Admitting Seppy is right, about anything, is always galling. However, when it comes to the merit of adopting a coastal patch, I have to grudgingly acknowledge he had a point.
Up at The Mall, nothing changed in Autumn. You just bumped into the same old residents, with perhaps an outside chance of stumbling across an errant raptor passing through, or picking up the occasional non-standard duck on the lake. You'd always be up around the same total come year-end, simply because the same birds turned up, year in, year out.
It was all getting a tad dull.
Squince is different. It pulled in a smattering of migrants in spring, and while things had been slow through most of the summer, the onset of autumn had me hoping for new arrivals.
|Just one of the 4 Yellow-browed Warblers giving themselves up around Squince this morning|
A fall of early migs on the West Cork coast in September saw Seppy fill his proverbial boots at Galley, while I was away on holiday. Cavorting around Yell helping him find his Sibe Thrush kept me off patch for another week after I got back. But despite the absences, and a slow start last week, Squince is finally coming up with the goods.
First a fine Lesser Whitethroat kicked off my autumn tally, followed by four (count 'em) Yellow-Browed Warblers, a very welcome Spotted Flycatcher (which I thought I'd missed for the year) and, lo and behold, a treecreeper.
|Spot-fly for the year... get in!|
Add to that a "seemingly good movement" of Skylark over the patch and a small flock of Redpoll, and that's five year ticks over the last couple of days (or full-fat patch ticks, this being my first autumn on the new patch).
A fall of firecrests in West Cork during the week had me scouring goldcrests to no avail -- christ that's tedious. I'm sure there must be one on patch somewhere.
All of which brings the tally to a more respectable 97.54%. Still in fourth -- but not a million miles off the pace now, so all to play for.