Tuesday 23 May 2023

Done till the autumn

 Yes indeedy - cashed in reed warbler this am - now breeding on patch and audible from me patio. Result! Also, a fine, flyover, calling ringed plover from my desk as well. 

So now on 96 sp (69.23%) but that's probly me done till the start of July when the seawatching kicks off....

Sunday 14 May 2023

Of (un)known origin

 The appearance of four un-ringed bar-headed geese on patch this week caused a flutter.

Could they be wild?

Luckily Seppy stepped in. Demonstrating his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things avian he provided incontrovertible proof that these four rather handsome wildfowl had indeed originated from far flung eastern lands.  

If proof were needed their arrival coincides with the recent arrival of an un-ringed grey-headed lapwing along the east coast (and briefly the Moray coast), along with an un-ringed drake Baikal teal (associating in a wild sort of fashion with mallard on the Macduff swimming pool) and a fine yellow billed kite down south somewhere. 

All got to be wild.... aren't they.

Below are the results of the extensive scientific study undertaken by Lord Seppy

Grey-headed lapwing (top) v bar-headed goose (bottom).  Showing extensive range overlap.  One is a high altitudinal long-distant migrant the other migrates a bit, mainly around paddyfields.

Case closed ma Lord.

Thursday 11 May 2023

Spring Seawatch

 Yes indeedy - I took full advantage of a short south-westerly blow on sunday pm to get over the wall at Galley and kick off the seawatching. In a short hour I'd added loads of puffins, one arctic skua, two bonxies and best of all, five (count 'em) pomarine skuas, four of which had full cutlery. Which was nice. 

Wednesday 3 May 2023

Long-legged shenanigans bring April to a close

A smattering of returning usual suspects kept the scoreboard ticking ever so slowly northward through April, allowing me to bang in swallow, the two martins, willow warbler and whitethroat among others. But the best of April's efforts were to come late in the month... last Thursday (27th) to be precise.

I was checking the shore of the lake for night herons, as you do, when this black and white thing flew overhead... with legs out back that just kept on going.

Black-winged Stilt -- SCORE. It kept flying out over the lake and I lost it behind some willows, with no way to know where, or if it landed. Still -- a full fat patch tick, and a potential contender for patch find no less. And to think, if Seppy hadn't nagged me to go out I'd have stayed in the office for the afternoon.

After a quick scoot around failing to detect the errant stilt, I gave up and headed down to check the wee lagoon between Blind Harbour and Squince Beach. And lo, there I found two more of the long-legged beauties feeding between the wee islands at the eastern end of the lagoon.

Black-winged Stilts
Lanky wee pink-legged wonders on patch

They even hung around long enough for Seppy to get his slow arse over from Galley the next day to verify them, and obliged by posing for a few shots too. Majik! Especially as Squince has a reputation for being "a bit shit for waders".

With April out of the way, a resplendent Reed Warbler singing its tits off from the north-east corner of the lake yesterday kick-started May's tally, catapulting me temporarily back into the top-spot.


Monday 1 May 2023

April - The Prelude

A steady month with a couple of nice surprises.

A total of 18 patch ticks, made up with regulars and the first summer migrants.

A hooded crow on the 20th was only a second for the patch, following one last year. But bird of the month and, so far, bird of the year was a fine Taiga Bean Goose first seen on 28th and still present, was also a second for the patch with one previously on 11 April 2018.  Although not comparable with Galley's Night Heron and it is only a goose, but it is still a very fine patch bird.

77 for the year, 64.01% pushes me gently up the leader board.

Happy Days