some tantalising possibilities.

Monday 3 June 2013

another trio

A ring-tail Montagu's harrier flew past my house yesterday...  that was nice.

My bird of the year so far.

This is the third one from the garden in the last four years!  A quite remarkable set of records seeing that  Monty's are a bit of a rare up here.  (I must admit that I didn't see the last one.  I was sitting in an airport lounge as my wife watched one from the kitchen window).  

A stunning male summer plumaged snow bunting last Wednesday was extraordinarily late and a pair of corn buntings cling on in the patch.  Once common, but now down to the last pair.  

Three in this last week put me on to a tidy 119 for the year and 76.48%.  

Happy Days