Friday, December 26, 2008

winter waders

Two knot at Kilkeran Lake this lunchtime were an unseasonal surprise (139), while an avocet at Clonakilty was a full-on tick for the emerald isle, (and a much-needed breakback on a certain cobh jackeen)! Two ring-billed gulls (1st & 2nd w) were also present there.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

another goldeneye

Another female goldeneye graced Kilkeran Lake this lunchtime - just a shame that no other diving wildfowl will dare to show up as there's a lot I still need for the year! still time yet, tho....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

winter gulls

Two 1st w glaucous gulls and one 1st w iceland gull were on Kilkeran Lake at noon - unprecedented white-winged gull action for the patch!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Got a call about a 1st w glaucous gull at Red Strand at lunchtime, which just happened to be visible from the top of Dirk so its on the patch year list (138), my highest ever patch year total. Cheers for the call, dave!  A chiffchaff was calling at the top of Dirk too.  The 1st w iceland gull and an adult med gull were on Kilkeran Lake mid-morning.

boni's at Ross

Caught up with the cracking winter plumage adult bonaparte's gull at Rosscarbery this afternoon - very nice it was too! Hopefully, it'll find its way over to the lake before the end of the year!

Friday, November 28, 2008

winter is upon us!

A 1st winter iceland gull, 4 whooper swans and 1 lapwing were on Kilkeran Lake this lunchtime. Up to 10 fin whales were blowing off Galley Head this morning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

level pegging

A buzzard thermalling around over Long Strand this lunchtime was a great patch year tick bonus (137), which equals my best ever patch score set in 2006.  It soared for a bit, before heading off north towards Rathbarry.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

lesser legs

Took in the 1st winter lesser yellowlegs on the estuary by the railway village on the way to Clon this morning. News late pm of a rival patch-lister finding a male desert 'ear north of Aberdeen fairly got me out of the house but didn't do better than a black-tailed godwit flying over with c.30 curlew - unusual here but not a year tick!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

nice day for it

A sunny calm morning so I dragged myself up to the head, and into Dirk, on the off chance of something rare (or even just a year tick). Not much doing though, with just a party of 12 long-tailed tits in Dirk. A lesser yellowlegs is on the estuary at Clonakilty, by the model railway place, with an adult ring-billed gull nearby.

Friday, November 7, 2008

clutching at straws

Tried seawatching  this morning, in a desperate attempt to glean some more year ticks. No luck though, with just 1 bonxie, 1 manx shearwater, 1 great northern diver, 1 red-throated diver and 300 kittiwakes west in an hour. Dirk had 1 chiffchaff and 1 coal tit lingering.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

there goes the autumn!

A good south-easterly (at last) heralded the end of autumn at Galley I suspect. A three hour thrashing failed to produce more than a collared dove at Shite Lane, 1 blackcap and 2 chiffchaffs in Dirk, and feck all anywhere else - very disappointing!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

last gasp

The merest hint of an easterly wind this morning was the first for about 6 weeks! Gave Galley a good thrashing on the strength of this but could only muster 2 bramblings over at Shite Lane, chiffchaff and fieldfare in Dirk, good numbers of blackbirds, song thrushes and a few redwing on the move, 1 snipe, 1 blackcap and 2 more chiffchaffs near the head, which looked new in.  The female goldeneye remains on Kilkeran Lake.

lingering ducks

The female goldeneye and tufted duck were both still on the lake this afternoon. Not much doing in Dirk this morning, with 1 coal tit and a few goldcrests the best of it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

rb fly

A red breasted flycatcher found in Dirk Bay mid-morning was a patch tick and much appreciated for the year list (136). A blackcap was also there, with a few long tailed tits about - 22 of them in 1 flock this morning on the top lane - the plague continues! The female goldeneye was still on Kilkeran this morning too.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

another day, another duck

A female goldeneye on Kilkeran Lake this morning was a year list bonus (135). Galley this morning was a bit quieter than yesterday, with a ringtail hen harrier hunting over fields, 8 siskins and a few redpolls over, at least 6 long-tailed tits and 2 coal tits in Dirk.  A roost watch for harriers at Castlefreke marsh this evening produced 64 pied wagtails as well as good views of hunting long-eared owl and brief views of barn owl, the latter being a cork tick, no less! No harriers, tho but.

a strange day

Lots of odd sightings around Galley today for some reason, the first of which was 3 mystery ducks which flew behind a house into strong sunlight, giving me no chance of ID'ing them - looked different to the usual run-of -the-mill gank though. Next up, 9 long-tailed tits bouncing around in zero cover near Galley Head - had 5 more in Dirk later, which was presumably part of the same flock, with a coal tit there too. Vis mig was happening in the form of 6 redwings, c.20 blackbirds, 10 redpoll, merlin and a few chaffinches about too. A jay at Long Strand heading towards Galley was an unexpected mover too.  At least one of yesterday's wigeon remained on the lake, with a female tufted duck new there too, and a shelduck on the sea at Long Strand, another uncommon species for Galley. Lastly, a wing-tagged white-tailed eagle was seen low over Rosscarbery mid-morning but I couldn't glimpse it from the patch.

Friday, October 31, 2008

wigeon ya bas!

Three wigeon on the lake this afternoon were the first ones since Sept 06, so were very welcome for the year list (134), which brings up 100% for the patch challenge too. Two med gulls were also there (ad & 1st w) plus 2 lapwings.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


A firecrest was (still?) in Dirk Bay today, with a 1st w med gull seen on the lake in the afternoon. Feckin freezing too.

new ybw

A new yellow browed warbler was skulking in Dirk Bay this afternoon - otherwise it was quiet though.

Monday, October 27, 2008

bully's special prize

A lone bullfinch knocking about the trees at Shite Lane this morning was a bit of a surprise - only my fourth for the patch, after 3 this January. Quiet otherwise, with small numbers of chaffinches knocking about, 2 flyover bramblings (133) and a few goldcrests, and the firecrest still present in Dirk..

Sunday, October 26, 2008

firecrest still aboot

The firecrest was still in Dirk this morning, bouncing around the gardens and being very mobile. About 30 chaffinches and a few redpoll around too, with a 1st winter med gull and a bar-tailed godwit at Long Strand.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

pleasant valley sunday

A firecrest, a blackcap, 3 chiffchaffs, 4 swallows and a few siskins were in Dirk this morning. A buzzard was at Long Strand this evening. The cattle egret was at White's Marsh this morning with 3 otters there too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

late seawatch

A look at the sea this evening after it finally stopped raining produced 5 arctic skuas, 1 pomarine skua and a manx shearwater.

Monday, October 20, 2008

chilly but

A bit parkie this morning around Galley, but still signs of a few things on the move, with the first 2 redwing of the autumn, an adult winter med gull at Long Strand and 5 swallows and 1 house martin, which were the first for quite a while, with the local birds having headed off weeks ago. A juvenile american golden plover was at Muckross Strand near Clonakilty this evening.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

more long tails

Seemed quiet in a brief look at Shite Lane this morning. A party of 7 long-tailed tits at Long Strand was only the second time I've seen them this year.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

all wet'n'orrible

Very wet for most of the day but the yellow browed warbler was seen again at Shite Lane this morning.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

greasy grebe

Seemed quieter out around Galley this morning, after the weekend's excitement. There was still one yellow browed warbler at shite lane, and another in dirk, with 3 swallows & 3 chiffchaffs there. Still good numbers of goldcrests about, and a couple of flyover redpolls too. A 1st w great crested grebe on Kilkeran Lake this afternoon more than made up for not going to Loop Head for the philly vireo (132).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

flyer's moon

Very bright and clear last night so it was no great surprise that there was no sign of the swainson's thrush this morning in dirk bay,although 2 yellow browed warblers were still around. Elsewhere there were 2 med gulls at long strand (ad w & 1st w), 1 wheatear, 1 yellowhammer and 1 golden plover over, a new firecrest and yellow browed warbler at shite lane, with several goldcrests, and a new yellow browed warbler at long strand.

The balloon went up again this afternoon, in the form of a white throated sparrow on Cape, so we all had to go twitching again. The bird was eventually pinned down and good views were had by all - result!

Galley gets a swainson's

Ireland's 5th ever swainson's thrush was found in Dirk Bay this afternoon, and what a cracker it was too. The bird showed very well in sycamores, feeding and moving around the canopy, sometimes overhead. It seemed fairly oblivious to the birders below. Also in Dirk today were 2 yellow browed warblers, 1 firecrest, 1 lesser whitethroat, 1 blackcap and a couple of chiffchaffs (131).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

scarlet tanager

After yesterday's excitement, I was looking forward to giving Galley a good kicking this morning, in the still, calm conditions.  Hadn't got further than shite lane, where there were a few goldcrests, when I got the call that had me high-tailing it to Garinish, near Dursey for excellent views of the scarlet tanager - what a cracker!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

let the twitching begin....

Eventually had to go and see the juvenile little blue heron at Letterfrack so left the house at 3.50 am, and was back by 15.00. It was a good bird too, well worth the trip! Image © carmo

baby steps

Saturday, October 4, 2008

two in a row!

Another patch tick today, in the form of 6 adult whooper swans on Kilkeran Lake all day (129).  Not much else doing apart from 2 coal tits in the garden and another 2 in Dirk Bay.

Friday, October 3, 2008

patch tick!

Good conditions for a seawatch this am produced a Galley patch tick in the form of a grey phalarope, which landed briefly on the sea before heading on into the sw gale - (128). Little else moving though, with just 2 storm petrels and 2 common scoter west in 1 hour.  An adult yellow legged gull was at Owenahincha this afternoon.

another lesser whitey

A lesser whitethroat in sycamores at the end of Dirk Bay this morning seemed to be new. There were plenty goldrests and a couple of chiffchaffs there too, plus a wheatear at Long Strand.  This afternoon 3 brent geese flew past Galley, 2 coal tits were still in Dirk and a tufted duck was on Kilkeran Lake.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

hammer time

Still quiet at Galley this morning, with spotted flycatcher and a couple of chiffchaffs  knocking about shite lane, plus a yellowhammer over there, which was only my 2nd of the year. A male blackcap was down marsh lane.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

lesser whitey

Today's new migrant was a lesser whitethroat in the blue house garden, with yesterday's spotted flycatcher, blackcap and a few chiffchaffs knocking around shite lane.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Only time for a quick look at galley this am, but scored the first yellow browed warbler of the autumn in sycamores by shite lane crossroads, with a spotted flycatcher and a blackcap also there, and then jammed a brent goose on the beach at Long Strand briefly on the way home (127) - result!


Warmer this morning but still quiet, with a male blackcap and a chiffchaff in Dirk, and 1 willow warbler, 1 whitethroat and a few siskins & redpoll over at Shite Lane. An immature male rosefinch was seen and heard singing a bit at Strawtown before flying towards Ardfield.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Quiet again at Galley this am, with just 1 whitethroat, 1 willow warbler, 1 chiffchaff and a few siskins knocking about. Things improved later when a fine brace of coal tits flew over the garden at lunchtime, straight onto the patch year list (125).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

jays on the move

A flock of 5 jays flew south over Galley this morning (123), before bailing out and heading back inland again - that's only the second time I've seen them here, but both times have been in autumn. I've seen magpies doing the same kind of thing in autumn, in big flocks of 50-60 birds. They head right to the lighthouse and then turn round and fly all the way back inland again - why do they do do that?

Otherwise, it was quiet on the mig front, with 3 wheatears, 2 willow warblers, 1 chiffchaff and a few goldcrests. A 1st w med gull was at Long Strand this morning. and a green sandpiper flew over the house mid-morning - bonus year tick (124).

Monday, September 22, 2008

a few more migs

A few more things around this morning - at least 7 wheatears, 1 chiffchaff, 1 willow warbler, 2 redpoll and a sedge warbler were knocking about shite lane.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

hen harrier

A ringtail hen harrier heading south over Long Strand being pursued by a gaggle of corvids was a bit of a surprise first thing (122). Elsewhere it was quiet in a brisk northerly, with 1 golden plover and 2 siskins over.

coal tit dip

Dipping on a coal tit at the top of Dirk Bay this morning could prove costly for the year list challenge - there aren't many at Galley in a year. Consoled myself with a flyover golden plover (121), chiffchaff, c15 siskin, and 2 redpoll over. A late swift and a white wagtail were seen this afternoon.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

long tails

Seemed pretty quiet this morning around Galley, although a party of 12 long tailed tits knocking about Marsh Lane livened things up a bit (120).  Mig-wise there was only 2 wheatears and 2 siskins over, plus a collared dove over too. A lapwing at Long Strand this evening was only the second one seen this year.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

back to earth

A 3 hour morning slog revealed a skulking pied flycatcher and a chiffchaff at shite lane, 2 blackcaps (m & f) down marsh lane and at least 3 willow warblers in dirk.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

good to be back

Another calm & still morning produced 1 chiffchaff, 1 willow warbler, 1 male blackcap, a couple of goldcrests and 2 siskins over. All a bit different from the last 2 days at Spurn where we were bumping into heaps of redstarts, pied flycatchers, whinchats, tree pipits, lesser whitethroats, 2 wrynecks and a red-backed shrike. These are all species that you don't read about on here very often (or at all, in the case of rb shrike) but, I know where I'd rather be!


Late pm news of an american redstart at mizen prompted a swift twitch down there, just in time for very brief views of it up the top of a tree. It fanned its tail, revealing the all-important yellow panels before flicking off, and we couldn't find it again before dusk!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

more year ticks

A sunny, calm morning looking for migs produced 2 reed warblers - 1 at shite lane & 1 in the gulley down "marsh" lane. A flyover siskin was also new for the year (119), with 2 wheatears also knocking about. A melodious warbler was found at Red Strand this pm, with a reed warbler there, and 2 more reed warblers at Strawtown, and a spotted flycatcher in Dirk Bay.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

another fea's

A "gorgeous but distant" fea's petrel was seen off Galley Head this morning, at about 8.15, landing twice on its way through.  Also seen throughout the day were 2 long-tailed skuas, 5 cory's shearwaters, 10 great shearwaters, 7 sabine's gull, 2 balearic shearwater, 110 sooty shearwaters, 28 bonxie, 8 arctic skuas, 1 pomarine skua and 200 storm petrels.

Monday, September 8, 2008

not much at sea

One arctic skua and a minke whale seen in an hour this evening off Galley. Two pied flycatchers were present, one at Shite Lane and one in Dirk Bay.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

ooo migrants

Caught up with yesterday's pied flycatcher at shite lane this morning (117). Loads of finches knocking about marsh lane but didn't manage anything better than a couple of sedge warblers.

Friday, September 5, 2008

sorted for sanderling

A flock of 90 sanderling on Long Strand this afternoon was a relief for the patch year list (116). Continuing the wader theme, 1 bar-tailed godwit and 3 black-tailed godwits were in amongst the curlew flock around Kilkeran Lake too. A juvenile pectoral sandpiper was in Clonakilty Bay this evening, with dunlin on the shore near the turn-off to the cul-de-sac pool, while Clogheen had 3 ruff.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a patch tick!

Out scouring for rare american passerines this am and was rewarded with a fly-over tree pipit - it called a few times as it flew over, and may have dropped into fields near the top lane but I couldn't relocate it - a long-awaited patch tick (115).

return to cape

Back to Cape again today on the 2.15 ferry. This time for crippling views of a solitary sandpiper and a northern waterthrush in the same ditch, and often in the same field of view! Incredible! When it rains, it pours!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Galley gets another fea's (& there's a yellow warbler on cape!)

An evening seawatch produced Galley's second (or third??)  fea's petrel of the year which flew past at 7.15pm tonight. Other morning & evening combined totals included 2 great shearwaters, 1 balearic shearwater, 38 sooty shearwaters, 6 bonxies and 1 pomarine skua. Not that I saw any of the evening stuff as I cracked and twitched Cape this afternoon for the yellow warbler there - what a cracker!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

blackwits at long strand

A flock of 7 black-tailed godwits over Long Strand this morning were a welcome year tick (114) - things is moving all right!

barwit at long strand

Its been quiet enough for waders at  Galley so far this autumn but a single bar-tailed godwit at Long Strand this evening was hopefully an indication of a bit of movement.  An optimistic morning seawatch produced 1 balearic shearwater, 11 storm petrels and 2 common scoter, with 2 sooty shearwaters and 2 arctic skuas this evening.

Monday, August 18, 2008

murky seawatch

A seawatch off Galley from 8.15 to 11 am produced 3 great shearwaters, 2 cory's shearwaters, 6 balearic shearwaters, 7 sooty shearwaters and 5 bonxies.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

wet 'n' orrible

A wet seawatch between 9.15 and 2 pm produced 1 great shearwater, 3 balearic shearwaters, 9 sooty shearwaters, 1 pomarine skua and 2 bonxies.

Friday, August 15, 2008

a quieter day

Despite a reasonable SW wind, things were a bit quieter this morning with 3 great shearwaters, 6 sooty shearwaters, 2 bonxies, a juvenile mediterranean gull and a 'blue' fulmar off Galley between 7 - 9 am.  This evening scored 1 balearic shearwater, 15+ sooty shearwaters, 3 bonxies, 1 prob pomarine skua and lots of arctic terns.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

flat calm fea's

An adult sabine's gull west was the start of it - unusual enough off Galley, certainly in flat calm conditions. A great shearwater flew past next, before we got on the fea's petrel - the light was poor enough but the very different structure was obvious straight away, and as it flew further west we could see a bit of contrast on the upperwing and the all black underwing. Magic! Managed a couple of cory's shearwaters, 1 balearic shearwater, 7 sooty shearwaters, 1 arctic skua, several storm petrels and 7 bar-tailed godwits before having to head home for a lie-down!

What a seawatch! Very strange as it was totally calm! And 3 patch year ticks to the good (113).


Amazingly, another (?) fea's petrel was seen off Dunowen Head this evening from Galley, and later from Dunowen itself, while 2 cory's shearwaters, 1 great shearwater and 10 sooty shearwaters were seen from Galley this evening.  A  juvenile mediterranean gull was at Red Strand this evening.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Flat calm this morning but still managed 2 balearic shearwaters, 2 sooty shearwaters, 3 bonxies and 1 common scoter in an hour before breakfast.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

1st great shear for a few days

A single great shearwater through this morning, with 1 sooty shearwater, 1 bonxie, 1 arctic skua, 4 common scoter and a few storm petrels.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

med gull

Crap seawatching this morning with just  1 bonxie and 1 sooty shearwater. A juvenile mediterranean gull at Long Strand late morning was new for the year (110).

Friday, August 1, 2008

more seawatching

Bit slower this morning, with 45 cory's shearwaters, 5 great shearwaters and 5 sooty shearwaters past this morning, with 5 more cory's shearwaters and 5 great shearwaters this evening.

cory's make a move

A good seawatch this evening between 5.30 and 9.15pm with c. 750 cory's shearwaters (outnumbering manx!), 8 great shearwaters, 7 sooty shearwaters, 1 arctic skua, 6 puffins and c. 10 storm petrels. Although most cory's were quite far out, a few came in close for excellent views!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

a few more cory's

A morning seawatch produced 26 cory's shearwaters, 4 sooty shearwaters, 1 arctic skua and lots of storm petrels.  Another bash this evening in slackening winds yielded 3 more cory's shearwaters, 2 sooty shearwaters, another arctic skua and more storm petrels.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

a better haul

A decent south-westerly this evening produced 52 cory's shearwaters, 4 great shearwaters (109), 1 balearic shearwater, 6 sooty shearwaters, 2 bonxies, 1 pomarine skua and 6 puffins in 2.5 hours. Six common dolphins were  also seen.

Monday, July 28, 2008

more of de same

An hour and a half at Galley this evening netted 1 balearic shearwater, 1 sooty shearwater, 7 bonxies and 1 arctic skua.

Friday, July 25, 2008

new gannetry?

A big fat gannet sitting in the middle of the small colony of herring gulls at Galley tonight was shurely a sign of things to come? On the seawatching front, 1 great shearwater, 1 balearic shearwater, 1 sooty shearwater and 1 arctic skua were seen.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

a few bits

An hours seawatching this evening produced 1 balearic shearwater, 1 sooty shearwater, 1 pomarine skua, 1 bonxie and 30 storm petrels.

Monday, July 21, 2008


The first two balearic shearwaters of the year headed slowly west tonight, before ditching into a big raft of feeding manx shearwaters. At least 4 sooty shearwaters were also knocking about, while 4 common terns heading west were also new for the year (108).  A minke whale and a porpoise represented the blubber side of things.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

a few more skuas

Two pomarine skuas, 1 arctic skua, 2 bonxies (106) and a sooty shearwater were tonight's seawatching fare, with 12 common scoter east and c.10 puffins west too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

another wader

A dunlin heard flying over tonight was a welcome boost to the year list (105). The sea remained quiet this evening in a north-westerly.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

pickin' up

A late afternoon seawatch (4.30 - 6.30) produced 1 sabine's gull, 1 great shearwater, 1 sooty shearwater, 2 bonxies & 2 arctic skuas.  I managed an hour then from 6.40 to 7.40 gleaning 2 pomarine skuas, 1 sooty shearwater and 31 arctic terns for the year (104), along with 15 puffins and 2 common scoter.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

common sand

A common sandpiper calling at Long Strand this evening was the first sign of wader passage at Galley for the autumn (101).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

first cory's of the year

Three cory's shearwaters past Galley this evening were a welcome sight, and brought up 100 for the patch year list.  25 common scoter west and a steady trickle of manx shearwaters were the only other signs of movement.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Four pomarine skuas were the highlight past Galley this evening, with 16 common scoter, 1 storm petrel and 2 puffins.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

the seawatching starts here....

Hooray, its July! A lunchtime seawatch produced 1 bonxie, 2 arctic skuas, 5 storm petrels and a few common scoter.  I gave it a lash this evening, but could only muster another 5 storm petrels and an arctic skua for my year list (99).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

early doors for a swatch

Tried a seawatch this morning but there was little in the way of any passage, with 5 storm petrels the best of it (98). Two puffins also flew west.

Monday, June 2, 2008

patch tick!

A little bleary at 6.00am this morning but still able to notice first a collared dove and then a cattle egret fly past the window - patch tick! The egret later reappeared in a pine tree by Kilkeran Lake and showed off and on through the afternoon - full summer plumage too - nice! (97).

Friday, May 30, 2008

space hardware

Two male tufted ducks on the lake was this mornings excitement.  Two large basking sharks were off Galley this evening, with loads of manx shearwaters and a couple of great northern divers heading west.  A water rail heard at Long Strand tonight whilst watching the space shuttle whizz over was new for the year (96).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

coasting up

Another collared dove was at shite lane this afternoon, but today's highlight was a female marsh harrier over Dirk Bay, giving good views as it drifted slowly west.  Only my third at Galley so a bonus year tick (95).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

great white!

Didn't get further than checking the lake today on the patch, but did scoot over to Garretstown this pm for views of the great white egret there - a good irish & cork tick, and only my 3rd ever. The last one was at Stiffkey in Norfolk 10 years ago, so its been a while!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

the return of the dove from above

Not much in the way of an obvious fall around Galley this morning, although 2 redpolls heading south (eh?), and a turtle dove at Shite Lane were both year ticks (94), while the only other migrants seen was a male wheatear amd heaps of hirundines, but couldn't get anything out of them.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

bits 'n' bobs

Quiet at Shite Lane this morning with just yesterday's 2 chiffchaffs still knocking about. However, 3 new spotted flycatchers, and a new male wheatear in this afternoon gives hope of a bit of movement still happening.  A pair of tufted duck on Kilkeran Lake this evening were also new for the year (92).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

a swift year tick

A swift at Long Strand this lunchtime was new for the year (90), while an unidentified owl after dusk this evening was more frustrating. It wasn't a small one though, so no need to panic too much!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

vis mig (ish)

Four collared doves belting south to the lighthouse this morning was an odd sight - they appeared to then head west - biggest ever Galley flock, I'd say! A female wheatear was the only other mig around.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

a decent mig at last

Quiet again at Galley today but did pick up a lesser whitethroat at the Shite Lane cross-roads - a worthy year tick and only my 4th on the patch, and first in spring (89).  Five sandwich terns were on the lake this afternoon.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


A flypast male sparrowhawk over Long Strand this afternoon was new for the year (88).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

5,000 up at last!

A brief morning seawatch revealed 9 puffins west for the year (87), while c50 manx shearwaters were also knocking about. A summer plumage black guillemot was in Dirk Bay, and a willow warbler was pretending to be a new migrant there.


Big news of the day was that the 5,000th visitor to the blog happened at 9.44.56 pm tonight , from Redditch in Worcestershire, apparently - it's only taken almost a year to reach that total (and thats page views not hits, apparently, or something). Congratulations - come back again soon!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Feck all doing at Galley today but the lesser yellowlegs was still at Rosscarbery this afternoon, coming into summer plumage - nice!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Much quieter at Galley this morning, with just 2 blackcaps, 4 wheatears, 1 whitethroat, 2 willow warblers and 3 chiffchaffs seen. A new grasshopper warbler was reeling at Long Strand this afternoon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

migs at last

Missed all the weekend action, but there were still a fair few migrants knocking about Galley this morning. Four blackcaps, 3 whitethroats and a sedge warbler were all new for the year (86), while other migrants included 35 willow warblers, 12 chiffchaffs, 25 wheatears, 9 whimbrel, a reeling grasshopper warbler and a collared dove.


Headed to Cape mid-morning to try for the great spotted woodpecker (1st for Cork, in living memory anyway), but no luck. Did connect with 2 hoopoes and a cracking male redstart though, plus plenty of willow warblers, chiffchaffs, blackcaps and a grasshopper warbler.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

take it away, gropper!

Scouting for hoopoes this morning, I flushed a migrant grasshopper warbler skulking around a wall - memories of shetland came flooding back!  A good bird for Galley though, and one I missed last year. Also had 2 wheatears, 1 chiffchaff, 4 shelduck over and a house martin, which was also new for the year (83).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


A sandwich tern over the lake this morning was new for the patch year list (81).

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

a trickle

A singing willow warbler near shite lane this morning was new for the year (79), and 5 great northern divers were off Long Strand.  This evening Kilkeran Lake was awash with hirundines, well ok there was about 20 sand martins and 3 swallows (80).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

ooo migrants

A sand martin over the lake this evening was new for the year (78).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

spring seawatch

Sat in the sun at Galley for 20 minutes this morning and had 1 manx shearwater and 2 common scoters heading east (77). There were still at least 11 red-throated divers in Dirk Bay too.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

a couple more

Still no migs to speak of, but  2 shelduck on Kilkeran Lake this morning and a black guillemot in Dirk Bay this afternoon were both new for the patch year list (75).  Also in Dirk were 12 red-throated divers and 2 iceland gulls (ad & 1st-w), with another or the same 1st-w on the lake this evening.

Friday, April 4, 2008

very tystie

Spurred on by all yesterday's migrants, I tried again this morning and had the same wheatear on the top lane, singing. The iceland gull and 5 sand martins were at Kilkeran Lake this afternoon, while another iceland gull and the lesser yellowlegs were still at Rosscarbery.  News late this afternoon of 2 tysties by the slipway in Dirk Bay, which can be tricky for the patch. Hope they hang around...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

ear we go!

A fine male wheatear this morning on the top lane was officially my first spring migrant on the patch this year (about feckin' time!) - 73.  Not much else doing though.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

iced up

A first winter iceland gull on the lake this morning was a welcome addition to the patch year list (72). Still no sign of a migrant on the patch though.

lingering rares

A look at Rosscarbery this afternoon produced Cillian's first iceland gull and the long-staying lesser yellowlegs, while 4 cattle egrets were still hanging about with cows nearby, off the main Ross - Clon road towards Reenascreena. A chiffchaff was also singing in Rosscarbery - ooo migrants!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

nae migs

Staggered round Galley this morning in the hope of getting a mig or two but only managed 2 yellowhammers, which wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

its been ages....

Finally heard a snipe over Long Strand this evening, moving the patch year list to 71.

Monday, March 3, 2008

the return of the dove from above

A collared dove over by Kilkeran but scoped from the patch was a useful addition to the patch year list this morning (70). A visit to Rosscarbery this afternoon produced the wintering lesser yellowlegs and a 1st winter iceland gull, which was nice.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


A fine male lapwing in the fields with curlews and oystercatchers this morning was a bonus for the patch year list (69).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

stock cubes

Two stock doves flew over Long Strand mid-morning, and were gratefully received for the year (68). Nowt else doing though.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

hammer time comes early!

A yellowhammer over Long Strand this morning was a good one for the patch year list (67), but otherwise it was very quiet.

Friday, February 8, 2008

not much doing

A quiet spell on de patch, with not much happening. Did have the lesser yellowlegs at Rosscarbery this afternoon, which was nice.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

more bull

After yesterday's patch-ticking excitement, I bumped into 2 more bullfinchs in Dirk Bay this afternoon!  A goldcrest at Shite Lane was new for the year (66).

Monday, January 28, 2008

Galley tick ya bas!

A Galley tick this morning in the form of a bullfinch hopping about in a tree in the garden - first patch tick of the year (alhough I did think I had one 3 years ago but was lifting a heavy bath out of the house at the time and it wasn't a good time to let go!)  A great addition to the patch year list (65)!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

nice day for it

The dry weather continued allowing me to do the second bird atlas visit to the patch tetrad - gleaning wood pigeon, chiffchaff, pheasant and grey wagtail for the year in the process (64).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

a break in the weather

The first dry day for some time so I skived off this afternoon and was rewarded with mute swan, razorbill and merlin for the year around Galley (60), while also noting a flock of 50 chaffinches and the wintering whimbrel in Dirk Bay.

Friday, January 18, 2008

all wet'n'orrible

A miserable wet day today but managed to glean 4 red-throated divers off Galley Head and a kestrel on the way back. All this plus a chaffinch from last week moves the patch year list to 57.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

and the winner is.....

Yes indeedy, winner of the 2007 patch list challenge and also winner of 2007 best patch find goes to Lord Hoffy of Lough Beg with a final score of 100 % and netting 67 % of the votes (all 9 of 'em) with his Squacco Heron, the second record for Northern Ireland.  Top prizes are already in the post (ish)!


The scores so far for 2008 can be viewed over on the right.

Friday, January 4, 2008

more year ticks

Teal, turnstone, ringed plover and skylark were all new for the year today (54), despite some pretty awful weather.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

50 up

A few more year ticks gleaned today, with greenshank, reed bunting and dunnock all falling (50).

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

winter thrushes

Both redwing and fieldfare on the patch today, plus a handful of other regular year ticks (47).  Up to 7 cattle egrets in fields south of Clonakilty this lunchtime, not enjoying the wind and rain!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year (list)

Nothing too unusual around the patch today, with the wintering whimbrel in Dirk Bay the only 'noteworthy' year tick (42).  Five cattle egrets were still present in cattle fields south of Clonakilty this afternoon.