Monday 29 October 2018

Quantity but no quality

I spent a whole 2 hrs on Saturday morning seawtaching.  This is without doubt the longest seawatch I've done in the last ten years, or more.  However, I was rewarded with a number of patch ticks including  three red-breasted merganser, three long-tailed duck and three adult sum. plum. great northern diver.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't convince myself that there wasn't a white-billed diver amongst them; although I strongly suspect one or two of them were.  Amazingly no Poms either, surely the only place along the east coast that didn't get one.

Still three birds for the year, along with a much later than normal jack snipe this morning.  So that puts me nicely on to 111 species for the year and 106.73%.

Easterlies tomorrow...

Happy days


Thursday 25 October 2018

Taiga on the patch!

Some of Ciaran Cronin's shots of the Taiga Flycatcher at Shite Lane

And a couple of sound recordings from Harry Hussey

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Migrants and blunders

An eventful few days at Galley, with a fly-by, calling richard's pipit last week, a few yellow-browed warblers appearing over the weekend, while on Sunday I nailed my 4th ever great crested grebe on the lake, before bumping into a immature red-breasted type flycatcher at shite lane, which we'll have to come back to later.

What a beauty!
What wasn't so nice was deciding to go on fieldwork the next day, allowing Old Spoons to slip three (count 'em) tree sparrows (full fat patch tick), 2 stock doves (not had stockie on patch for 3 years) and a firecrest past me - Doh! I got back in time for an evening thrash but to no avail. He got photographic evidence of two of the claims so I can't even rubbish em!

Back on patch on Tuesday....

An eared owl sp last night in the dark was inked onto the list as a short-eared owl. After missing a patch tick & 2 good year ticks on Monday, there's no way I'm missing out on another one just because I couldn't actually ID it!

I've updated the leader board for Bushveld, Mr Nimmo, Royzah and moi. Two over the ton already - could be a nail-biting finish!

Thursday 18 October 2018

off-patch japes

Had to go for the Veery on Cape....


Me & Basil also relocated the Scarlet Tanager and caught up with the White-rumped Sandpiper too! A grand day out!

Wonder whats on Galley....

Sunday 14 October 2018

Sunday 7 October 2018

Triple full fat

Been a bit slack, but when I noticed I could be top of the leaderboard I thought I might as well give an update for the year. So last year my only full-fat patch tick came in the form of a Hawfinch, but frankly this felt a bit cheap what with several million of them in the country.

This year however has seen three more (count 'em!) patch ticks. The first was a Great White Egret, also somewhat cheapened by there being gazillions in the south east, but it was still full fat so I ubered it from the studio where I was making yet another ground-breaking comedy series. I made it back in just over an hour and I don't think anyone missed me.

The "Big" bird of the year however was Black-tailed Godwit - I found this myself one morning and it turned me to jelly. Mega. I mean really mega, one confirmed record in the last 15 years of a flyover. This one paraded on the deck like a good 'un for over two hours. Ooof. Also happened to be #150 for the old patch so a bit of a landmark bird.

Finally a long talked-up bird that I predict we will get every year without fail and we never do, a Red-backed Shrike in the hawthorns. I was making a show in Switzerland when it turned up so it could have been a massive grip off, but luckily it stayed the next day and then the next 9 after that. Bloody loads of lame twitchers came visiting and had the temerity to try and talk to me. Anyway, seen YLG, Spotted and Pied flycatchers, Redstart, Sedgie and a jammed Green Sand flyover since then which puts me on a magnificent 97.59% with a good few bankers to come. Need another 4-5 to get to 100%, though, so it will be touch and go.

Who needs migs?

Even with the winds solidly in the west, Bushveld's patch skills have kept things moving on.  First of all there's always the added bonus of checking the list, making sure you've counted everything you've seen.  This brought in two additional species in the form of golden plover and Arctic skua, both seen in the spring and never counted.

Then there's always the scarce 'almost annual' non migrant species and a flyby great spot woodpecker, along with bullfinch and barn owl add another three to the ol' list.

Finally, there's always a bonus bird to be had.  A small flock of long-tailed tits this Saturday were a full fat patch tick.

Six additional species and not a migrant amongst them,   95.19% and counting

Happy days indeed.