Monday 28 April 2014

3rd, how dare you!

Been a bit remiss, and whilst I've not been patch-twitching (lowest of the low lows) I've been picking up a few bits and pieces mostly on my daily commute to the studio. The latest being a crafty commuting Yellow Wag from the 308 Bus Stop. It arrived before the bus did. Probably got to wherever it was going before the sodding bus did as well.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Its mostly foggy here

(Shamed by Seppy into action)
During a haar cloaked 5 days, a few brighter periods resulted in a range of migrants being seen ranging from Brambling to Lesser Whitethroat on a number of occasions. Ring Ouzel was unsurprising yesterday. All good for the year. Best was to come today when once the sun came out a smattering of good stuff was revealed including more Lesser Whitey's, a Black Redstart and a glorious Hawfinch which I was got onto when a local told me of the the strange bird in their garden. Very community spirited round here. Funny that I have seen all my 3 Collieston Hawfinch's through someone else's window..the last two through Cotehill's finest.
Total for the year now 108, or 64.58%
Here's a picture...

Hawfinch, Collieston 

Friday 25 April 2014

"Marshy Reedy Bit" strikes again

I went back to the marshy reedy bit again earlier in the week looking for sedge and grasshopper warblers. No sign of the groppers, but there was a sedge warbler in singing away. Thank you very much.

As I was leaving I thought I heard a reed warbler singing. A bit of patience and it showed itself... brilliant! Full patch tick!

A visit back to the same spot yesterday morning yielded a particularly confiding grasshopper warbler. Then last night I popped outside at around quarter-to-one to brush my teeth... as you do... and bingo -- whimbrel calling overhead -- another patch tick.

Then this afternoon I had the first house martin of the year over the lake.

So, not a bad week, considering my patch is crap for migrants.

Brings the tally of 87.75%. 

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Spring? not 'ere yet

So the winds are from the east and it's spring time.  One would have thought that this would bring a few nice summer migrants through Longhaven, but alas not.

A few visits to the patch over the last few days has produced few birds.  Some swallows and sand martins and couple of wheatears holding territories are the only sign that it's not winter.

Best of the bunch being a raven this evening.

Total now at 62

And still no warblers…

Happy Days.


Monday 21 April 2014

duck season

Despite it being spring, there's feck all proper migs at Galley but did net these two today (not the little egret!)

Fool's (patch) Gold!
4th ever gadwall record & 2nd ever shoveler (for me) - Oooof!

Thursday 17 April 2014

A small bit of black and some white gold!

Well, unbelievably things are still turning up slowly but surely. A wander down to the marshy reedy bit (technical habitat term here in West Cork) on patch in search of sedge and grasshopper warblers the other evening proved fruitless (any day now though, I can feel it), but there was a male blackcap singing his little guts out from the top of a rangy willow tree... kerching!

Then this morning I was scanning from the front garden with the bins when I clocked a skein of about a dozen birds over the big hill that dominates the northern aspect of our view. Too far away to ID with bins... dived inside for the scope... but by the time I got back out they'd dipped below the ridgeline and disappeared... ARRRGGGGHHHH!

Undaunted I scanned west towards the dip where the lake is. We can't actually see the lake from the house, more's the pity, but I can see the airspace above and around the lake, which can be very handy. A lone white bird rose into view. Ninety-nine percent of the time a flash of white breaking the skyline around here is a gull. But this had a distinctly herony look about it.

Little egret... kerching! Only my third ever on patch and a tricky bird here.

All of which takes me to a respectable 80.64% for the year -- and it's still only April. Happy days!

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Hunting for the hidden gems of Lothian

Well don't look in Boghall, that's for sure..

I lost my data, so it has been a while since I updated you all on the patch, but I have located the fiel again and I can report that I'm on 59 species, or 62.8%. This includes some nice migs in the past couple of weeks - chiffchaff and blackcap from the garden, and wheatear back on the hill where they breed every year. In addition to these bankers I had a good run at the weekend which produced red legged part ridge, peregrination falcon and raven. Then I got back to my garden to find a stonking common redpoll feeding on the feeder. It was so white I had to look twice at it. That would have been a good find, but it was clearly not from the far north.
So back on track, albeit the road to nowhere.

Da Procs.

Monday 7 April 2014

Drip feed migration

Painfully slow on patch but a few of the early "usual suspects" on the spring mig front are keeping things ticking over. A singing willow warbler (most obliging), the first swallow of the "summer", and a sand martin past the front garden yesterday -- which added to the dipper from a couple of weeks ago that I forgot to mention takes my tally to 78.26%.

Still ahead, amazingly, but always dodgy to pin down migs on this little inland patch... so expecting to be reeled in rapidly over the coming weeks. Ho hum!

Onwards and... well, onwards anyway....

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Longhaven is CRAP

It's official…

Longhaven is CRAP.

there's three black redstarts in the region and not one at Longhaven.  A couple of redwings and a puffin don't add up to much.

Oh well,  may be next time

Happy days