Saturday, as many are undoubtedly aware, was an absolutely glorious day.
As I knew it would be getting hot, I was up and about early at Ballycotton, conveniently intercepting the high tide. Started out at the cliffs, but little was passing seabird-wise, and so made my way to the lake.
Gull numbers are again building up, as are waders with yet more Greenshank in than last week.
A few more med gulls were about, but little else with them.
I then made my way in from silver strand to the lake channel (too lazy to brave the walk from Ballynamona in the rising heat basically), and began to search for any small waders or terns.
Whilst walking the ditch that runs into the reedy area a bird got up from underneath me. A CRAKE!
It flopped onto the mud just a short distance away, and began to walk along the lake-reed fringe towards the bog road. It was a Spotted Crake! Not just a Full Fat patch Tick. Not just a finds tick! But an actual lifer!!
A species which has managed to avoid me in all my travels abroad, despite every other crake species wandering around my feet over the years.
The bird was on view for just a brief period as it made it's way down the lake fringe, eventually being consumed by both reeds and heat haze.
At this point I badly wanted to hit a beer garden, but spurred on by this great bird, I made my way to the marshes, working Shan and Allens in the hope of a Green Sandpiper (Matter of time in the back of Shan). But this great bird was all there was to be, and I had no complaints.
After hours wandering in the heat, I was knackered, so had a quick swim to cool off and made my way for shade and coffee.
Score: 192. Comparative : 81.47% Species: 134