Thursday 26 February 2015


Thought I would get that one in before someone else.

And before flying out tonight, that left just enough time for a cheeky rummage through the patch that came up with not one, but two (count 'em) Siberian blue robins. A female, and an immature male, which is fortunate as an adult male would no doubt have led to instant disqualification. Here's the female...

Meanwhile, as I prepare to leave and contemplate the things I will miss while away, I saw an advert for this event:

The Prodigy, and Fatboy Slim. In Singapore. Possibly the biggest dip of the year. 


Wednesday 25 February 2015


a bunch of golden plovers flying aboot was a welcome year tick for me, bringin me over the near-mythical 50% barrier innit

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Golden moment

Minding my own business on a brief skive in the back garden (as you do) when I clocked six (count 'em) golden plover booting about in the middle distance.

Waders are always welcome up here in "inland-ville" -- and despite the fact I've had goldies up here the last three years in a row they are by no means guaranteed.

What's better is the fact that they put me back in front... and with Singapore Sling off patch for a couple of months too -- so time to glean one or two more methinks.

Oh the joys!

Monday 23 February 2015

Gong xi fa cai

Chinese New Year is a pretty big deal here. It's now the year of the goat (or ram, something gets lost in translation). And it is a favourite time for firestarting, with some big firework displays. But ultimately I am confused about whether I should start my year list now?

The pitta is still on patch and now coming down to mealworms...otherwise the patch has been a little quiet with little egret and common sandpiper (first shorebird for me on the patch!) both counting the same as the pitta in the final calculation. Hmmm.

I have also been 'off patch' to successfully twitch blue-winged pitta and orange-headed thrush. Which was nice. But things will slow up from now for a couple of months as I have to go to work...

Friday 20 February 2015

Signs of spring

Among the recent happening at Boghall, the highlight is without doubt the return of the oystercatchers to the patch for the summer. But the joy associated with their return is always short lived as they do make such a bloody racket. How are we to record new material with that noise in the background.

Oh, also had a pitta on my patch earlier this week:

Image result for pitta bread

Friday 13 February 2015

Excited. Very excited.

Far too excited to take a good image with my 'phone through the trusty old Leicas. So this is the result. But who cares? Hooded pitta on the patch. Sweet. Etc.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Hot under the collar

Minding my own business in the office this morning when a quick sconce out the window gleaned me a collared dove. Effortless year-tickage... my favourite kind!

Whilst adding the collared dove to the spreadsh highly sophisticated propietary monitoring tool I use to keep my patch tally I found I'd accidentally forgotten to factor in the water rail earlier in the month.

With the data analysis and number crunching done that puts me on a whopping 69.41% -- still a whisker behind the Singapore Sling.

Parp Toot Blare

Never one to blow his own trumpet, so to speak, it is up to me to bring you news from the boy Royzah (for it is he). Yes indeedy, he's been out a-gleaning, and while still smarting from having recently removed from his patch the stretch of river where the harlequin is currently frequenting, he has allegedly managed to see kingfisher, iceland gull, great spotted woodpecker and even stock dove! 

Ooooof indeed!

Tuesday 10 February 2015

None more black

Just happened to be in the area of Glenbeigh again yesterday so it would have been rude not to have another crack off the black scoter innit. Award winning record shots below:


Oooooof again!

Monday 9 February 2015


Booted a snipe from a ditch at the weekend. I reckon the ditch has issues (cartography joke). Had a nuthatch just off the patch (Seppy tells me it was probably Corsican nuthatch, and that if I followed the normal brown envelope procedure he could make sure it gets accepted). And great jackdaw and rook action at the roost adjacent to my patch. Hundreds of 'em. 47 or 62.9%

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Big Lens Barry

Nowt special to report but got a new (to me) 400mm lens today so you'll all be able to be amayzed at my rapid improvements in the photography line!

Behold, i'm the new Nimmo!

House sparrow

Snow bunting

Zebra finch

Boat-tailed Grackles
So there you have it! Very little signs of improvement in skill level but what do you expect?

[EDIT - here's an american robin from today]

American Robin

Monday 2 February 2015

Spoons and splitting hares.

It's been a while since we reported goings on on Boghall. Mainly because we have been touring in Myanmar (ie Burma). The venue turned into a mud bath (well, it was a massive estuary), but we were playing to tens of thousands of waders every day. Black wits, sandplovers, broad billed sands, long toes stints, red necked stints etc. With the odd spoon billed sandpiper cheering us on from the royal box. We noted a fair few nice leaf warblers out there too, including some kwality 2-barred greenish action. But none of this counts to the Golden mallard. But what does matter to him is the collared dove, wagtails, and pink feeted geese that I've added to the patch list. Big numbers of meadow pipits (a change from the recent red throateds) moving about too. But nothing to rival my find of the year so far - a mountain hare which is the first I've ever seen on my patch, and the first in the broader area for 30 odd years. 46 species or 61.61%


Not sure where they have been all month, but both yellow bittern and black-crowned night heron put in a late appearance on the same visit. Add to this a couple of passerines that fall into the "to be expected" category (unless you are birding Girdle Ness in which case ashy tailorbird would be a shock) and the patch is going strong as the new month starts.

Sunday 1 February 2015

Stock taking from the front garden

A quick sconce from the front garden this morning earned a brace of stock doves... KERCHING! First year tick for February, right outside the front door.

Added to a flurry of late January additions, including dabchick, chough, chiffchaff and stonking views (yes views) of a water-rail, that takes me to a grand total of 57 species... or 67.06% if you're counting.

Which I am... naturally.

Had what I'm sure was a distant hen harrier over the hill as I cycled home from checking the unproductive lake this afternoon. Couldn't get enough on it with bins to rule out other (much less likely) options like Monty, marsh or pallid. Booted home to scope the hillside from the garden, but alas the bird was gone.

It will be back though. Unless a farmer shoots it!

Roll on spring :-).