Sunday 31 December 2023

That was the year that was...

 That was the year in which Longhaven recorded its highest ever total, finishing on a mighty 135 species for the patch, smashing the previous highest by a whole 9 species.

Best birds of the year were undoubtedly:

1st - Semi-palmated sandpiper

2nd - green winged teal.

3rd - Taiga Bean goose

A whole plethora of patch firsts this year included an array of waders: little ringed plover, curlew sandpiper, little stints, purple sand and of course the semi-p.  Other full fat patch ticks included rather shamely little egret and sooty shear'. 

Notable absences included yellow-browed warbler and both grey wag and siskin both of which I vaguely remember getting but never properly recorded, so they're not on the list.

So that's it for 2023.  Another year slides into the record books and another one begins.

Good luck every one hope the patch rares will be plentiful.

Final scores on the doors for 2023 - 135 species, 112.22%.

Happy days


Saturday 23 December 2023

More "just off the beach" japes

 Urged into uncharacteristic action by Seppy's "just off the beach" tickage, I've been checking Squince a fair bit over the past week, more out of desperation than expectation, it has to be said. With him breathing down my neck, just .02 of a % behind in the race for "best of the losers", anything would do -- stock dove, peregrine, collared dove... hardly too much to ask, is it?

What I certainly wasn't expecting was to stumble into this fine Slavonian Grebe at Squince this very morning. 

A-la Seppy's LTD, it was literally "just off the beach".

Happy daze! Moves me to a not too shabby 103.23% and crucially, more than one species ahead (I hope) of yer man at Galley.

Friday 15 December 2023

Not done yet

Yes indeedy - just as a certain Mr Faulty was languishing on his laurels, settling comfortably into 2nd place on the podium, and indeed repeatedly trying out the "Best of the Irish" moniker, I managed to strike back this very am with a fine long-tailed duck just off the beach - excellent! I probably manage to see one of these on patch every 2 or 3 years, and they do sometimes hang out on the lake over winter. Regardless if this one hangs about, it was there today and that was the main thing! 

Actually, I just took a look at my patch stats spreadsheet, and it has revealed that said species is actually much rarer then I realised, with only three previous records; 2013, 2016 and 2020. So only my 4th record for the patch! Bingo Bango! Just need one more to put me back into second now....

Monday 11 December 2023

The battle for second hots up...

So, we're into last gasp duck, gull and wader territory. Yippeeee... all my favourites!

It's been a while since I last updated the blog... although I've been keeping the score comparatively current. I actually started several posts (thanks to Seppy's incessant nagging), only to find that I really couldn't be arsed and sacking it off after the first paragraph. Ah well... this little roundup will have to suffice.

After an autumn that didn't really happen (no decent migrants -- with the exception of Lesser Whitey -- oh, and Cliff Swallow... did I mention I found a Cliff Swallow?), I was away in Africa for pretty much all of November, so had no additions to the year list at all last month.

Once back, I hit the patch with the renewed optimism only absence and being overtaken by Seppy can muster. Naturally, said enthusiasm didn't take long to wane... but I did manage to score Dabchick for the year, and jam a tasty female Scaup to boot, lifting my tally to 102.42% and, critically, taking me back past Seppy into second place on the podium.

Cracking female Scaup -- joined today by a bonus Ring-necked Duck (not a year tick alas)

I might add one or two more before calling it quits (I still need Perg for the year, FFS)... but reckon it's pretty much a battle for second place now. Bushveld has the top spot sewn up (or should that be stitched up🤔) with his 110% effort.

Still... top Irish patch would do... along with what must be a higher than average chance of bagging New Ol' Snowy, thanks to the aforementioned Swallow.