Friday, 24 November 2017

A "Tern" for the better in Clonakilty

Apologies for being slack with the posts. Its more a case of getting under Seppy's skin rather than sheer laziness. Although laziness has also played a large part in it s is clear from my spelling and grammar,

So the year started off pretty slowly with Cattle Egret and Ring-billed gull being the only birds of note in January. I moaned pretty constantly until April about how crap my patch was with Garganey and a Tufted duck the highlights until then. The only thought that kept me going was "at least i dont have Bazel's horrible inland patch"!

Then in April everything changed. As I looked out in to the bleakness that is Muckross Estuary during in spring, there shone a shiny beacon in the middle of the sand. One lone tern. and as it lifted from the mud and hawked its way towards me I knew straight away (well after at least two phone calls at least) that it was a Gull-billed tern. A rarer occurrence in county Cork than Grey-cheeked thrush i might add! The bird stuck around for a few weeks and there were reports of both Seppy and Basel pleasuring themselves as it they observed it hawking up and down the estuary. Disgusting behavior.

This was followed in very quick succession by a coot ( patch gold) and a find tick in the form of a cracking male Green-winged teal (which should never ever be lumped).

A hat-trick of yank waders got me through the autumn. The highlight for me was a White-rumped sand which was a lifer. This was followed by a lovely Baird's sand and a Semi-P Sand. Tinged only by the fact that I didnt find any of the yank waders ( Except for the semi-p kinda but that a whole other story).

That brings me to 126 species for the year so far and 106%. "Terns" out my patch is actually pretty awesome.


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Enjoying a big J

Yup, while getting out the car to head out birding at the weekend we had a jay in the garden. We've had a couple close to the patch of late but this is the first on patch for the year. That brings us to a rather embarrassing 113.36% (or 82 species).

And the dippers have started singing in the garden again too - nothing like  breakfast with a dipper soundtrack. Far better than any soundtrack we've produced.

Happy days indeed.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The enquiry begins...

Arrived at Boghall and made some preliminary enquiries regarding the infeasibly high percentage score claimed by the Reid brothers. Nothing incriminating uncovered yet...

Monday, 30 October 2017

Boghall strikes back

They say two eyes are better than one. Which means eight eyes are even better still. But it was the deployment of a the trusty Meopta S2 (similar to that pictured here) and one eye that really provided the goods this weekend. Having been inspired by a birdless trip to Gladhouse Reservoir, we headed out onto the patch with scope. We don't do this often but perhaps we should. Soon we had added mute swan (patch tick) and gannet to the list. More work delivered teal and lapwing just off the patch on a boggy patch of land, while another scan delivered 5 greylag geese in flight. Added to the snipe from a couple of weeks back brings us to 81 or 111.98%. Stunning (unlike the birds)! Can more be added before the year is out? Who knows but we'll keep pushing. A quick look this morning indicated that the yellow-breasted buntings were still around.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Another crazy day on Galley

Stumbled out to the office in the dark this morning to do a tiny bit of work pre-birding and was almost instantly rewarded by a flyover calling brambling for the year - result!

Headed out around 9 am with the intention of just doing a reasonably quick hoof round the likely spots on Galley. Bumped into Old Spoons at Shite Lane and we headed off to do Dirk - 6 more flyover brambling and killer views of at least 4 firecrests. A tour of the fields next, and, since it seemed quiet, a quick cup of tea chez spoons before hitting more fields, Marsh Lane & then home.

As I walked in my gate at lunchtime Spoons rang - "Little bunting above shite lane" - straight back out but no luck. Nipped home for food and got a lift back to Shite Lane just in time to hear one of the strangest calls I've ever heard - like a hyper curlew "Cloo-eeeet Clooo-eeeeet" - what the hell was that? 5 mins later, Spoons texted the answer - "flyover American Golden Plover!" I checked Xeno-Canto - Bingo, a perfect match for what I'd heard! Another full fat Galley tick - shame not to see it, but great to finally hear one - won't forget that one!

The rest of the afternoon was spent traipsing about hoping to bump into Spoon's Little bunting, but it was not be. Did bag Fieldfare for the year though, so all was not lost. A long tiring day of hoofing about, but was just not the day for sitting about at home!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Another Grey-cheeked Thrush!!!

Still reeling!

Grey-cheeked Thrush, Red Strand


Just off-patch, and only 1.25km from the Dirk Bay bird, and about 6 km from the Ross Pier bird! This one has no warts on its feet though so looks like a new bird! Amayzing!

Almost as amayzing was ticking a hawfinch dug out of Dirk this am by Old Spoons. And three (count 'em) Glossy Ibises flying past the window when I was eating my lunch! Old Spoons found a fourth one at Red Strand this pm. Thats two Full Fat Patch Ticks in one day! And the small matter of finding another Grey-cheeked Thrush! Its been quite a day!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Big Roy's Autumnal Arsebag

Big Roy has been in touch to say he's been bangin' them in oop north, as they say. Recent additions include ruff, black redstart, ring ouzel to name but a few. Moves him up the langerboard towards the podium but not quite high enuff to be troubling anyone for a medal just yet.