Monday 31 October 2016

Reg checks in at last....

Yes indeedy, with scant regard for the rules of the competition, and with just a paltry 2.75 hours remaining before his Halloween disqualification deadline came into enforcement, Collieston's finest has finally spilled da beanz and declared his current score for 2016.

So he finally leaps from 0.00% to 147 species or 92.02% in real money. A bit off the pace, but you never know what might turn up in the jewel in the crown of north-east scotchland....

All part of the verification process

Yes indeedy, lady luck smiled upon Donmouth's most famous dead tapdancer yesterday as he returned home just as news broke of a possible pied wheatear on his very patch. Which he & others duly verified, thusly...

A reflection of Royzah, yesterday

Reg gets in on the act - photo 731 in a series of 12,345 images
Great bird for the Don, and all the better that Royzah didn't find it, or it would be bye bye Old Snowy for sure!

In other news, Old Spoons found me 9 (count 'em!) brent geese on saturday and a fine woodcock yesterday. Which was nice!

Friday 28 October 2016

ton up

That's me scraped a 100 for the year.

Nothing of note, the best being a lapland bunting.


Happy days


Monday 17 October 2016

Wanstead relocates to east coast

Wanstead is the new Spurn, you read it here first.

- Ortolan Bunting in early September (been busy innit?) was a patch tick for everyone, including for those that called it a Corn Bunting. Luckily my strong work ethic allowed me to come out and verify it.

- Prize-winning alternative to above, a Yellow-browed Warbler did the decent thing and called its head off 2 days after I got off Shetland, naturally I was in the zone, and so can offer the below as proof. Whereas last year's bird wasn't deemed worthy of porcelain tat, this is a clear runner up to the Ortolan Bunting. Wot's the deal with coming first and second?

- Same day as YBW, 15 (count 'em is I believe the required etiquette) White-fronted Geese flew over whilst we were trying to refind the warbler. In the long run these will be rarer I reckon. First, second and third? Ooof.

- Ring Ouzels all over the place but they all count.

Now on 105 which is 94.03%. Still need another 7 species to hit 100% FFS. 6 if you ink in the inevitable Siberian Accentor now.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Old Spoons does the business

Due to parental constraints I was unable to do much on patch this am, so it was up to Old Spoons to find me stuff so I could go and see it this pm. This plan very nearly backfired, as no sooner was he out of his house but he was finding year ticks a-plenty. First he kicked off two lapland buntings, which never came back. This was a bit annoying, but when a 20 minute birding opportunity (tm) came my way mid-morning, I hurried down the track to where they'd been and on the way I flushed this...

A snow bunting, trying not to look blurred and on the huh
This is obviously not being flushed. In fact this was skillfully stalked this afternoon by crawling on my belly up the grassy strip on the top lane. Luckily there was no poo or thistles encountered.

Anyway, I continued on my 20 minute sojourn and bumped into this...

a stoat, standing up
Sadly he wasn't in the sunshine or the shot might have been better, or perhaps not.

So that was that, until the afternoon, when I had to slog round Galley again trying to see this

A ring oozel, nearly anyway. I could photoshop the crescent white, but I haven't
Success! Easy when you know where to look! And I did! Bingo! Another punt for the laps but nae luck, however I did get lucky with a rather fine firecrest loitering in the Dirk Bay fushias, well a couple of them anyway. There's rather too many for my liking down there.

Also scored another couple of flight views of the richard's pipit, from the other day - its still aboot.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

never-ending easterlies

It seems to have been south-east or east winds for just about the whole of October so far, but sadly this hasn't resulted in a whole lot of mig action on Galley. Managed to glean a couple of yellow-browed warblers lately, and yesterday had a very breeef encounter with a red-breasted flycatcher at Shite Lane but apart from that its been pretty dead on patch.

In more exciting news, me and Old Spoons played a blinder last week on a highly successful twitch for this cracker...

the rose-breasted grosbeak, yesterday er last week
Which was nice.

Late edit - 12th Oct - Richards Pipit & Redpoll today - gettin there slowly!

Thursday 6 October 2016

Wading through treacle


That's pretty much how things have been on patch so far this autumn... with feck all in the way of migrants moving through or over, let alone stopping for a rest.

One saving grace was six (count 'em) blackwits winging their way across patch airspace the evening before last.  S - C - O - R - E!

I know, it's just a small flock of godwits -- but waders are scarce on this little sliver of "Fantasy Island". Anything you get is a bonus. And, most importantly, they nudge the annual tally to 98.07%. Yay!

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Been away a while...

It has been an interesting few months, but being in the UK, Greenland and Canada does not add much to the patch list. My return to Singapore has neatly coincided with a burst of autumnal bird activity and the list has been ticking over nicely. 

Among the recent additions has been red-rumped swallow, Pacific (aka fork-tailed) swift and a Siberian blue robin (female or immature). After last year, when the patch was brand new and I had no idea quite what to expect, patterns are beginning to emerge and while the Siberian blue robin was still exciting, it was in one of the spots where I had seen the species last year. Bit like the Bonelli's warbler?!

Off patch, white wagtail has perhaps been the highlight albeit not quite as high as I might have hoped. But apparently the earliest autumn record by about a month. And looming on the horizon is my first Singapore pelagic in a little over a week from now...