Tuesday 29 August 2023

Royzah's Return

 Finally, after much hounding, Royzah (for it is he) has calculated his 2023 patch percentage to date. Sadly its ahead of mine, so that plan backfired somewhat, but thats showbusiness! The dead tap-dancing maestro has been giving it 110% on patch of late, and has had some rewards, in the form of  spotted flycatcher, pied flycatcher, garden warbler, ruff, and golden plover, and to top the lot a fine barred warbler, which turned out to be his 80th one ever (but then again he is ancient).

A visiting poaching bam twitching his barred then slipped a wryneck past him, but that happens to the best of us, specifically me the other day when Old Spoons did exactly the same.

So all the scores in order then, and I think for once even Basil doesn't have any undeclared stuff hidden away.

All to play for as the autumn gets underway...

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Wader bonanza on the Notsogreat Pool

It's been a while. As is usually the case June and July were quiet affairs with just the four patch ticks in June and two in July.  With returning waders: common sand, greenshank, dunlin and ringo making up the bulk of the total.

The Notsogreatpool is a large, shallow pool in the middle of an ungrazed field.  The water levels fluctuate and typically in July and August it is little more than a patch of dried mud.  Unfortunately, over the years, the pool has lived up to its name and is typically shite and under performs compared to other puddles.  However, with water levels looking perfect the pool is exceeding itself over the last couple of days, with nine species of wader on it including three full fat patch ticks: curlew sand, little stint and LRP.  "Almost Patch Gank" according to Seppy but a reflection on how poor the Notsogreat Pool usually is and how good it could be. 

In addition to these three gems, a couple of adult knot today were only the second record and my first ever autumnal wood sands made up for missing them in May (a definite bonus).

On top of that, a cracking 1st wr Red-backed shrike on Saturday has pushed my total along nicely and shuffles me up to the top of the leader board.

111 species - 92.27%

Happy days


Tuesday 1 August 2023

Legless on patch...

Breaking news that some poaching b*****d had found a Lesser Yellowlegs down at Squince lagoon earlier in the week had me scrambling to the patch to verify said bird.

Alas, turns out there was nothing but redshank and greenshank in attendance. I checked again the following morning, with similarly unproductive results. 

As luck would have it I bumped into the finder -- who told me exactly where he'd seen the bird -- through "his old binoculars", mind you. Checking said location, there was indeed a lone wader foraging along the small patch of muddy shoreline exactly where he'd had his yellowlegs. Scope views confirmed it was a juv redshank, in spite of every effort to string it into the aforementioned 'legs. 

After yet another scan through the local redshanks I decided enough was enough (there's only so much shank action one can take of a morning, in all fairness) and assigned the yellowlegs to what Seppy likes to call the "One lucky observer" category of finds.

With no yellowlegs in attendance, here's a stock photo of a redshank off the internet for ya, as I couldn't really be arsed looking for one of my own.

Not wanting to leave the patch empty handed, I grudgingly embarked on a short seawatch -- my second in as many weeks, no less -- which yielded Great Shear to add to the Cory's, Storm Petrel and something else tickable I can't quite recall now from last week.

All of which compensatory tickage trundles the score along to a healthy 85.48%. Happy daze!

Cory's Bonanza

 Yes indeedy, the seawatching has been rather good so far this autumn, and I have caught up with veritable truckloads of cory's shearwaters past Galley, along with smaller number of great shearwaters, an epic wilson's petrel, just the one balearic shearwater, a couple of sabine's gulls, three arctic terns, two tysties (scream for me Stevie G) and a rather brief (for me) fea's-type petrel

All this puts me up to pole position too, until Basil remembers some gank that he hasn't year-ticked, or actually goes out and does a proper seawatch himself....

There's not a whole lot left to get on the year-listing front as far as seabirds are concerned, but that won't stop me having another crack if the wind goes south-west again over the next few weeks...