Saturday, May 25, 2013

Another weekend of patch goodies

A slow week with too much work & far too much tedious wind from the north-west! However, yesterday evening the wind started to drop and I chanced a look at the lake - instant reward - partial summer plumage dunlin! Score!

Absolutely flat calm conditions this morning - my favourite for spring at Galley! And it wasn't long before I was back in the year ticks! Evidence of wader migration was still going on in the form of 14 partial summer plumage sanderlings on Long Strand, which was nice. And then a furtive collared dove was cooing hopefully from a telephone pole - he'll be lucky! First collared dove hereabouts since last summer I'd say! They don't breed and only pass through occasionally, though I'm not sure from how far away!

The fourth and final year tick was the best! Whilst scanning yet another hedgerow for a non-existent shrike I heard a snatch of grasshopper warbler reeling away (109). As I got closer, I could see it sitting right out on a bare bramble, before it flew inland to the next dyke - the way it was booting around suggesting it had only just made landfall. My latest ever here, as normally they would be through in the 3rd week of April, and I'd given up hope of getting one this year. A real bonus!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

more migs!

Its been a slow couple of weeks at Galley - predominantly breezy north west winds haven't particularly conducive to going out looking for migs, and on the few mornings when it has been calmer there's been very little about. Until today....

First stop this morning was the top lane, and as I meandered down it, still half asleep, I noticed a dove flying past - flung up the bins in time for a blip view of a turtle dove zooming over the ridge towards Shite Lane - a good start!

There didn't seem to be much else until I arrived at Shite Lane to try and dig out the dove, only to find a whinchat on the whinchat hedge! Another bonus, and one that has been tricky enough in recent years!

A jaunt down Marsh Lane produced the years first 3 swifts, and by now I was feeling pretty happy with my lot, after such a dire couple of weeks, but the best was yet to come! Stopping to check Long Strand for the two female long-tailed ducks that I'd seen earlier in the week, I noticed what looked like a roosting wader on the rocks. Or was it just a grey stone that looked a bit like a roosting wader? Good job I checked more closely as it turned out to be a grey plover!! Only my 4th ever at Galley, and the first one I've actually seen on the deck here! Amayzing! (105)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

patch yellow!

Been hitting Galley fairly hard over the last couple of weeks with little to show for it! However, today my luck was in for once! Approaching the Shite Lane crossroads I noticed a field of cows, with very short grass. It looked perfect for a yellow wag! "Better scan that for yellow wag" I thought, seconds before clapping my eyes onto a stunning bright yellow wagtail! Ker-ching!

Yellow wagtail - what a cracker!

This is only my 4th at Galley, following two together and a single a few autumns ago. First one in spring too, though I did miss a few spring ones in 2011, whilst away. All in all, a cracker! Maybe things will heat up a bit now!!

Whitethroats are definately in today too, with at least 4 setting up territory, moving me up to 101 for the year! All good!