Tuesday 29 October 2013

firecrest for 100 up!

Old father spoons worked his magic this am with a fine firecrest in Dirk, which I managed to track down this pm, putting me smack bang on 100% for the year, and into bonus time! Couldn't find his long-tailed tits tho, the bugger!!

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Boom! Its all over!

FFS! Just been stupid enuff to force Reg into checking his scores for 2013 - he's only gone and smashed his best year ever on patch! 173 shagging species! For a whopping 109.15% So there goes the mallard and the snowy owl too, most like! Bugger!

"It's been a good year" he says....

Sunday 20 October 2013

It's getting congested in the middle of the table

I had a good weekend for a change. A morning walk produced a nice lesser whitethroat and a couple of blackcaps in one of the heugh-top gardens, and a barnacle goose flying over with pinkies. Then in the afternoon, while cleaning out my bird feeders, I could hear the unmistakable 'tsi-leet' down at England Farm. Surely a yellow-browed warbler? Surely not judging by Portlethen being the only place in Britain without a yellow-brow during earlier falls. Bugger me, it was, and another blackcap at the farm as well. Neither were there this morning, so looks like new birds were arriving in the afternoon. Oh, and I'll have that yellow-brow on me garden list, thank you.

Bird scaring double-whammy

Dirty tricks at play at the Costa del Landfill conspiring to devoid the patch of birds. First, last year's plastic Peregrine shows up again, scattering everything from the south end of the patch, and snaffling a juvvie Common Gull...

 My, what a big bulging crop you've got...

And then, bloody Michellin Man in a spacesuit and IRA-style balaclava at the north end.

Still, a few final certs and a bonus fly-over Yellow Wag (2nd for the patch) bring the total to an underwhelming 122 (=94.57%).


Wednesday 16 October 2013

This patch is a dive!

There's a little elevated patch on the farmland behind the house where, on a good day, I can see a thin sliver of the Atlantic in the "V" between two hills. It's 4.5 miles away... but hey, it had to be worth a punt right?

I finally lugged the scope up there on a clear, cold morning last week.

After looking for a while to get my eye in I managed to bag gannet -- little (as in far away) white birds wheeling on mass, plunging towards the water and making a splash that caught the sunlight.


This shot was digiscoped on-patch with my mobile phone hand-held to the scope eyepiece (ahem!), honest guv'nor!

Important thing is gannet puts me at 96.97% -- still moving in the right direction, and falling behind more sedately than I'd expected, given the time of year. It's also such an epic tick for this little patch of mine that I've added it as an "honorouble mention" to the "best finds" list.

a ybw at last!

Old Father Spoons was down Dirk before me this am but sadly his young fella started to kick off so it was home for an early bath for him! This left me ample time to stroll down & steal a fine yellow-browed warbler from him - perfect really!

A quick stats update - ybw is 142 for the year, which is my 2nd highest total ever, after 149 in 2012 and 141 in 2010. 145 should be reasonably gettable I'd say with gank like pochard, scaup & goldeneye still to come, with any luck!

Tuesday 15 October 2013

news from Royzah

Yes indeedy - everyone's favourite (dead) trumpet-playing tap dancing twat has been out in the field yet again, this time netting a fine lesser whitethroat and also a kwality ring ouzel!! He even passed on his score & everything! Aymayzing!

Sunday 13 October 2013

there's another one!

Had to commute to de patch from Btown today but it was worth it as I gleaned a fine ringtail hen harrier for me troubles - normally only 1 or 2 records per year, almost all in autumn so well-timed!

A quick peruse of whats left available, and it is technically possible to hit a new record of 150 (9 species required, but need nowt rarer than yellow-browed warbler to do this) - however, even if such a mammoth achievement was er achieved, this would only leave me on 104.90%, so lookin unlikely to be able to claim the top spot this year, especially if Reg continues his meteoric form. Oh yes, Mr Nimmo, don't be restin up there thinkin you're home & hosed - Reg has a good few he ain't declared since el shrike browno I think so he's the one to beat!

Saturday 12 October 2013


Two ouzels for me today was about it - not 140 of 'em that has been published elsewhere - Kapwing!


Friday 11 October 2013


A fine whopper swan this afternoon on the lake was indeed a year tick - huzzah! Gettin up there!

A whopper swan earlier

Sunday 6 October 2013

Knot giving up just yet!

Quite a good run of it this last week. Red Backed Shrike and Wryneck on Galley last Wednesday were both Irish ticks, followed by a Serin on Friday for another tick and a Black Tern on Kilkeran Lake today for yet another.

All good... but none of which helps my on-patch tally one iota.

As luck would have it though a fly by flock of a dozen or so knot this evening does. First time on patch... and the second patch-tick wader of the autumn.

Puts me on 95.76% -- and, crucially, still in touch with Seppy in the Irish patch race!

more scores

Friday was a good day - spotted a juv black tern from the lunch table, and then Old Father Spoons pulled a marsh harrier out of the bag - he's a love eh? Marvellous! Here's a photo for Royzah as he's still only seen 1 black tern ever ever ever

A black tern yesterday [Copyright Old Spoons]
ya mite as well have one of de marsh harrier too eh?

A marsh harrier yesterday [Copyright Old Spoons]

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Ah yes,the redstart...

Well prompted chief! Today we saw a redstart at galley - it was nice. i licked it.

This wasn't it

you got a fat neck, fat neck

Forgot about the wheatear

Slip-sliding down the rankings, as expected with migs hopping all over the coastal patches. Just back from birding Galley with Seppy -- lovely red backed shrike, 2 wryneck, 2 whinchat a redstart, a curious looking reed warbler and piles of wheatears hopping about all over the place.

Which reminds me -- finally had wheatear on patch a couple of weeks ago. I'd practically given up on them when there it was... hopping around the edge of a freshly ploughed field with a mob of meadow pippits.

78 species... 94.55%... back up to fourth, and first of the Irish patches... at least until Seppy gets around to inputting his redstart.