Thursday 29 May 2014

A raptorous day!

Last Monday I watched a falcon. It was about 600 metres away and it was flying like a hobby, it looked like a hobby and I thought that it probably was a hobby.  But the views weren't great and there's kestrels nesting near to where this hobby was, so I didn't count it.

Today, there was a hobby, it was about 50 metres away, it flew like a hobby, looked like a hobby and was a hobby.  So I ticked it.

Bird of they year so far.

My first sea watch of the year produced the expected Sarnie terns but now't else.  However, two new birds for the year aint so bad.

Now, when deciding upon the patch boundaries, there's an area to the south-west which is largely just fields, but then so is the rest of the patch.  I, for some random reason which I have long since forgotten, decided not to include it in the patch as it was unlikely to get any birds and should the land owner ever find you on his land he was liable to shoot you.  Such is the way of the gentile folk up in this neck of woods.


As I was driving away from the patch a honey buzzard flew past me at about head height and about 20 metres away.  Would have been well and truly on patch if I'd included that left out south-west corner.  Even after the fastest u-turn ever many in the history of  Landy Defenders and top speed back the 500 m onto the patch I couldn't relocate the bird.

but still it was a honey buzzard… which is pretty damn good.

must revisit those boundaries at the end of this year! increased by two.

and frustratingly 66.92% and behind Seppy


Happy days


Alas poor bushveld...

OK spring has generally been pants at Galley but did manage to add sarnie tern, spot fly and blackcap over last weekend so still just ahead of bushy!

Also managed to tick a cracking (unringed) male blue-winged teal the other night - just off patch but ya can't have everything!

Happy days!

Monday 26 May 2014



A storming three species since my last posting with house martin (ok i forgot about them), corn bunting (an increasingly rare bird and not one I'll likely get very often in the future) and a migrant spot fly. pulls me a head of Seppy by a whopping 0.10%.

85 species


Happy days


Wednesday 21 May 2014

What's rockin' at Longahven?

Not much as it happens…

But steady going with new birds each visit.  Today scored with a fine drake gadwall and a less fine greylag.

Last weekend produced bird of the year so far with a blue-headed wagtail skulking around a damp patch and very nice it was to.  Other highlights include a male pied fly at the beginning of the month and a stock dove overhead.

Next two or three weeks are the big ones for migrants and with the winds sniffing around to the east over the next weekend there's sure to be something half-decent… the problem is I've got to find it.

Current tally 82 species, 63.08%

Should pass Seppy over the next couple of weeks!

Happy Days


Tuesday 20 May 2014

May doldrums are looming!

Struggling on here - have added collared dove  and arctic skua in the last week but its been feckin slow! Still plenty gank to get but its looking like I'll have to wait till the autumn for it! Still, at least I'm back in 4th spot ahead of Reg, until he gets round to updating again!


Tuesday 13 May 2014

Jay walking to hear a throaty singer will drive you cuckoo!

A tramp around patch yesterday yielded an unexpected jay on the back road around the lake -- good score for the patch. Then a singing whitethroat sitting on top of a blackthorn tree at the back end of the lake added another year tick to the tally. Bingo!

Then this evening something unexpected happened. I stepped out of the front door for a quick look around from the garden... and heard a cuckoo!

Wowser! That puts me on an unbelievable 92.49% as we head towards the second half of May. Not a bad place to be, all things considered.

Monday 12 May 2014

slow going

Struggling on here - feck all migs to speak of but gleaned bonxie and sarnie tern over the weekend.

Ho hum

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Late night brushing -- the new patch-birding secret weapon!

That little known birding strategy of venturing outside to brush your teeth late at night yielded another patch cracker the other night.

Fly-over call... several times... several birds. Definitely a wader, definitely not the whimbrel I had during another late-night tooth brush session recently. But what could it be (we don't get many waders up here, so you'll forgive me for being a bit rusty on calls)?

Checked through a few likely suspects on the phone and BINGO -- black-tailed godwit. A new bird for the patch taking me to 88.94%.

The latest essential hi-tech patch birding gear!

Monday 5 May 2014

Duck games

So called spring continues to drag by on Boghall. Willow warbler and swallow were misplaced harbingers a couple of weeks ago, while mallard have undergone a population explosion on the patch, and are on every bit of water they can find. But highlight has been the very welcome return of whitethroats - welcome back boys, I've missed ya. All this bring us to a paltry 64, or 68.1% to those who can do maths (that's you Statto).