Wednesday, May 26, 2010

first wader for a while

Two dunlins hiding on the beach in the seaweed at Long Strand this afternoon were new for the year (109).  Both were in breeding plumage and presumably still on their way north. I thought this seemed a bit late, but with news of 100 at Ballycotton this evening, perhaps its not.  Had brief views of a basking shark just off Long Strand this evening too.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shrike surprise

Got a bit of a shock this morning, when I was sitting looking out the bedroom window trying to work out if I was hungover or not. I gradually became aware that the bird I was looking at seemed to have a pale grey head with a black mask through the eye.  The thought that "that could be a shrike sitting there" gradually permeated my brain, before a scramble for the binoculars, (flinging the baby to one side) revealed that it was indeed a male red-backed shrike!! (108). It then flew into the sycamore trees in our garden, but flushed round the side of the house when I opened the window for another look, revealing its white tail patches as it went - cracking, but alas, all too brief - I couldn't relocate it afterwards.

Elsewhere on Galley today, a turtle dove and 2 collared doves were booting around, although I didn't catch up with them till they were off patch, while a spotted flycatcher was at Shite Lane. A basking shark was feeding in Dirk Bay this afternoon too, and 2 tufted ducks were on Kilkeran Lake this evening.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

spring sandpiper

Another grasshopper warbler was reeling away at Long Strand this evening, in a hawthorn bush in the dunes, so its song was carrying very well. A common sandpiper was also at Long Strand (107), which I think is my first spring record, although they are regular enough in small numbers in the autumn.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nevermind the migrants, here's a bullfinch

Took a stroll down Dirk this morning with high hopes of scoring a golden o or something similar. No such luck, but I was rewarded with a fine bullfinch instead, which is only my 5th sighting on the patch, I think.  There was little else doing there or around Shite Lane but did finally land a grasshopper warbler for the year, reeling away near the house tonight (106).

Monday, May 3, 2010

still trickling in

Out again this morning for another thrash of the patch. Still quiet but luckily I'm getting pretty used to that. Dirk struck lucky again this morning, with a fine spotted flycatcher (104), while I tried to liven things up a bit by stringing a garden warbler (still haven't seen one on the patch!) but had to admit defeat when it morphed into a female blackcap - maybe tomorrow...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

swift return

Another couple of hours in the field notched up this morning, but to not much avail. Still very quiet at Galley, although a singing male blackcap at Shite Lane was new in, while a swift over Dirk Bay was my first for the year (103).