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Galana's Seventh. Lucky numbers.


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This is a very significant milestone for me and others.

I will let Ludwig go first.


He dedicated his opus to The work is dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries. The Count of Chips????


Well Big Years are about 'counts' too but let me ponder on number Seven a while as it has played a large part in human psyche since the beginning. The Creator is said to have rested on the seventh day.

There are said to be seven deadly sins, I have not counted mine.:o

 Neither have I scratched the mythical Seven Year itch or seen all the Seven wonders of the world. The so called Big Five do not count!!

I am told that the number Seven is the Jackpot number for "One armed Bandits" and speaking of Bandits "The Magnificent Seven" is a very enjoyable film and is based on the Japanese legend of Seven Samurai so this number is not restricted to 'Western culture ' but features in Islam, Buddhism and Hindu too. It is considered unlucky in Vietnam.

Finally, you will be pleased to know...

 Seven is considered the maximum amount of information that most people can retain in their short term memory.

This is why most early telephone numbers (area codes excepted) used to consist of seven numbers. 

And having used up my allocation of digits and your patience I can welcome to my Seventh Big Year. It will hopefully be larger than last year and will get a boost start when I get back to Tanzania in February and again in August. My annual trip to the Hebrides will hopefully add a few regulars  too before a looming gap in my diary for the rest of the year.

I am not making any rash targets but 500 looks promising and would like to think that my top score of 600, in my FIRST attempt, is achievable.

So... as Confucius famously said a long time ago, "The longest journey starts with a single step".

So here is mine.

All photos will be on my Nikon P1000 set to 'bird' so I have no idea what the teckie stuff will be.


I saw two swans come sailing by on New Years Day in the Morning.


BY001. IOM 001, Lounge list 001.

Mute Swan. Mooragh Beach, IOM. 1/1/2023.  10.26.


So I thought I may as well go get our other Swan too to make a set.




002, IOM002. Whooper Swan. Caught them drinking and then they cleared off. Our herd this year is larger than normal at 55 birds counted. Ballaugh Cronk. IOM 2/1/2023.


Edited by Galana
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Good to see you onboard again, and with an ambitious target (but not 700;))

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  • Galana changed the title to Galana's Seventh. Lucky numbers.

I may experiment with my listings this year for variety. Living up in the sky I don't maintain a 'Garden List' that others do so I opted for a 'Lounge List' (although any room will do ) The list totals 89 and includes some special treats as not many 'Garden Lists' will feature Brent Goose, Great Northern Diver, Shore Lark and even an escaped Pink Backed Pelican.

I will use the abbrev. LL for that count.

Thus on 2nd January when my daft neighbour persisted in feeding Herring Gulls I took the shot. Crap location, literally, but it counts.

So here it is.


003. IOM 003, LL002. Herring (Silver) Gull. Galana Towers, Ramsey IOM.


When out and about that day I got some further shots whilst waiting for a Great Northern Diver which I can show now but I can do better.


004.  004IOM. Golden Plover. Point of Ayre, IOM.


and 1-DSCN0676.JPG.fce9e4a337ad947b7ec8349d76181a09.JPG

004A. An 'expert' local birder tried to convince me this was an American Golden Plover due to lighter plumage and longer primaries. Do we believe him?


By the way that same bloody expert ruined a good close up of  a Great Northern Diver by running down the beach and standing right in my line of sight causing said Diver to er dive.


On the drive home I spotted a V of Geese and pulled off quickly expecting Pink footed Geese but was deighted to hear the typical laughing call of White-fronted Geese. They would be Greenland race here.

So a bonus start to the year as they were very scarce last year..



005. Whitefronted Goose. Jurby, IOM. Sorry no sound but the barred bellies can be made out (just).




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Excellent start, Fred! I will follow your LL list with special attention. 

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4 hours ago, xelas said:

I will follow your LL list with special attention. 

Seeing 'em is not the same as photoing 'em, as you know too well so don't expect frameable portraits but we shall see.

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Some sunshine and few chores got me out this morning.

Up to the Point where I been robbed of the Great Northern last week.

Sadly the north westerly was doing its stuff and finding birds in the waves (and keeping them in the lens as they rode the crests) was not easy.

But one persisted and in between scored a few portraits.

First some lovely birds that we don't normally see on shingle banks.




006. Sanderlng. (IOM006) Point of Ayre. So I may as well deal with the Plover next although no doubt much better poses will come later in the year.



007 Ringed Plover. IOM007. Point of Ayre (One for the Lounge list later on) Typical cuteness of small plovers.


All the time my other eye was on the swell just in case.

And patience was rewarded.




Surf bird a long way out testing my camera grip. Not prone to seasickness.

Then after playing find that bird with some gulls I saw the Diver had not kept station but was nearer.






008. (IOM 008.) Red-throated Diver. Off Point of Ayre. IOM. Might as well use it although I hope for better in the Hebrides later.  I still want its bigger cousin though.


Then I had got some gulls passing by so why not?




009. (IOM009) Common Gull. Point of Ayre. Again one that will get enhanced later but a bird in the hand...


And, just for Angie an Eider Drake flew in.


010 (IOM 010 )Eider Drake. There was a flock of about 70 in the overfalls but this one got fed up of being tossed around and found a spot that was 'relatively calm'.

10 birds 9 days. I cannot hope to keep that up just yet.

I may have to sit at the Lounge window tomorrow whilst Lady G is at the Dentists.:rolleyes:










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14 hours ago, TonyQ said:

Lovely diver

Thanks. It came good but you should see the 'rejects'

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It is a good job all of us do not post the rejects:D

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I appreciate the Eider.  I hope we will be able to find them again this year.

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Not fit to take a dog out yesterday and not much better today but we must press on.

So a few minuted of almost good weather had me putting domestics to one side and looking out the rear lounge window to perhaps move all three lists along.

Quality is not brilliant (no way was I opening the window) but 4 ticks is four ticks.

Here we go...


BY & IOM 11. IOM 3. Eurasian Jackdaw. Galana Towers. IOM





BY/IOM 12 , LL 004. European Starling.  (Gotta be careful with neighbours gardens when summer comes.)




BY/IOM 13 , LL 005. House Sparrow. Same roof as the Jackdaw.



BY/IOM 14 , LL 006. Hooded Crow (Western race). Pole sitter. Park road, Ramsey. Electrician's Cat's cradle.

A word or two of explanation. I am running BY and IOM together for the time being until next month when I leave the island and I try not to let my long lens upset any neighbours that are overlooked. Nobody is sunbathing just yet.:o

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Whilst the lake at the rear of Galana Towers gets its annual drainage during a Spring tide other birds take advantage of the shallower water. Once word gets around we will get Oystercatchers and Redshank but the news has already reach our local Egrets.




BY & IOM 015, LL. 007. Little Egret. Mooragh Lake, Ramsey.



As a Black-headedGull has photobombed a shot it may as well go in the can.




BY/IOM 016. Lounge 008.


The lake is actually the former bed of our tidal river that is now a 'dead end ' but with sluices to keep out/let in the tides for seasonal cleansing. When clean and filled it is used for model boats, even dinghies and hired pedaloes.

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The word about the lake has got round and the weather even tempted me to open the lounge window in the hope of better photos. :rolleyes:




BY/IOM 017. Lounge list 009. Eurasian Oystercatcher . Mooragh Lake, Ramsey. Mooragh is Manx for 'Waste/Barren ground'. What does that say about my home?


A couple of male Blackbirds checked out the garden.




BY/IOM018. LL010. European Blackbird.  Galana Towers, Ramsey.


And the word spreads. Albeit at a distance but they will come closer as the water recedes.




BY/IOM 019.Lounge 011. Redshank.  Mooragh Lake. Ramsey.

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What a difference a day makes. Snow is illegal now we have Global Warming. Something else to blame on Brexit?


This is what greeted me this as I scanned for something for my list. Maybe Ivory Gull or King Eider?


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The sun came out and so did I.

Sea too rough and I missed a nice Kestrel.

A Red throated Diver was off Galana Towers so would have helped my Lounge List, indeed it was a first in 29 years of the list, BUT it was too grim an EBC to even put it up on here.

So I will have to settle with an advanced banker just in case a better one does not present itself on the island in the next Eleven months. (I will get one in Scotland in June but....)

It flew over the road as I was driving just as a big lorry filled my rear view mirrors and by the time I got sorted it was but a distant shot. But here it is FWIW.


BY/IOM. 020. Hen Harrier, Female. Coast Road to Point of Ayre. IOM

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Good pace going on here despite the weather in the  neighbouring UK! I enjoyed your diver shots.

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The Hen Harrier is awesome. ;-)


Seriously, a great start. As always I am jealous about all the Sanderlings, Golden Plovers and Oystercatchers you are getting with ease in your part of the World. Not to mention Divers.

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21 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

you are getting with ease in your part of the World. Not to mention Divers.

You must make the effort and try it one year.

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Not much in these shots to tempt anyone. The Egret was back today also.

They all count and I am building a few bankers for my lounge while I can.


1-DSCN0911.JPG.f6e4799b5a78e358a232f7ab86668b33.JPG1-DSCN0912.JPG.a13057369aabe06c6a169448aa1dc5bd.JPG1-DSCN0913.JPG.08a9fea9bf7cba490d0b8444cb7cb48d.JPG021. BY/IOM. Lounge 012. Mallard. Never mind the wires.:o

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As a change from staring out of the Lounge windows I went off to the Point of Ayre (Our equivalent of John o'Groats.:rolleyes:) and stared out to sea instead.

The waves were slightly flatter so I saw more.

There was more of em to sea in the Sea.




Red-throated Divers. already counted  but always cute with that retrouse bill..


And there was more to sea. The fishing is always good here as the tide swirls around the point and meets another tide coming the other way. We get four high tides a day here.

And the local Grey (Atlantic) Seals know every one.




Look at those Sandflies.



Atlantic Seal is the larger of the two seals of our waters, Walter the Walrus has yet to appear.


And why not some amateur BIF while we wait?


A quick Shag. Phalacrocorax aristotelis




022. Shag. Told from its cousin by the crest. Except when non breeding when it gets harder but the white chin and green eye.


And while waving the Lens at the waves I saw some Whooper Swans coming home from a quick trip to Scotland or maybe new arrivals escaping the cold.



And that was not all.


023. Gannet. Either a stopover or an early return from The Gambia. It's still a tick out of the way although no doubt it will appear again on my Lounge list later in the year.


Not done yet with BIF.



024. Ruddy Turnstone. Point of Ayre. Another ne heading for the Lounge list later on I hope.


But lets not leave the distant shot.



Somebody has to deal with those ruddy (get it)  sandflies bothering the seals.


Back to the Office window.

Plaice and King Scallops for Dinner. Those birds don't get all the fish.:D

Or the crisp Portugese Amoras to help it down either.





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Should be good those amoras.

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Ah! Not Blackberries but wine. Amoras de Portugal from Jose Luis, Oliveira da Silva, Casa Santo Lima.

Delicious with Fish.

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More springlike sunshine got me out for a quick interlude from 'domestic duties'. I went up to the PoA but the tides were wrong and any diver was well off shore.

I can however offer a 'product improvement' for the family of Shags. Two adults and two presumably last years chicks. Better lit up in the weak sunshine.




Already counted for this year.


On the journey out and back (all of eight miles or 12.8km for our foreign friends) I took the opportunity of nailing three more for IOM which gets them listed before I visit UK in May.


There is a tale to the Coot.

On the way up it was in the road but promptly skulked off into the bushes. I rattled off a shot, as you do, but have spared you the EBC.

On the return I slowed to check out the little pond it uses and there they were in full sun and quite relaxed. This was on a previously derelict farm site, recently sold,  so I pulled into the yard and took my time. The owner was working and walked over to see what I was about. I apologised for my trespass and told him I often looked at his pond for waterbirds. He said no problem and I was welcome at any time as he liked the birds. He thinks there are Barn Owls in his outbuildings and would I be interested. Would I? Sadly nothing was found but there were signs. I will be back.




026. Eurasian Coot. xxxx farm. Cranstal. IOM.


Next up...




027. European Magpie. Cranstal Road, IOM. Hard to get eyeshine with these birds.


And finally another LBJ ticked off for the year.



028.Meadow Pipit. Cranstal Road. IOM. Doing its best to convince me it is a Tree Pipit but I know better.


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I am looking forward to your Barn Owls!

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You seem to have managed fairly well with the eye-shine!

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