Friday, 1 March 2013
Brownstown - late Feb
I made a last-chance midweek visit on 27th Feb to take advantage of the weather and see if I could break 60 (or 70) species before March. Headed for ‘the valley’ first – very quiet there but I picked up patch-year ticks of Goldcrest, Meadow Pipit (at last!) and Chough on the way. The cliffs at Benlea, just east of the valley, had a nice group of 52 Guillemots ashore on their usual ledge, but no sign of the expected Ravens. Wider coverage over the next few hours produced almost all the species seen on previous visits, and a fair few additions too (but frustratingly no Snipe, Skylark, Redwing or Greenfinch). Highlights were a Merlin (hunting pipits) and 11 Common Scoter (freshly arrived in Tramore Bay, my first there this winter). Tramore beach held 28 Sanderling, and the backstrand obliged with a few further scoped year-ticks including Greenshank. All this and sunburn, frogspawn, almost October levels of coverage (5 hours & 55 species) – but still only 57 species (68 points, 46.6%) for the year.