Monday, November 30, 2009

effortless birding

Another good bird turns up outside the window - today it was a cracking adult male black redstart on the roof of the house, and then foraging under the composter - very smart!

bully's special prize

Skiving around in the house dodging work paid off big time this afternoon when I noticed a female bullfinch flying past the window (134). It flew down the garden and landed on phone wires near the road, giving itself up - only my 4th record for the patch, all in the last 2 years. So now just 1 species short of my target total for the year, and just 1 month left in the year to sort it out! Won't do better than 3rd place in the patch challenge, but can I hold onto it?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

black red

Very windy all day but did have 2 great northern divers on the lake this morning, riding out the waves. Ventured down Dirk in the afternoon, trying to find a bit of shelter and flushed a black redstart off a recent cliffslide, plus had the wintering whimbrel & 4 more great northern divers sheltering here. Shame there wasn't anything more exotic!  Checked out the pools at Red Strand on the way home and there were the 5 pintail, large as life - and a good deal larger than the other day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

a dreaded sunny day...

The wind dropped a good bit today, allowing me a chance to scour the lake for gale-blown patch ticks but could only manage a slightly out of place great northern diver, while the reshuffled "aythya gang" made another reappearance and today featured 2 scaup, 4 tufted duck and the female goldeneye.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a whole new low...

News from mcA of 5 pintail on the flooded fields behind Red Strand this morning got us wondering as to whether they could be visible from the patch. A quick trek to the stubble fields above dirk and the pools were in sight (just), but not the ducks. McA headed back to the car to go check if they were still present. Two minutes later, 5 ducks flushed out of the field and landed on the pool. The excitement nearly reached fever pitch as mcA's car trundled along the strand road, then the 2 arms aloft signalling that them's the birds and they promptly flew onto the patch list and, more importantly, the patch year list (133 and back into 3rd in the challenge). All to play for!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Another scan of the distant trees behind the lake finally produced 2 stock doves for the year (132) - was beginning to think I'd missed them completely. Quiet otherwise, with just the 3 scaup back on the lake early afternoon, hence the desperate treewatching! 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

variations on a theme

Wet and windy today so didn't venture far!  A slight change in the Kilkeran duck flock late afternoon, with the 3 scaup back, but with only 1 tufted duck and a female goldeneye today.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

just like the old days!

Got home just before dusk tonight to find the lake hopping!  A family party of 5 whooper swans pitched down on the lake shortly after I got in - they were a bit nervous though, and flew off towards Ross soon afterwards.  Even more surprising was that there was also a party of 7 aythya ducks on the lake! The light was very poor from the house, so I nashed down to the shore, to find 3 grubby looking scaup (131), and 4 grubby looking tufted ducks! The 2 coots were also still present along with 36 (count 'em!) little grebes, recreating the days of yore when Kilkeran used to hooch with wildfowl!