Another fruitless scan of the golf course pools, sadly they're not producing the goods like I thought they might. There are a number of Duck sp on the patch list from the '80's as a result of the Owenacurra floodplain, (now known as housing estates) but they're not showing up on patch this year. The trouble with an inland patch is that there are no 'right' conditions. falls dont happen, seawatching isn't an option, you just need to get lucky with something flying over.
The only new bird recently was Little Egret and the most surprising thing about that was that it took until now to see one on patch. Since they first started breeding nearby at the end of the 90's they have become a regular sight, even on one occasion following a plough.
What's that coming over the hill?
Little Egrets seem particularly unsuited to a wet Irish winter. You see them standing at the edge of a field, morose and hunched in the downpour probably cursing whatever ancestor thought range expansion was a good move. When they do rouse themselves they stalk slowly around a field like an old farmer inspecting cattle leaning forward with his hands clasped behind his back, afraid to show enthuasiasm in case anyone thought he had money.
They dont seem to particularly care for cattle, preferring to keep their own company, which makes them easy to tell apart at long range from the much perkier Cattle Egret. 47 sp and 50 points now.