Sunday, November 05, 2006

Warning, terrible pun, just thought of, makes me giggle

Back out around Newtonhill this morning; I wanted a slice of this Little Auk action that's been happening midweek. This was my first chance to be out, so reckoned had missed the big push, but almost certainly some stragglers to catch up with. A chance for my new scope to do its stuff too. I've thought of a new advertising campaign for Zeiss - here it is. Do you think they'll go with it and I'll get rich?

Actually, the reason I went for this scope was that it was designed by Tolkien-obsessed nerds and does in fact glow blue when in the presence of Auks. Ideal for today's job.

Deadly dull heading down the track, with all the Blackcaps cleared out of their recent haunts. Couple of Rock Pipits on the beach, with a Common Eider offshore. Dull dull dull. I even contemplated making some notes about bird behaviour. THAT'S how dull. Two men burning one of the fishermen's huts was interesting. Hope it was theirs to burn.

So I get to my clifftop seawtching soot,and my scope is glowing blue - good sign - but it turns out to be 2 Razorbills and a few Guillemots on the water. They look good though, as I'm no longer looking through strata of dried-on rainwater. I can tell there's been Little Auks about, because 3 Great Black-backed Gulls are flying up and down offshore, looking really fat and well fed. Bit of a seawatch, and bingo, I get onto 12 Little Auks moving north in ones and twos. A dribble. As I told the nurse at the sperm bank, it's not much, but it's something. Actually I'm not sure how long it took to see that many/few. I think it was about an hour, sometime mid-morning. My watch stopped at 12.30 pm a week past Friday. You'd think it would be a pain, but quite the opposite - I've entered a fantastic alternative universe where no one can pin me to a deadline, because time has no meaning, except in so far as it's lunchtime ALL the time. It's a bit like being on BOURC!!! haha! That's a joke by the way. In truth, it's so *completely* unlike BOURC it would be insulting to the committee and my colleagues on it to even contemplate such a joke publically and perpetuate unjust and inaccurate stereotypes. I really wish I'd think before opening my mouth. Sorry sorry sorry.

back on track... also 4 Red-throated Divers south, and a Great Northern Diver (pretty good). 2 male Common Scoters north and 2 male Long-tailed Ducks, and a single juv Northern G
annet. As I was packing up to go home, a Shelduck flew north close inshore. Pretty uncommon here. And as I walked back through Newtonhill, I chivvied a Blackcap out of the sycamores in the cottage gardens. So there are some migrants still about.

Fantastic sunset this evening - photos in Lizzie's Pink Plastic Warehouse.

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