July, a birders nemesis, time to dig out the moth trap, butterfly book, wild flower book, anything to get over the tedium of Julys birding. That’s my view on July, with no wader habitat and east coast sea watching being pretty poor I find the month to be very dull on patch. And it appears that I’m not the only one who thinks this judging by the highlights comments sent in such as ‘not July’, ‘nil’, ‘terrible month’ etc etc.
For every dull day in Hemsby though there are great days elsewhere as waders arrive and the seawatching in the west hots up. And its sea watching where we start and we head over to Galley Head, Cork. Patch old timer Colin B had a sea watch to dream of on patch as he found not one, not two but three Fea’s Petrels in one afternoon! Incredible and you can read more about it here http://galleyheadbirding.blogspot.ie/2013/08/feas-fun.html, including Cory’s, Great and Balearic Shearwaters and Long-tailed Skuas. Can’t see a day like that happening on my patch!
This however, was beaten further north and this time on the east coast. Mark Newell on the Isle of May has already been mentioned in these pages regarding a cracking find of Sperm Whales off the island but this time he gets the points. The long staying, wandering, disappearing, Farnes Birdled Tern decided to pop in past the Isle of May for a day, an amazing addition to the PWC list and one a host of NE England patches had hoped to add and in fact probably had flying over their patch, unfortunately never when they were there!
So, what else did July have to offer aside from these two megas? As always there are some good patch birds, several patch megas including John Bowlers Honey Buzzard, second for the island of Tiree, while emptying his moth trap. Rob Fray had another good month by finding patch megas Scaup and Red-necked Phalaropes and also catching up with the Gull-billed Tern on patch.
So, that’s July over with and August is in full swing, sea watching is proving popular, perhaps a tropicbird will make it onto a patch and migration has started so best get out there..............