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Galana's sixth. Building on what was started.


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Well it looks like I am in and full of hope. I have done my Top Ten so the die is cast.

I cannot comply with @Game Warden's request for settings. Most will be on "Birdwatching" on my Nikon P900 which kicks out 1/500 at F6.5 on  a good day.


I did knock out a few on New Years day on my drive home.

Starting from the lounge window.



001. Putting schoolboy humour aside I will just say...

Great Tits. Thie Lough, Close Taggart.


Then as we set off it was only a mile or so to pass the Swan Field that I had found last week.

The Swans had been joined by about 300 Greylags so the grass must be tasty.



002. Greylag Goose. Ballacrye,

and of course the Whoopers were still in possession.




003. Whooper Swan (and friend) Ballacrye.


And on the brief detour to the beach I was taken by the light on these so went for it and may as well count it although there is little doubt I will see them most outings.



004. Oystercatcher. Ballaghennie beach.


I am hoping that as the holiday receeds I will find the beaches quieter but even yesterday I had to give up when dropping into a lonely cove I found a BBQ party in full swing and not even a Rock Pipit or Gull in sight.

Bah Humbug!

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a marvellous start @Galana


But do you mean to have this thread in the Big year 2022 rather than Big Year 2021?

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I've moved it, just in case :)



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Thanks Matt.

Don't know how that happened.

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Two things mark the New Year.

Getting on the right thread is one and the other is that EBC takes on as new meaning. Every Bird Counts  can almost be ABC ANY Bird Counts.

But rather than shoot any old photo for your delectation I shall be restrained for the time being as it is early days and EBCs will surely follow soon enough. I may even remember to clean the lens now and again.

So a break in the weather tempted me out but when I got there the wind was shrieking in from the north but I did pick up one or two old favourites starting with one of the less harmful corvids that I am quite fond of. They made a nice pie in my younger days.:angry:

Now they remind me of the Verger at Church.



005. Rook. Rugby pitch on the Mooragh Promenade, Ramsey. See the touch line?


Then passing a small and often productive Dubh by a derelict Farmyard the local fishers had gathered.



006. Grey Heron.  and sharing the same platform....




007. Great (Common ) Cormorant.


Whilst there I looked for Teal but in their absence took the opportunity of nailing the ubiquitous Mallard for the record...



008. Mallard. Always smart at this time of year.


And so on to the coast.




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At the coast the cold wind made itself apparent so I stuck to the car but still managed to find a few regulars.


There were about 60 Golden Plover and as the sun was lighting them up I could not resist popping a few.






009. Golden Plover. Point of Ayre by the lighthouse. Even they looked cold.


Not to be outdone their little cousin posed nicely for me.




Mum practising her moves before posing,



010. Ringed Plover. Point of Ayre.


Surprisingly they had a guest feeding with them...



011. Ruddy (cold) Turnstone. Not often seen alone and on grass here.


I refrained from chasing Gulls and Eiders, plenty of time for that, but may as well nail another Corvid for this year to round up the Dozen.




012. Carrion Crow. Probably a hybrid with Hoody as it had a bit of grey in the plumage and both species overlap here and the all black gene predominates.


That's me into double figures.


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A quick dozen and with many good species in there. First time that I had a good look at a rook.


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Off to a good start ! Love your plover shots, really golden in that light.

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Really nice Plover shots - I wish I could start the year with them!

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Dave Williams

Slow down Fred. That's nearly 10% of your island birds already! You must have plans to flee asap!

Very envious of the Golden Plovers, I'd really like a session with them, not seen one close for several years.

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Thanks @Kitsafari@PeterHG@michael-ibkand @Dave Williams. I find it hard to resist Goldies and the less common Grey when I find them. Of all plovers I think they take the prize although our Ringed miniature scores high on the cuteness scale especially as it is so confiding on a good day.

Whist not guaranteed I can usually find the Goldies for visitors in winter as they prefer that section of gravel by the winkie*. I sometimes use the winkie as a screen if I want a really close approach but mostly just sit in the car. Today would not be a good time as doggie walkers can disturb them even though they usually just lift, have a bit of a flight and drop back again. Most of them have their eyes shut but always a few on watch. 

* Winkie. Our local name for the smaller auxiliary lighthouse built on the shingle as the original big one is now too far from the water. 

Would do an exchange with Dave for those Blackcock.


Escape plans? Well still looking to go to Namibia if I can fathom how to get PCRs dated <72 hours from ETA as well as two Scottish trips.

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A great mixed dozen to kick off the new year.

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I took myself off yesterday for a brief visit to the Cape after having a ding taken out of the car before lunch. The weather was tempting but I almost wished I had not gone as the doggie walkers 'own' the afternoon and I also found something depressing.

The good bit. In among a small flock of Goldies was a grey bird and closer looks found me a new bird. Given the number allocated for BY perhaps it was an omen.




013. Sanderling. Smeale Beach. Then they got flushed by a chump trying to photo get too close to the Goldies.

I relocated to the Point and almost stumbled over a sleeping Cormorant.



Why so close. Wake up you daft bird.



So it did and looked OK but did not fly but just waddled off.

I asked a doggie walker to take care and was told there was another just ahead that looked really sick. Then I found a couple of fresh corpses and feared the worst.

Avian Flu.

Came home and reported it the the Wildlife people to collect the corpses who have yet to revert to me.

Poured myself a drink and prepared a nice fresh Haddock for dinner. Pan seared with Croquet potatoes with a nice Farinelli Pinot Grigio to help me forget the afternoon's discovery. I do like to keep our local boats busy.


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Shame about the dead birds.  There have been outbreaks of avian flu here in Lancashire and North Cumbria around the Solway.  We are actually living in a zone B containment area at the moment where all non-wild birds have to be kept inside.

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Sad indeed. No news so yesterday we set off to the City of Peel. The Island's only City as it has our only Cathedral. Dedicated to St.German and in the Diocese of Sodor and Man. Sodor being the mythical /true location of Thomas the Tank Engine and friends.

It was a bright sunny day with just  a sharp edge to the wind so my hopes were high of a tick or two.

A walk along the harbour wall seeking out the phantom Redstart gleaned me a few birds but not a Black Redstart.

But a tick is  a tick and I may as well move the score along.



014. Rock Pipit. Peel Harbour. No apologies about the intrusion of man made objects.


None here though as I took to the path around the castle walls to bag a regular winter visitor 1-DSCN1359.JPG.47172b2706d975c4b222530f59b9eda5.JPG





015. Purple Sandpiper. Castle rocks Peel. Dodging the spray there were about 5 I think. Hard to tell as they are always on the move. I over indulged in trying to live up to my reputation.


Nothing else came to the camera lens so I returned to the harbour to seek out Gulls.

These were sitting on a recently returned fishing boat so despite my good intentions we have more man made intrusions.



016. Greater Black-backed Gull. Peel Harbour.  and accompanied by its smaller cousin,




017. Herring Gull in English, Silver Gull in Europe. Peel Harbour.


Time to relocate. Nothing in Fenella Beach. Drat that Black Redstart.


Part two follows shortly. There is more.

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Part two of this trip was to find me parked by the River Neb opposite the 'factory' where the world's smallest car is made.

Whilst parking I flushed a small bird that would increase my growing list so I decided to wait and see if it returned.

Meanwhile another Corvid made a small dance for me on the small slipway and ruined my resolution to keep common bird submissions to a somewhat higher standard.:rolleyes:

And of course the slipway was man made too.


018. Hooded Crow. (Hoodie) Peel.


And still waiting a Moorhen sailed by so get nailed too.


019. Eurasian Moorhen. Brown backed Manx race (or an aberrant reflection ) River Neb. Peel.


My target bird had made a re appearance but whilst I got a shot I felt I could do better for you.

Meanwhile a substitute decided to play.



020. European Robin. Peel. It even agreed to turn round for a full frontal too.


Not to be outdone, and after bagging a strange looking bird on the river bank, another regular can be added to my year.



Cropped a bit to remove much of the chequerplate but not the duck silhouette.


021. Dunnock. Hedge Accentor, on the metal edge of the slipway. Ugh.


Finally the target bird decided to cooperate a bit more and even do a mirror image.





022. Grey Wagtail. River Neb slipway. Peel.


And so to home minus a Black Redstart but with a few more to my name.

OK. I had to drive a huge 16 miles there and back to get them.

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A good number of additions and beautiful photographs!

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12 hours ago, PeterHG said:

A good number of additions and beautiful photographs!

Thank you @PeterHG. I was quite please with my Robins despite the vegetation.

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On 1/9/2022 at 12:03 PM, Galana said:

Well still looking to go to Namibia if I can fathom how to get PCRs dated <72 hours from ETA


Is it ETA or ETD that counts? 

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10 hours ago, Soukous said:

Is it ETA or ETD that counts?

From the time of the Swab I have been told to ETA.

Have booked that for 17.00 on 28th Feb with ETA WDH 13.00 on 2nd March.

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You're cruising along for 2022 with very nice additions.


What man-made things? Those are natural here - naturally man-made things. we've got loads of it.  


sorry to hear about the avian flu, but that's horrible. :(


Edited by Kitsafari
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On 1/12/2022 at 4:05 PM, Galana said:

Came home and reported it the the Wildlife people to collect the corpses who have yet to revert to me.

Well it is not like me to get this so wrong but my ID of last Wednesday was a bit out.

I have just received back the good news that my dead and dying birds were not suffering from Avian flu although there is a confirmed case on the island in domestic geese.

But it seems the birds were Shags and not Cormorants and having re-examined the photos who am I to argue?

Two of the birds were alive so it is not a case of Every Body Counts so another point please.



023. Eurasian Shag. Point of Ayre, IOM.


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A flying start to the year. I can see you mean business!

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A bright morning and promising to have some sunshine. With the northerly wind and high tide at noon I was tempted to the south coast if only to check off Brent, Teal and Widgeon for this year. A long range run of all of 20+ miles each way so we were in the car and away by 9.15 with a damp windscreen and road but looking OK. Just a shower on the North westerly airstream.

Not to get ahead of myself but our first two ticks were a bonus as I checked out a reported sighting of 40+ Snipe (which I have to doubt) and some Twite which I don't. Neither in evident but straight away I had to let my promised standards drop when I found my first new bird up sun and shy.

But here it is as they are quite uncommon on the island and indeed in UK now so better get it in the bag.




024. European Greenfinch. Derbyhaven, IOM

quickly followed by a more cooperative flock...




025. European Goldfinch. Derbyhaven.

Derbyhaven is named after the Earls of Derby who were given the KIngdom of Man in 1405 by King Henry 4th even though we were not his to give. But the English Civil War put paid to that when the Castletown Garrison rebelled and forced the surrender to the Parliamentarians  in October 1651.

We digress.

We now went to Fort Island to see what we could find. We had seen some distant Brent and took a closer look.

Target in sight and captured.




026. Brent Goose. Ours are the Icelandic pale belied race. Overall I saw several flocks totalling over 80 birds which quite good for IOM.


Next up was a bird I have delayed bagging as I was being a bit picky over quality and see them daily in our harbour as we go shopping.  However today's are good enough to our purposes I think.




027. Common Redshank. Fort Island.

Fort Island (more correctly St Michael's Isle) dates back to early Christianity and the later chapel was built in 12th Century.

However the name Fort Island refers to the Fort, no surprise there, built by James, 7th Earl of Derby and Lord of Mann.  This dates from 1645 and was built during the civil war in England to defend Derbyhaven, which was then a major port, from the forces of the parliamentarians. (Failed):P   The Derby fort replaced an earlier one built in about 1540 by order of Henry VIII of England.


That's enough for now so as we relocate I will finish this sequence with an upgrade on my earlier Cormorant 007 with a nice male in his Sunday best Easter plumage.


007 himself could not be smarter.

More follows of course.




Edited by Galana
corrected text
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Part two.

We are now on the Langness peninsular, the southern most tip of the island. Langness is self explanatory. Lang (long) and Ness, cape or headland. Long headland. It juts out just south of the island's main airport called Ronaldsway and that name came from when the Vikings under Ranald dragged their longboats over the narrow ithmus at the base of the peninsular rather than row/sail around it.

And so to more of today's catch:-

The tide was flooding nicely and the wildfowl were taking advantage of the shelter and new food along the shore.

My two other target birds were present:-





028. Eurasian Teal. Stinky Dubh, Langness. Dubh is 'pond or lagoon'.


In the reeds a feeding Pheasant was pushed to higher ground by the incoming water.



029. Eurasian Pheasant. Langness.

and then came the 2nd target.







029. Eurasian Widgeon. Stinky Dubh, Langness.


And whilst not a specific target for today as they occur all around the coast and are our National bird:-





031. Red-billed Chough. Langness. All enjoying the flies and invertebrates in the tidal wrack.


More to follow as it is getting late.....


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