A nice sunny calm day in Cork and I was out and about, at this stage it's like the first 4 hours of a bird race where everything is easy and the ticks are coming fast. Blackcap on the feeders, Chiffchaff in a hedgerow or ditches as they're called around here. A bunch of Snipe flushed from a field and 12 Skylarks fluttering around were all to be expected.
It occurred to me that I couldn't recall seeing any bird of prey yet this year, very strange, a nice day like today should change that hopefully. A couple of hours later I was walking across the farmyard when a male Sparrowhawk zoomed over my head going straight for the feeders, panic amongst the birds but he left empty taloned. Hour or so later and a kestrel showed very well being chased by a Jackdaw.
No photos of any of these as carrying a camera is obviously not practical. Early afternoon and a hell of a commotion around the house and I was thinking the Sparrowhawk was back, but no a Peregrine came into view circling overhead. Very nice, they breed just a couple of miles away and regularly hunt around the area. Amazingly that wasn't the end as on my way back from town I spotted a pair of Buzzards in early courtship soaring mode. I was only a quarter of a mile from home and was tempted to dash back but decided no I wanted them on the patch when I ticked them. I ignored the temptation when I reached home to look behind me but it made no difference anyway, within a few minutes they sailed over the house and they were properly on the list, and a little later I saw another perched in a tree. Amazing how common they have become, we'll be kicking them out of the way during the soaring survey next month.
So that was it, from 0 to 4 BoPs in the space of a few hours and with just Merlin left as a real possibility pretty soon its going to be like the last three hours of a bird race, with arguments, boredom and tiredness ruling.
42 species and 44 points puts me over 50% for the year