Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Foot It and Patchwork Challenge - the off

Lovely day, sunny, fairly calm, good conditions for patch birding. Late start as it is an offspring's birthday so attendance at parcel unwrapping and the requirement to produce fresh pancakes for breakfast delayed the start. However, soon enough, with faithful hound along for the "walk" (charge about like a maniac) we were off. (Well, actually, a good number of species had been recorded from the kitchen window whilst preparing pancakes.)

 The Shunan this morn


Meadow Pipit was the first quality recorded, a tricky species at this time of year. Down at Loch of Bosquoy Little Grebe was located by careful searching, often a very tricky species to find. Twite and Hen Harrier were also found soon enough but the commuting Goosander were absent, clearly hung over at Loch of Wasdale after a heavy night. Down to Harray and very careful searching in less than ideal conditions, there being glare from the sunshine and a bit of chop due to the breeze, eventually revealed a single drake Scaup, however, Slav Grebe and Long-tailed Duck were absent.

Whooper Swans were gratefully ticked

Then back to Bosquoy where a Peregrine put in a brief appearance and finally home. Searching the garden finally produced a Fieldfare, sometimes tricky. 42 was a decent outcome, just 19 to go to beat last year's total, 68.9%.

Here's a view of the patch from the garden later in the day, with The Shunan in the foreground, Loch of Bosquoy next and Loch of Harray beyond.  The island of Hoy and its hills are in the distance.

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