Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dead (Common) Shrews. How? I found 5 today on my wander round the patch. All on the paths. That's a good score even for me. I'm not killing them, honest. It was good though, because normally I can't decide whether to eat them there and then, or to take them home as 'pets' for Lizzie's dolls, and fry them in a couple of days. Today I had enough to do both. Mmmm tasty.

Birding exploits won't detain you long today. Won't even bore you. Offshore the creche of Common Eiders was 2 females with 5 young - now over half-sized and probably too big for the gulls to eat. Actually in 4 years at Newtonhill, I've never seen any Eider ducklings last this long.

Wasn't expecting anything offshore, but as I eventually sat down for a look round (10.40! lazy) there was a layer of mist retreating and some showers, and for a few minutes it was all happening. In 3/4 hour I saw 16 Manx Shearwaters south, 2 north, 110 Northern Gannets south, 41 north, 1 Great Skua north and 1 south (actually suspect it will have been the same bird, but I'll count it as two cos it looks better), 1 pale Arctic Skua (that was definitely different, eh?), 2 Common Terns, 2 Arctic Terns and 2 Sandwich Terns. 100s Kittiwakes going south (all these things will be just feeding movements), plenty Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills back and forth, and a few Fulmars. The Arctic Skua was aggressively sinking Puffins, which is a bit harsh. Pick on someone your own size.

That enormous dolphinarium that is the North Sea produced 2 Bottle-nosed Dolphins. Been a slow cetacean year at Newtonhill so far, but I'll see if a tin of sardines or two can change that in August.

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