Wednesday 29 March 2017

slow start to the spring

its been slow enuff round these parts of late - banged in willow warbler, golden plover and a fine black redstart in the last couple of days but still no wheatear! Whats going on?

Still, back ahead of Bushveld so happy days!

Tuesday 21 March 2017


Well... not really.

Once extremely scarce in this neck of the deforested Irish countryside, buzzards have been pushing steadily south. In fact I now have it on unquestionable authority that they are classed as "regular and increasing".

Seppy dispensing his ornithological wisdom with characteristic generosity and aplomb

 AKA "gank", except of course when they occur on Galley Head.

Still, they all count... so the one I glimpsed circling over a hillside in the middle-distance yesterday afternoon is duly in the bag, nudging me to 63 for the year, or 72.41% in real money.

Roll on the swallows!

Monday 20 March 2017

Spring has sprung

The first wheatear of the year was early by North-east Scotland standards and very nice it was indeed.

Better still... A full fat patch tick in the form a of a collared dove got me punching the air with delight and got me singing Tick-a-dee-doo-dah, tick-a-dee-ay.

Happy days



Singing away this morning. Great work. And more bad news for Basil is, due to a cycle related injury (a small girl cycled into me, taking me out), we'll be working from the recording studio at home for a few days. More ticks to follow.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

He's a **** like that....

There isn't much that will galvanise me into action these days, but news this morning from Seppy that I was slipping down the rankings saw me scrambling to update the blog. The result: devastating news; after tallying my backlog I'd still managed to slip into second place!

Only one thing for it, I thought: a lunchtime pasty up by the lake.

It was a great plan, especially as the tuna and sweetcorn wrap I'd made for lunch had disappeared before 11am. But I digress... what's important in this context is the splendid common gull that was bobbing gently amidst the usual raft of herring and lesser-black-backed gulls. Keen to push on I scanned the rest of the flock, and made a lame, half-arsed attempt to string a ring-billed out of an immature herring gull... but Seppy was having none of it. He's a **** like that.

Still, the "legit" common gull sees me leapfrog the Proclaimers (no mean feat in itself) to reclaim the top spot on a blistering 71.26%.

Bring it!

About choughing time!

Well, it's been a busy while on the home front. On the bird front... not so much.

Cybil-induced renovations mean we've moved out of the house, so I've been living off patch for the last month or so, only getting out to check it sporadically. Nevertheless I've manage to pick up the odd tick here and there... stellar stuff like stonechat (yes!) and most recently chough (finally... FFS!).

All of which keeps me just about in touch with everyone's favourite bespectacled Scotch pop icons at the top of the leaderboard at a dizzy 70.11%.


We won't be back in the house until early May... which is a massive pain in the proverbial. Who knows what might slip through the net during my enforced springtime absence (cue Seppy pointing out that loads of stuff inevitably slips through the net when I'm present)?

Still, at least it means I get to check out a new area this spring... which is nice. And look what I found waiting for me on a small lake near my temporary coastal gaff....

Now trying to work out a legitimate way to trans-locate the pair of them up to Corran Lake so they become tickable.

Monday 6 March 2017


Its been fairly busy on Boghall of late. We've been hard at it and have been reaping the rewards. Recent additions include oystercatcher, lesser black backed gull and house sparrow, Yes, house sparrow. It's a bit of a rarity round these parts. I blame the tree sparrows myself. No doubt Seppy will be asking for a description of it. Oh, and we had another Mediterranean gull on Sunday (see image below). Next stop wheatear.

And so we take top spot with 70%

Med Gulls yesterday