Sunday, 18 August 2013

Autumnal August

Finished up on the Little Tern project yesterday (17th August) and won't be back on patch until mid-September as I'm off out West for my yearly penance at The Bridges of Ross. So the end of Summer/start of Autumn brought with it a successful breeding season for the Little Terns (45 pairs raising 75 juveniles) and a couple of excellent additions to the patch year list...

(141) Wood Sandpiper: one flyover, calling at 06:10am on 3rd August. Part of a spate of sightings of this species around the country at the time.

(142) WHINCHAT: juvenile along the coastal path just South of The Breaches bridge at 4pm on 13th August. Long time bogey finally laid to rest. Tend to miss Whinchat on patch most years whilst off seawatching. This bird only hung around for a few minutes with a couple of Wheatears before moving on. Got it by the skin of my teeth it seems!

"Full fat" patch tick! © Niall Keogh

Migrating wader tallies for the first half of August, peak day counts in brackets: Dunlin (175+), Ringed Plover (61), Turnstone (4), Redshank (12), Greenshank (3), Black-tailed Godwit (22), Bar-tailed Godwit (1), Green Sandpiper (singles on 2nd & 5th), Whimbrel (3), Lapwing (30), Sanderling (11), Common Sandpiper (6), Curlew (85+) & a juvenile Ruff on 13th & 14th. 

Juv Ruff, showing well by the wardens camp © Niall Keogh

The switch to Autumn was revealed by flocks of 80+ Linnets around The Breaches, 25 Collared Doves around Webb's farmyard, up to 5 Wheatears a day, a super flock of 33 Arctic Terns on the 4th and juvenile Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler & Chiffchaff moving through the Sea Buckthorn.

Waterbirds on Webb's lagoon & Stringer's channels peaked at 17 Little Grebe, 237 Mallard, 2 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 16 Teal & 3 Wigeon.

Seawatching early in the month was slow but produced 7 Roseate Terns, 3 Red-throated Divers, 34 Common Scoter & a Tufted Duck

August on the patch ends with 142 species, 181 points & 92.58%

...oh and I dipped Sooty Shearwater courtesy of Stephen McAvoy on 10th whilst at a stag in Galway! Damn!

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