Got my 2014 account up and running on Rathlin yesterday (4 January) and despite an utter soaking, I managed a respectable 50 species during the day. It was pleasing to see that many of the good birds seen on my last visit some 6 weeks ago were still present. This included single Long-tailed Ducks and Goldeneye in the Harbour, a female Pochard at Ally Lough and up to 5 Great Northern Divers off the West Pier. The only surprises of the day were a second Long-tailed Duck off Mill Bay, alongside a female Common Scoter and a flock of 5 Whooper Swans flying north off Doon Bay.
More than 85 Greylags flew in to roost at Ushet Lough in the late afternoon, but still did not contain anything more unusual. On my first visit last year I recorded 51 species, so I’m happy enough with a similar start this year.
I’ll leave you with this geektastic graph showing my accumulation of year ticks on Rathlin last year. It doesn’t show us birders anything we don’t already know, but highlights just what a pathetic autumn I had.
Score - 50 species, 60 points or 39.7%
|Graph of the year at this stage...|