Wednesday, April 10, 2013

patch tickage baby yeah!

Well, the inevitable finally happened! A calm and dry morning first thing so I hurried back down to the scoter-scanning-spot to try my luck at bagging the lingering velvet scoter off Cloghna Head (approximately 1.5 miles off-patch). The scoter flock was still there, diving just off the rocks at the base of the head, seemingly unperturbed by the still fairly huge swell. It was quite easy to pick out the female common scoters, despite the salt spray, but seeing any kind of detail of the head pattern on the other birds as they bobbed up and down was pretty impossible.  However, my luck was in, as after only a few minutes, the velvet scoter flapped its wings briefly, and the white wing feathers shone out! Patch tick! Whoop! 30 minutes later, I clocked it again from the lay-by on Cloghna Head, on the way home from the school run - confirmation that the velvet hadn't morphed into a white-winged scoter overnight!

As the morning remained calm and dry, I had a quick scout around for migs, but couldn't do better than a solitary chiffchaff - the migrant floodgates are still to open hereabouts!

Final score of the day came in the form of a flyby 1st winter iceland gull from the dinner table this evening - April does seem to be the most regular month for these guys - another valuable year tick, bringing up the 90 with only a handful of migrants so far! Plenty still to get!

No comments: