Saturday, January 31, 2009

redneck in west cork

News of a red-necked grebe near Durrus had me hot-footing it to the wesht - a full-blown irish tick, no less. Got cracking views of it too, must be 10 years since I've seen one! Closer to home, the 4 goldeneye were back again today, for some more loafing around on the lake.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

fisher of kings

A kingfisher spent ages sitting on a post looking over the flooded fields at Long Strand this lunchtime - a tricky one to get for the patch year list (70), and one I missed last year. Had the black-necked grebe again on the lake this morning too.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

glauc again

A 1st winter glaucous gull headed along Long Strand towards Owenahincha this morning. Nothing much doing lakeside though.

Friday, January 23, 2009

cashing in

Cashed in reed bunting, skylark and peregrine for the year this morning (69), with a merlin over too.


A fine 1st winter glaucous gull and 3 lapwings (66) were on the lakeside this afternoon, with the black-necked grebe still out on the lake.

Monday, January 19, 2009

water rail

A squealing water rail in the reeds by the lake got onto the patch year list this morning (64), while the black-necked grebe was still hanging around.

And the winners are....

Congratulations to Fat Paul Scholes, worthy winner of the 2008 Patch List Challenge, with a whopping 107.96% !! Best find on-patch for 2008 went to Lord Buffy, for his fine buff-bellied pipit at Lough Beg (59% of the votes), with a supporting cast of citrine wagtail - both firsts for Northern Ireland! The jammy git!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Six turnstones at Long Strand were the only year tick today (63), with the black-necked grebe still present on the lake.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

windy but

The gales continued today, driving a great northern diver onto the lake, along with the black-necked grebe and the 4 goldeneye. Kilkeran hasn't been this busy for ages - shame there's no grey phal though, and none in Dirk either, with just 2 great northern divers there today.

Friday, January 16, 2009

BNG still here

A lull in the wind this pm allowed a scan of the lake, with both black-necked grebe and the 4 goldeneye still present.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

wet 'n' windy

Very windy and wet today so birding was limited to scoping the lake from the jax window (no sign of the grebe), and watching a 1st w iceland gull fly over Long Strand (62).

Monday, January 12, 2009

11 o'clock rarity

I remember years ago there was a running joke about rare birds always being found on North Ron at 11 o'clock, and that when news broke, folk would put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea before heading out to see it.  It was a bit like that today (although less rare!) as I scanned the lake while waiting for the kettle to boil and my toast to pop up. There appeared to be a black-necked grebe diving in the near corner! I made the tea and toast, headed out to the office for my scope, and behold, it WAS a black-necked grebe - only my second for the patch - nice one (61). Of course, had it been a red-necked grebe (an irish tick) I'd have been straight out there, in full headless chicken mode! The 4 goldeneye were still present too.

bn grebe kilkeran lake

Black-necked grebe, Kilkeran Lake - Sean Cronin  More of Sean's photo's here

Saturday, January 10, 2009

that's more of it, ted

After dipping on 1st January, I finally got fulmar for the year out near the head this afternoon, plus a cracking adult winter med gull on the lake and a fly-by kestrel at Long Strand late on (60).

Friday, January 9, 2009

one more

Off patch for most of the day, but managed sparrowhawk over the lake this morning (57), and had the male pochard there late afternoon.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

another day, another duck

A pair of shelduck graced the lake this morning - not quite what I had in mind following the cold snap, but they all count on the year list (56).  The 4 goldeneye and a nervous pochard were still loitering there too.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

awash with wildfowl

Crazy scenes this morning on half-frozen Kilkeran Lake, with 4 pochard (my first since Jan 2006!) 4 goldeneye and 4 mute swans present (55) - typically, the pochard had departed by noon, although the ice hadn't!

Monday, January 5, 2009

slow going

Not much in the way of obvious movement around the patch yet, although 9 teal on the lake mid-morning were new for the year (53).

Vote now for best patch find 08

A merlin flew past the kitchen window this morning, onto the patch year list (52). Quiet otherwise, though up to 12 cattle egrets strewn around the Clon area. Don't forget to vote for the best patch find of 2008 (see right hand side) - which of these would you most like to find on your local patch?

Sunday, January 4, 2009


No time out on the patch today but did have a snipe over the house late afternoon (51).

Saturday, January 3, 2009

and the last shall be first...

Today was the annual Great Island Bird Race, with 5 Cork teams meeting on the pier in Cobh at 8.30 to battle it out for the honours. We didn't really put a foot wrong all day, and by 1.00 pm were on 88, only 1 behind our paltry total for last year, when we really struggled.  Our luck held for the rest of the day, and we retired to the pub on 101, which turned out to be the winning score by 1 species! Jammy gits to a man!  Not too much in the way of highlights, with 1 cattle egret, 2 adult ring-billed gulls, 1 glaucous gull and 3 or 4 iceland gulls, long-eared owl and merlin the best.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year!

Off to a flyer for 2009 with the patch year list on 50 by the end of day 1.  No real surprises, with the wintering whimbrel still in Dirk, with 2 great northern divers also there, and good numbers of guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes feeding off Galley this pm.