Short eared owl, one of 2 flushed infront of us by a hunting party
Decided to give the patchbirding a go this year. Will work an area from Cahore point south to the lake with Shane Farrell. Last years tally was 147ish, highlights included citrine wagtail, melodious warbler, several yellow wags, 3 pecs, 4 little ringed plovers, American wigeon, green-winged teal amongst a great selection of waders, passers and a few seabirds. A montague's harrier was the only rarity bop wise but the area must get a few hobbies.
A woodcock flying over the road just before we got onto the patch was a mixed start, it would be a full patch tick, so close, surely it was as close as we would get? But late afternoon a hunting party party flushed one almost into our laps as we sat on a ridge over looking marsh. It landed in cover beside us and with the camera ready to go, I took a few steps closer and out it exploded! The hounds also sent two short eared owls past us, adding to a great day list of bops. Kestrel, peregrine, merlin, sparrowhawk and a tagged hen harrier got all the regulars out of the way without a fight. A great crested grebe flying north over the sea could have been a tricky species and was the best a short sea watch produced.
A day list of 62 was a good start, great weather and some great views of all the birds.
Woodcock, first patch tick of 2014!