Monday 27 April 2015

I'm back...

After a two month hiatus, it is good to be back on the patch. There have been some changes, not exactly a fall of hoopoes but a change of seasons as some of the non-breeding northerners depart and a few new species creep in.

First, what did I miss? Malayan night heron on the patch was gripping and would have been a life bird but was not well twitched. Perhaps more gripping was a blue-winged pitta seen by my girlfriend and her family. And photographed. Poorly. But all the same.

But of the changes, blue-tailed bee eater has been replaced by blue-throated. Arctic warbler in song was a new one to learn. And a few other odds and sods moves the total onto 81...just reaching 90%. It is getting difficult to see where the next ten are going to come from, but that's half the fun.   

Friday 24 April 2015

A steady(ish) trickle of migs

So the massive influx of hoopoe to Ireland's south coast managed to skirt around the edges of my little patch, with nary an exotic interloper to be found anywhere within the patch boundary (no change there then).

Exotic surprises notwithstanding, the steady arrival of usual suspects like blackcap, sedge warbler, whitethroat and (finally) house martin, augmented by the occasional resident like a calling long-eared owl from the garden a few nights back (outdoor nocturnal teeth-brushing still paying dividends)... march me onwards to a respectable 87.06%.

No gropper yet though... which is a bit of a worry.

Monday 20 April 2015

Hoopoe hoopla

Before Shakey gets in on the act here's me highlight of the patch year so far...

Wahay missis son!
Gleaned sedge warbler tonight too. On the up!

Friday 17 April 2015

Whaup's been happening

Been ages since I updated you all on progress on Boghall, and what a lot you've all missed. Migs are back ('ear, 'cap and 'chaff) and there's been a curlew knocking about. Added bonuses included red legged partridge and mallard, bringing us to a stunning 60 species for the year, or 80.36%. Ooh err missus!

Saturday 11 April 2015

Raptors and patch mig gold

Imagine my surprise when scanning the hill last weekend to see a male hen harrier dancing his merry sky dance. Later the same day I caught him at it again, this time with a female for company.

Saw him for five consecutive days during the week... so fingers crossed. A merlin was another useful year tick gleaned while scanning for harrier shenanigans. All good.

Migs continue to arrive on patch with a singing willow warbler down at the lake last Sunday, and a wheatear this evening. Only my third ever on patch... so a tricky one to get. No sign of any of the rake of hoopoes that have hit the West Cork Coast up here yet, but you never know.

For now that puts me on a healthy 78.82%. Roll on that hoopoe!

Saturday 4 April 2015