Wednesday, April 22, 2009

seawatching in the gloaming

Managed to get to Galley for the last half hour of light tonight in a fairly stiff south-westerly. Wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped but I was maybe a bit late. Did manage 2 puffins and 2 bonxies for the year (94), and 1 sandwich tern, while manx shearwaters were coming past in bunches of 30 at a time (approx. 600 per hour).

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Another morning wander with not very much to show for it - the male yellowhammer was singing again,  a collared dove at Shite Lane was the second for the year, and a sedge warbler was just beginning to break into song in the roadside roses at Long Strand (92).

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Another blank this morning with just a few willow warblers and chiffchaffs singing around the place. A first winter iceland gull at Long Strand is getting a bit late, while year tick of the day materialised at lunchtime in the form of a whitethroat singing near the house (91).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

bits 'n' bobs

A brief look at Shite Lane & Marsh Lane this morning produced 5 willow warblers, 1 chiffchaff and a male blackcap (90).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

(sp)ring ouzel

A fine male ring ouzel booting around shite lane crossroads was a real bonus for the year (89) - can be tricky enough in autumn, but this is my first spring one at Galley. Nothing much else doing, although the male yellowhammer was still trying his hardest to find a mate - give it up, fella!

take it away, gropper!

A reeling grasshopper warbler at Long Strand this evening was new for the year - can be tricky too, so a bonus (88).

Friday, April 10, 2009

vis mig

Still quiet this morning but two willow warblers in Dirk Bay and a trickle of sand martins over were both new for the year (87).  A few swallows were knocking around too, and the singing yellowhammer was still present this morning - bet it gives up soon though!

happy hour again

News of a male sub-alp and honey buzz at Mizen Head stung me into action late afternoon, but didn't do better than 2 chiffchaffs, one singing (!) yellowhammer and c.60 golden plovers wheeling around. Did glean a house martin for the year at Long Strand this evening (85).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

more seawatch news

Another blustery wet day produced a steady stream of manx shearwaters (1,900 per hour) and puffins (150 per hour) plus 2 pomarine skuas and 8 bonxies west.  Two sandwich terns were off Long Strand mid-morning.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

should have been seawatching...

The first seawatch in anger today and I missed it! Not a bad haul either, with manx shearwaters moving at approx 1,200/hour and puffins pelting past at 190/hour - pretty impressive!  Highlights included 1 sooty shearwater, 3 'blue' fulmars, 4 bonxies and a sub-adult pomarine skua, all heading west.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

10,000 up!

The 1st winter glaucous gull was lumbering past the window again this morning when I opened the blinds. A bit wet and windy so I didn't venture out, but did have 2 or 3 swallows hawking over the lake - still no sand martins though!


Congratulations to the 10,000th blog visitor, who hails from Altrincham in Cheshire, and visited at 14.50 this very pm - its only taken 2 years to get this many! But that's page views folks, not hits (or something) - here's to the next 10,000!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

more on the board

The sight of a 1st winter glaucous gull and a 1st winter iceland gull at Long Strand first thing this morning wasn't very spring like, however 5 chiffchaffs and a collared dove in Dirk Bay was more encouraging, as was 2 wheatears and 1 manx shearwater from the lighthouse, with a female merlin trying to slay everything in her path. Two swallows at Long Strand this lunchtime were long overdue for the year (84).

Friday, April 3, 2009

wet glauc

Very wet today, so no outdoor birding for me! Did have a 1st winter glaucous gull lumber past the house mid-morning, heading towards the beach, but not much else.