Wednesday 25 October 2023

Full fat patch action

 Yes indeedy, while the regular autumn migrants have all but dried up at Galley (no ybw, no lesser whitey, no firecrest etc), there's still been a bit of score-age going on. Just as well really, given the hours I've been putting in!

Imagine my surprise when I saw a goose coming off the flooded carrot field last Thursday! Although it was flying into the sun, after a few terrifying moments when I thought I wasn't going to be able to ID it, it did the daycent thing and banked round back west, allowing me to clock the dark head and pinky bit on the bill - pink-footed goose ya bas! A true patch gold ingot, and even better, ganky enough to almost certainly secure me the Black Scoter - the trophy for best full fat patch gank ticked in a year!

A pink-footed goose yesterday

After a celebratory slap-up lunch, I was back out in the field that very afternoon, whereupon I flushed a fine yellow wagtail, which are considerably less than annual around here. In addition, over the next coupla of days I added long-tailed tits, lapwing and a fine short-eared owl. Even better was the phone call two evenings ago, telling me there was a glossy ibis on the way from Red Strand. I rushed outside avec bins, and sure enough, five minutes later there it was, flopping slowly west, safely onto my patch year list! Finally for now, a cracking male ring ouzel was kind enough to materialise right in front of me on this mornings dog walk. Which was nice. So, the upshot of all this is that I've cracked the near mythical 140 species barrier for only the 5th time in 20 years, but the second consecutive year. Plus only another 10 species required to beat my best ever total of 149! And plenty species still to get! Don't rest easy just yet Mr Bushveld!


Monday 23 October 2023

Filling in the gaps

 I'm getting nothing but grief from Seppy to update the blog; it's not even the end of the month.  Luckily though things have been moving along just quite nicely this month.  The best of the more recent birds was fine drake green-winged teal enjoying the fine ambience to be found in the waters of the Notsogreatpool.  A full fat patch tick and the second yank of the month... so to speak.

Bagging both long-eared and barn owls the other night were both much appreciated.  A seawatch squeezed in a Pom and the fairly typical October migrants of blackcap. brambling and woodcock all keep the tally going in the right direction.  

South-easterlies for the rest of the week could produce something and there's still a few gaps to be filled.

A total of 132 species is, by quite a way, the highest ever yearly total for the patch and puts me on 109.70%

Happy days


Monday 9 October 2023

Better than average

 After the fun and games of August, September was a quiet affair with just the four patch ticks, the best of the limited bunch being long-tailed skua.  Fortunately October has perked the patch up a bit, with the very best being a fine Semi P Sand on the Notsogreatpool.  Unfortunately it didn't find the pool to its liking and departed south with a dunlin not too long after being found.  However, a full fat patch tick and the first Yank for the patch, that and the first jack snipe of the autumn got me to within a smidgen below the magical 100%.

Luckily a sniff of south-easterlies this weekend brought in a few birds, including two lovely little grebes (only second patch record) and some brambling. 

Pushing me on to 123 species for the year and tipping me over the better than average and onto 102.2%.  

Still time and species to get.

Happy days