November 2001 Diary
Saturday 3rd. November - westerly 3 - bright and sunny
Nothing much of note seen this morning, although a fabulous male Brambling was feeding on blackberries with a small party of Greenfinch. Also the resident pair of Blackcap seen briefly.
Friday 10th. November - easterly 3 - bright and sunny
Several interesting birds in the front garden this afternoon, including Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, various tits and a continental race Blackbird. The males are quite distinctive as they lack the orange/yellow eyerings and orange bill. A lovely Grey Wagtail was hunting insects on a neighbour's lawn and avoiding the attentions of the local 'scruffy crow'.
Saturday 11th. November - northwesterly 4 - bright and sunny
A wonderful couple of hours at the hide overlooking the Hen Harrier roost produced at least 24 birds. Mainly 'ringtails' but we had fabulous views of 6 males as they circled the curragh in search of suitable roosting places. Also seen were 2 Woodcock, several Redpoll and a single Siskin. Down at ground level there were lots of Water Rail 'squealing' away in the undergrowth.
Sunday 12th. November - northwesterly 4 - dull and grey
Sulby River, Ramsey
One Little Grebe located on the river just behind the Ramsey Bakery was the highlight of a couple of hours 'pottering' in the north this afternoon. Other birds of note included a Great Northern Diver just offshore at Ballacallow Tip and 2 Goldeneye by the sewerage outflow below the Grand Island Hotel.
Friday 16th. November - northwesterly 2 - dull and overcast
Blue Point, Rue Point and Ballaghennie
Following up a belated report of a drake Surf Scoter offshore at Blue Point, I found myself staring out onto a very cold looking and slightly choppy Irish Sea. There were plenty of birds out there, but mainly shags and the odd cormorant. I managed to pick out 3 female Common Scoter and 2 female Velvet Scoter but certainly no sign of the claimed Surf Scoter.
Along the coast between here I also noted 4 Great Northern, 6 Red-throated and 2 Black-throated Divers. There also appeared to have been an arrival of Fieldfare with several flocks over 20 strong being seen in adjacent fields and hedgerows.
Saturday 17th. November - calm - overcast and dull
Very little bird active in the area this morning, but 2 fabulous drake Goldeneye just offshore at the Grand Island Hotel were a pleasant diversion for 10 minutes. One of the birds appeared quite pinky/buff about the breast and was seen to display to the other bird several times.
Monday 19th. November Calm - bright and sunny
Following up on a lead from the Manx Bird Atlas website, I decided to forego my usual Langness lunchbreak and headed north to Douglas Bay. Within 5 minutes of arriving on the breakwater, I located my target - a small party of Risso's Dolphins. Fabulous creatures, they party of 4 individuals included at least one calf.
Sunday 25th. November - northwesterly 5 bright but cloudy
Point of Ayre and Ramsey Bay
Little of note seen all morning, but I counted at least 32 Ravens on or around the tip at Ballacallow. Off shore, the choppy seas were making viewing difficult but there were several Red-throated Divers close inshore along with the usual distant views of unidentifiable diver sp. in the distance.
Down at the Grand Island outflow the Goldeneye numbers appear to picking up with at least 8 birds (2 females, 6 males) counted. 6 Choughs flew across the bay from the Port Lewaigue area, heading north.
All in all, a bit of a 'crappy' week.
Tuesday 27th. November - westerly 5 - dull and grey
Stinky Dubh, Langness
My usual lunchtime half-hour was spent alongside the 'main pool' watching and listening to a small flock (I counted 6, but there may have been more) Snow Buntings. The birds were feeding on the ground on roadside/poolside vegetation and regularly flew short distances, their wonderful jangling calls filling the air. A quite amazing variety of plumages were noted. (see below).