Friday 24 May 2024

Nothing much to crow about

 And so the year trundles from spring into summer, with barely a tick to be found on patch *SIGH*.

Barely doesn't mean none though... and a fine Jay (less than annual over the few years I've been doing this patch... didn't get one last year... FFS!) and singing Reed Warbler were welcome additions for May.

That pushes me up above the 90% mark... but as Seppy seems all too fond of reminding me, essentially means I'm f****ed 'til Autumn (barring the poxy seawatching season, which I suppose I'll have to drag myself out for later in the summer if conditions are good... I mean bad... er... you know what I mean).

On the non-bird front, the patch was invaded by giant fish in May... I counted upwards of 60 Basking Sharks from just below the wee graveyard on Myross Island last weekend. So, in the absence of any interesting bird shots, here's a non-birdy fish clip to keep you all entertained.

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Quail hello there!

 Yes indeedy, I managed to bumble into a full-fat patch tick last thursday in the form of a quail that the Hound of Destiny kindly flushed. Which was nice. Sadly, Old Spoons also managed to verify/validate it later on cos I stupidly gave him too precise directions. Ah well. Karma and that eh?

No photos but here's a snap of a whitethroat and a sedge warbler from the patch last weekend instead...

A sedge warbler, yesterday

Er a whitethroat, yesterday also

Anyway, that along with a few other bits and bobs such as common sandpaper and whitethroat moves me on up (as it were) to a bang average 95 species for the year, which is pretty much exactly where I should be as the May doldrums settle over the patch for the "summer". Checking the percentage scores, I see I've dropped in just ahead of Bushveld in the league table - sweet!

See you back here on the 1st July for the start of the seawatching season....

Thursday 2 May 2024

Springing ahead... ish

May rolled around yesterday, and the welcome addition of Whitethroat elevated me to a healthy 88.56% on the leaderboard. Majik!

Spring brought with it a smattering of the usual migratory suspects, including the hirundines, the common warblers (here's looking at you Willow, Blackcap and Sedgie) and a couple of handy Groppers. Wheatears finally put in an appearance in late April, and a couple of Sarnie Turns off the wee headland at Tra an Oilean were most welcome.

Other notables included a couple of SEOs on patch in April, and a fine Yellow-legged Gull in amongst the large gulls at the Blind Harbour roost.

One of two (count 'em) SEOs on patch in April

Undisputed bird of the spring on patch... and one of the birds of spring for the whole of County Cork, according to our infamous local birding TD (the Irish version of an MP), was the fabuloud Red-rumped Swallow duly highlighted by Seppy in this post (thank you kindly sir). Seppy twitching birds on my patch is the ultimate form of validation, and is rapidly becoming something of a habit. Long may it last.

Here are a couple of shit record shots of it, just because...

Look at the red rump on that wee fecker!

Apart from the swallow, it's been a quiet spring on the rarities front, with nothing much out of the ordinary turning up anywhere. And it will be June soon... roll on the summer doldrums *sigh*.


Wednesday 1 May 2024

Playing catch up

 With such a slow start to the year and being well behind on my average by the end of March, things could only get better, as they say.

April is usually a frustrating month up here, with Spring not quite sprung and winter clinging on but not delivering.  This year winter did cling on as usual but April certainly did deliver, A total of 34 patch ticks over the course of the month; easily a record total for the month.  Obviously many were birds typically scored in March and 18 of them were 100% 'ers, i.e. get seen every year, so don't really count for much.  However a few nice extras included a scattering of migrants at the end of the month, with ring ouzel and redstart being the best of the picks.  The two goosander on the 8th were only the third records for the patch.

Bird of the month though was the 1st winter Glauc sat in a field on the 4th April, being only the second record for the patch.

Which puts me nicely on 82 species and a much improved 66.31%.

Happy days