Saturday, March 28, 2009

wet sunday

Not much of note mig-wise on patch this weekend - 1 chiffchaff this morning at Shite Lane was the best of it. A smattering of manx shearwaters off Galley, with c. 100 in 20 minutes and a fully winged 1st winter iceland gull at Long Strand this afternoon was the rest of it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


A flock of c.80 golden plover flying around Galley and Kilkeran Lake mid-morning was visible from the patch (81).  There was a lot of gull action on the lake today too, with a first winter iceland gull the best of it, struggling to fly with several missing primaries. Didn't manage any wander for migs today though, but did have the 7 cattle egrets still near White's Marsh on the way back from clon this morning.

Friday, March 20, 2009

early cuckoo!

Continuing the theme of birds finding me, a cuckoo flying past the window this lunchtime was an unexpected surprise - well early! Otherwise, just 2 chiffchaffs gleaned from this mornings sojourn around Galley (80), with 3 black redstarts (new in, I'd say) and another chiffchaff at Long Strand in the afternoon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

you should never go to them...

You should let them come to you! So sang Morrissey and he should know. Sound birding advice too, if the last couple of days are anything to go by. Just 1 black redstart in the garden this morning when I opened the curtains. An hours wander round shite lane & the top lane in a cold easterly produced absolutely nothing, so I gave up and went back home, only to be rewarded by a sandwich tern on the lake, from the kitchen window - result! (78).

black reds

Two black redstarts were loitering with intent between Long Strand and Shite Lane this morning (77). Missed them last year, although they are usually pretty regular on the patch.  Nothing else around though.  Three black redstarts spent the afternoon knocking around the garden, allowing some poor quality camera work - new birds? could easily have been, though not far from this mornings sighting.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ear we go!

Finally got to grips with a nice male wheatear this morning, although i did have to twitch it (76). Should have been up earlier, as the finder took great delight in telling me! Did have a female merlin out by the lighthouse too, but there didn't seem to be much else about, as I gave all the usual haunts a hoof along the way, to no avail - maybe tomorrow!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

hammer time

Another blank on the mig front but did happen across a male yellowhammer booting around (scarce here) and a flyover siskin heading north-east - unusual in the spring, so a good morning to be out (75). The first patch year ticks in over a month, so hopefully that signals the end of the winter lull!

nae migs

A three hour thrash round Galley this morning produced no sign of any migs. Did have a male merlin and the wintering whimbrel was still in Dirk, along with 72 (count 'em) red-throated divers and 7 common scoter (which I missed). At least another 29 red-throats between Galley and Long Strand giving a v high count of 101 (Bully's special prize!) I'd have swapped all of them for an 'ear though!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

ivory gull - baltimore

A welcome phone call late morning about a 1st w ivory gull flying around Baltimore harbour was followed by excellent views of it a short while later. What a cracking bird! I've only seen one other, in Fraserburgh in October 1997, so its been a while! Keep up the good work, Julian!

Photo: C Cronin

Back on the patch, the white gull theme continued with a 1st w iceland gull on the lake for a while early afternoon. Happy days!