Monday, 18 June 2012

Spring round up

Well thats me finished for the spring. I did not make it up on sunday after all. My next trip wont be till the middle of August. It seemed like a pretty good spring countrywide. Looking at the records it seems to be one of the best springs on record for rare and scarce birds on Tory. The weather from late march to late May had a strong continental flavour with east and south east winds predominating. Common migrants were in short supply with maximum counts of just 6 Willow Warblers and 6 Chiffchaff and smaller numbers of other warblers and Spotted Flycatchers.Tory had birders on for 14 days during this period and these are the highlights;

Greenland White fronted Goose; 1 on 14th April

Corncrake; Up to 8 birds calling in May

Corncrake (R.Vaughan)

Curlew Sandpiper; One on 4th June

Curlew Sandpiper (P.Phillips)

Red-necked Phalarope; 2 from the ferry off Inishbofin Island on 30th May (R.Vaughan)
                                            1 off Tory Island on 4th June (P.Phillips)

Red necked Phalarope (P.Phillips)

Ruff ; Male in full breeding plumage on 28th May

Ruff  R.Vaughan

Yellow legged Gull; Adult 27th May to 4th June (R.Vaughan et al)

Short eared Owl; One on 28th May

Short eared Owl (R.Vaughan)

White Wagtail; 1 on 25th March. 2 on 14th April. 2 on 16th April. 12 on 21st May.

Bluethroat; One red spotted bird from 20th -22nd May (R.Smyth T.Campbell, R. Murray et al) 

Bluethroat P.Philllips

Common Redstart; One on 27th May (C.Ingram W.Farelly et al)

Redstart R.Vaughan

Whinchat; One on 23rd May (C.Ingram R.Sheppard)

Garden Warbler; One on 11th June (C.Ingram)

Lesser Whitethroat; One on 21st May (P.Phillips)

Leser Whitethroat (P.Phillips)

Collared Flycatcher; One on 29th May (R.Vaughan et al)

Collared Flycatcher (P.Phillips)

Mealy Redpoll; One on 23rd May (C.Ingram R. Sheppard)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

More east wind predicted...

The weather looks good again for this weekend on Tory with strong easterlies and rain later in the week turning north east over the weekend. Some great birds on the Western Isles in early June including Rustic Bunting and Greater Sandplover.  See recent sightings

There seem to be plenty of Marsh Warblers on the east coast of Britain, and early June would seem like the perfect time for one to turn up on Tory.

Great Grey Shrike  has turned up before on Tory in June, and Black-headed Bunting in July.

I am planning my last spring trip up this sunday.

Chris Ingram 11th June

I had an e mail from Chris Ingram last night, he was on Tory yesterday.

"Just did the short trip today so only covered the West end.  Best birds were a Spotted Flycatcher and a Garden Warbler in the magic bush.  Also from the ferry a Storm Petrel. 41 species + 7 from the ferry, list as follows:

Cormorant, Shag, Gannet, Mute Swan, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Eider, Pheasant, Corncrake 3s, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Snipe, Whimbrel, Redshank, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull,Herring Gull,  Great Black Back, Lesser Black Back, Kittiwake, Arctic Tern 2, Little Tern c.20, Rock Dove, Skylark, Swallow, Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Wheatear, Wren, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Hooded Crow, Raven, Chough,  Starling, Tree Sparrow.  From the ferry: Storm Petrel 1, Manx Shearwater 3, Fulmar, Puffin, Black Guillemot, Guillemot, Razorbill.

No phalaropes, did look carefully, as I need it for my County list (!), but I think a full day could still turn something up.  I hardly had time to do the west properly. "

Garden Warbler is new for the year and joins a list of scarce birds seen this spring that might normally be associated with Tory in autumn; Redstart, Black Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat and Whinchat

Monday, 11 June 2012

Corncrake update 11th June

I was talking to Anton Meenan today and he has recently counted the calling males on the Island. So far definetly seven birds (possibly eight) 4 east end, 3-4 west end. Compared to 8 possibly nine calling males last year.

Recent photos of Corncrake by Richard Smith


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

4th June Red-necked Phalarope

Lots of cloud predicted

Light easterly winds

Not much cloud!

Cloud and rain just missed Tory
A pleasent crossing with a few auks;Razorbill

Razorbills and Guillemots. The best a single Storm Petrel

A nice day for a walk

Very few migrants in west town. Just 4 Chiffchaff. No sign of yesterdays 2 Spot Flys
Lots of breeding waders; Oystercatcher

Lapwing chick

Back in west town

Magic Bush in West Town

Someones been spraying the nettles in west town......

Wren trying to avoid a big black cat sitting in the magic bush
Grace's garden. The only migrant a single Whitethroat


Take away delived right to the door

A quiet day..just as I head for the ferry 15 dunlin fly in and with them a nice summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper with Dunlin
Rob vaughan had 2 Red necked Phalarope from the ferry last week close to Inishbofin  Island

Within a minute of scanning the water, hey presto a Red necked Phalarope- probably over looked

Ferry home

Eider with ducklings along the coast

Richard Smith 3rd June

Richard Smith and Theo campbell were on Tory today. They had the following;

Manx Shearwater 2
Gt Black Backed Gull
Herring Gull
Common Gull
Black Headed Gull
Black Guillemot
Sanderling 11 - 12
Ringed Plover
Golden Plover 2
Wheatear (Two different colourations, possibly Greenland variety?)
Rock Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Tree sparrow
Little Tern 21
Arctic Tern 2
Corncrake 3 seen & 4-5 heard. 

We did a walk down to the lighthouse via the western harbour. Walked out to little graveyard. Returned to village via lake and spent most of the time after this around the gardens to the rear of the village.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Mark Carmody; 2nd June

I recieved an e-mail from Mark Carmody who was on Tory yesterday;

I went to Tory yesterday on the 0845 boat and came back off on the 1600
boat because it was just too windy on the island and so was very quiet. I
concentrated myself around West Town and the path out to the lighthouse,
checking the standing water pools and lake on the way. I never went off the
main track so all numbers are estimates for the waders. The following is a
list of birds seen:

Corncrake: 4-5 birds calling behind West Town and 2 birds calling up by the
Lighthouse Lake
Chiffchaff: 4 birds singing around West Town
Willow Warbler: a single bird at the Magic Bush
Whitethroat: 1 bird singing behind West Town
Sedge Warbler: 1 singing behind West Town
Wheatear: 4-5 pairs on the path out to Lighthouse
Swallow: 12 birds feeding over the rotting seaweed in the harbour
Rock Pipit: several birds at the harbour and by the Lighthouse
Meadow Pipit: several pairs in the fields along the path to the Lighthouse
Wren: several around West Town
Tree Sparrow: 8 behind West Town
House Sparrow: 2 (female-types) behind West Town in flight
Starling: lot of young birds around
Redshank: several pairs
Oystercatcher: several pairs
Snipe: up to 12 birds drumming
Ringed Plover: 4 pairs noted
Dunlin: flock of 14
Whimbrel: 4 birds with some display flight noted
Bar-tailed Godwit: a single bird up at the lake
Turnstone: 10 at the harbour
Yellow-legged Gull: a single bird (adult) with the Common Gulls at the lake
Little Tern: a flock of 16 birds in 'dread' flight
Arctic Tern: 4 noted
Raven: a family party of 6
Chough: 4
Manx Shearwater: 60 birds heading east on the way out
Fulmar: 30 heading east on the way out
Gannet: 200 heading east on the way out
Storm Petrel: 2 birds on the way out
Puffin: 12 birds heading east on the way out

Lot of auks moving west on the way back. GBB Gulls, LBB Gulls and Common
Gulls were the prevalent gull species. 

House Sparrow is new for the year. Up to four birds used to be seen with the 100 strong Tree Sparrow flock during the 1990's.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Rob Vaughan; 27th-30th May

Rob was on Tory for four days and sent me the following Trip Report and photos

Sunday 27th

Eider- pair of adults at the pier at Maheroarty.

Eider at Maheroarty

Glaucous gull- 2 2nd or 3rd calender years (pale eyes but washed out plumage) by the pier at Maheroarty.

Glaucous Gull at Maheroarty Pier

Redwing-1 on the soccer pitch, 1 heard flying over during the night

Redstart- female at the east end (Grace's garden) found by Wilton/Chris
Female Redstart

Whitethroat- 2 females at the east end
Blackcap- 2 males at the east end
Woodpigeon- 1 flushed from the cliffs at the very east end
Puffins-100 plus at the very east end on the sea, several pairs bringing grass to burrows on a northern slope
Yellow legged Gull- an adult behind west town with a dozen lesser black backs late in the evening
Merlin- female type flew over west town
Buzzard- one adult soaring above cliffs above west town, sitting on fence posts in the evening by the town
Chiffchaffs- several birds in most bushes and nettles patches
Willow warblers- as above

Monday 28th

Ruff- stunning male by the lighthouse displayed to a Redshank
Male Ruff

Artic Tern- 6 pairs by the lighthouse
Common Tern- a few singles with the Arctic terns
Sandwich Tern- at least 3 around the lighthouse
Little Tern- at least 10 got up mobbing me as I walked the road to the lighthouse
Spotted Flycatcher- 3-4 east and west end
Whimbrel- 2 at the lighthouse, 1 in the harbour.
Buzzard- an adult that looked to be different than yesterdays birds, roughly the same area.

Short-eared Owl behind the football pitch

Tuesday 29th

Corncrake- finally saw one, 3-4 singing west end, 1 east end

Corncrake at West Town

Collared flycatcher- just the 1!

Collared Flycatcher

Willow Warbler- 2 behind west town
Chiffchaff- a few behind west town
Common Sandpiper- 1 calling in the harbour

Wednesday 30th

Robin- by the football pitch
Artic skua- dark phase adult flying over open ground between the towns chasing and being chased by lapwing.
Dark phase Arctic Skua

Sanderling- 1 in the harbour
Whimbrel- 1 in the harbour
Red necked phalaropes- 2  sitting on the sea from the boat back
Buzzard- one adult flying north over Inishbofin
Storm petrel- 3-4 on the ferry back. (C. Ingram) has 5
Chiffchaff 2 (C.Ingram)

Chris Ingram  and Ralph Sheppard also had 3 Killer Whales and  a Basking Shark from the boat and a Porpoise from the Island

Trip list

Storm Petrel
Grey Heron
Mute Swan, pair on each of the 3 lakes
Greylag Goose, 3 flying west on Monday evening
Wigeon, 2 east lake
Teal, 2 males east lake
Tufted Duck
Ringed Plover
Golden Plover
Common Sandpiper
Red-necked Phalarope
Artic Skua
Black-headed Gull
Common Gull
Great black backed Gull
Lesser black backed Gull
Yellow legged Gull
Glacuous Gull
Herring Gull
Sandwich Gern
Little Tern
Artic Tern
Common Tern
Guillemot, one bridled seen on the ferry back
Black Guillemot
Wood Pigeon
Feral Pigeon
Collared Dove
Short eared Owl
Sand Martin
House Martin
Rock Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail
Sedge warbler
White throat
Willow warbler
Collared flycatcher
Spotted flycatcher
Hooded crow
Tree sparrow, a tleast 3 pairs
Redpoll, 1 on the 28th, 2 on the 30th
Reed Bunting