Sunday, 13 January 2013

Mopping up the leftovers

Arrived back home on the 6th January under the cover of darkness following the festive period away. Heading for the office on the 7th and, still under the cover of darkness, my #patchbirding challenge account opened with a ‘half-heartedly’ singing Song Thrush, quickly followed by equally ‘half-hearted’ attempts by a Robin and a Blackbird in the garden. As lunchtime approached I left the office and made the short way down to Blacksod Point in the hope of connecting with some pre-xmas ‘patch goodies’. Scanning from the pier I quickly added a variety of ‘regular’ waders and gulls, as well as some ‘2 pointers’ including several Great Northern and Red-throated Divers, 4 Slavonian Grebes, 100+ Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a couple of Black Guillemots whilst 3 Purple Sandpiper were roosting on the old pier. Heading back I made a brief visit back home and found the bird feeders busy with, in particular, 3 male House Sparrows – the first of the ‘patch goody leftovers’ – and ending the session with 46 species on the list.
Birdless Tarmon Hill - not even a Meadow Pipit!
The following morning, watching the feeders over breakfast added the next leftover in the form of 2 Great Tits. Again a lunchtime foray added a few more ‘2 pointers’ with an adult Black-throated Diver offshore, an over-wintering Whimbrel on the beach along with 4 Chough whilst in a ‘tatty patch’ a small group of Twite were feeding along with 7 Snow Buntings. Scanning through 300+ Barnacle and several Greylag Geese, a lone Pink-footed Goose was found. Heading back to the office a further 21 species had been ‘penned-in’ on the list.

#patchgold2012 - Treecreeper

The next addition, a Treecreeper, was actually a Mullet tick for me in November last year, which I had last seen on 10 December so it was great to see it appear in the garden again yesterday! The final ‘leftover’ appeared this morning with 3 Long-tailed Tits in one of the gardens.
Long-tailed Tit
A good stomp around the patch today clocked a further 5 additions including 2 Woodcock and a fly-over Whooper Swan bringing the overall score to 92 points i.e. 42.59%. Not a bad week!

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