Monday, August 28, 2006

Embarrassingly rubbish

Actually, I did go birding Sunday, thanks for asking. It was kind-of embarrassingly shite. Dead, even. I got the message when I'd walked down one side of the valley (Elsick Burn) and saw nothing but a couple of Wrens and a Robin, then as I was walking back up the other side a Willow Warbler flew out of the err.... willows and flitted back in again straight away, to join his mates in hiding. I was briefly encouraged by that, but then hung my head in shame.

There were 100s Barn Swallows heading sooth along the coast - when I tried seawatching all I saw was more swallows, further offshore, heading out over the waves. Occasional Sand Martins too (they're like occasional tables, but less handy for putting your drink down on). And among the House Martins, a groovy coffee-coloured juvenile - its plumage patterns were OK, but the colour was all wrong. The white bits were OK, but the dark bits were like milky coffee. Actually, maybe more like strong coffee. With milk in. There was a good article in Dutch Birding recently about calling plumage colour aberrations by their right name. I must look it up. Pretty sure that 'strong coffee with milk in' wasn't one of the options. You can tell I was bored by the way I was checking out the House Martins.

A Red-throated Diver going north offshore was my first of the autumn, although it's a bit of a cheat, cos I don't think all of them ever really go away.

So, in the absence of birds.... here's a video that does actually make me cry! Not sure if the 'R.I.P.' bit is tongue in cheek or not (no, it's not RIP Sammy - you have to go to Tom's site for that). A reminder of the days when Leeds United were truely awesome, not awful. Even Kewell, Judas backstabber that he became, surely the most talented player ever to put on a Leeds shirt. I'm so glad he went all crap after defecting. Enjoy. Non-Leeds fans might want to look away, or skip to 2.45s for the best bit. Or listen to the music. I'm old enough to recognise the Morrissey cover, but too old to recognise who's doing the covering.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

One more before I go

This is me, same photo album. Arava Valley somewhere, 1992. Photo quite possibly taken by Bonsai Birder. Kept saying, 'Back a bit, bit more, bit more Martin.... no, you're OK, don't look behind.' It's only now I realise I fell to my death. Wonder who's been writing the blog?
I'm ashamed to say, 14 years later, I still have (and wear) that t-shirt. Even worse, I still have those legs. FFS! Didn't I eat anything? The shorts are in the bucket, long ago.

Lest we forget....

Well, b***** my b******s with a sharpened stick! I was clearing out a bookcase trying to make space for the assorted loot I picked up at the BirdFair, and I found an old photo album. So, in a random sort of way, here's some blast-from-the-past.

Cape Clear - seawatching, 1990 or 1991. From left to right, un-named YOC member, then Dave Bird (with long red hair, CCI warden at the time), then the next one (looking at camera) I'm pretty sure is Dave Allen, minus beard, but ex-Bardsey Warden and future CCI warden. Then 2 YOC people who may not even have had names (if you're reading this, prove me wrong). Then me (yellow arrow) also looking ginger, balancing unscratched Zeiss bins on top of multi-coloured tape-wrapped Bushnell Spacemaster. The some other assorted YOC flotsam (!- again, prove me wrong). Ah! The Bushnell Spacemaster... tell me how many people knew that as their first scope. Me for one. An innovative optic design... at Cape Clear, everyone else saw the white rump of the Storm Petrels. Me, I saw the yellow rump. Happy days.

Israel, May 1992. Forgotten but very welcome roadside café that sold BEER! Such a treat. Left to right... Chris McInnerny, Ken Shaw, Fraser McConnell and Steve Addinall (aka Bonsai Birder to BF members). Didn't they look young? Who'd have guessed what we would all become? Note some sort of sexy poster on the wall. Israel, brilliant for birds, shite for people. Oooh, little bit of politics for you there.

OOooooh.. too much beer. Chris and Steve birding hard. Shall we be generous and suggest they might be recording the overhead migration of Levant Sparrowhawk? With their eyes shut. It could happen.... they're better birders than me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Secret Freezer is.....

...about as popular as a cup of cold sick in Africa.

Please tell all your African pals... and get them to tell their friends in Russia, that the Secret Freezer is well worth diving into. I think there's a tub of mint-choc-chip ice cream at the back, behind the stash of Killdeers

Peru rocks!

My theme song

Your Theme Song is Back in Black by AC/DC

"Back in black, I hit the sack,
I've been too long, I'm glad to be back"

Things sometimes get really crazy for you, and sometimes you have to get away from all the chaos.
But each time you stage your comeback, it's even better than the last!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Desperate, but not serious

In the spirit of desperation, I did whizz round the patch this morning before work, in the hope that those scarce migrants had been marooned by incessant showers. In fact, there are still lots of birds around - picked up 20+ Willow Warblers, and 3 Common Chiffchaffs, etc. A Spotted Flycatcher on wires above the Mill was only the third I've seen here (after 2 together on Cran Hill, September 2004), and there were 2 Stonechats on the bracken by the cliff steps. 2 Golden Plovers went south (another species I only get on migration here), but star billing goes to another local scarcity - a Kingfisher on the Elsick Burn. My second patch record, the first was flushed from the willows at the cliff sides one September dawn. The previous one was probably a genuine migrant, today's more likely to be some sort of post-juvenile dispersal (??) Good though.

I COULD let it lie; but I WON'T let it lie

Last time, then I promise I'll shut up about it. I'm probably breaking about 10 laws, but here's Birdguides' ( - they're very good) BirdMap for Saturday 19th August. Shows you where the good birds are, the bigger the sqaures the better. Notice the correlation between the gap in records for Newtonhill (purple arrow) and the location of the Newtonhill observer (red arrow)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Doctor is IN

...And he's bloody mad!

As Tommo notes, I was away from my patch for the best fall of the year. Diane sent me a text on Friday telling me it was raining from the east... and I started getting a bit jumpy, then Friday and especially Saturday there were Red-breasted Flycatchers, Red-backed Shrikes, Barred and Icterine Warblers, and Wrynecks up the Aberdeenshire coast... and I was mouthing off to everyone I met about how aggrieved I was. Then news of one or two Greenish Warblers, and I became a disgrace, turned into a new 'Pete' from Big Brother, wandering up and down twitching, hitting myself and going 'Meow, root-toot- *Wankers*, huh huh!!

I showed my scratched bins to the repair man at the Zeiss stand, and he just laughed, more when I told him my darling children knew nothing about what happened. Still, he gave them a clean and a check-up, and some new eye cups, all for free. Zeiss rocks! It will cost £75 to get the lens replaced, which doesn't sound bad to me, but I made the mistake of having a look through the 7 x 42 and 8 x 42 FL Victories - they're bloody brilliant! Zeiss rocks, again. Diane will have to mind some more children and then I can get a pair. Saw a Green Sandpiper from the optics tent too.

The Fair was good too. Fantastic meeting all you people. Sorry I was being an arse! I received good advice from someone who might wish to remain anonymous, I'll call him 'SH' so no one guesses, that I need to increase the libels in the Secret Freezer. Trouble is, Im not very good at it, although I did hear from 'TA' that 'DM' was trying to claim a Raven over the reserve. I think we'll need to see that description.

Thousands of happy punters enjoying the Bird Fair sunshine

Chemical Toilets. Go early, or go when you get home.

Terrible amounts of wildlife-related tat

BB editor Roger Riddington (right) with BB contributor Andrea Corso (left). Disappointingly, Andrea is a man, in spite of his name. We checked.

British Bird Fair. That rocks too! Note BB stand on left

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Doctor is OUT

I'm at the British Birdwatching Fair,

The 'Birder's Glastonbury' apparently. i.e. pissing rain, mud slides, sleeping in tents, punks and hippies, weird smells, long lines for disgusting chemical toilets, dirty children and piss-poor ethnic dance troupes. Can't wait. Taking my camera.

Remember, British Birds stand. Your once-a-year opportunity to see me in a polo shirt.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I must go down to the sea again...

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky
I left my vest and socks there - I wonder if they're dry?
Spike Milligan

But it was crap this morning - flat and no Gannets or anything going past to give me a bit of enthusiasm. Within 5 min I'd decided to go bash some bushes. Then a Manx Shearwater and 2 Great Skuas came by, so I decided to stay on. Then 20 min later I was bashing bushes. I should probably have stayed on, but hark! A Tree Pipit flying over - there is some migration happening. Also a Stonechat in the bracken above the fishermen's huts on the shore. They bred across the valley in Cran Hill this year, so not as interesting as it used to be.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sooty's off the starboard bow

Up early this morning. So... an hour and a half seawatch before work. This is the life. Hope all my lab were working hard. Wind had dropped, but figured it couldn't be any worse than the few days of northerlies. And, up to a point, I was right. 1st clue was a flock of 10 Manx Shearwaters going past, close in, and they kept coming through in dribs and drabs, so that I'd had 75 in the end which, as I think i said before, isn't all that bad for dead-sea Newtonhill. I guess there might have been a Balearic Shearwater trying to slip through, but 30 of these birds were so close no mistake was possible. About 10 were so distant I didn't really get any plumage details at all, but even then I've seen enough Bals that the flight pattern might have raised suspicions. Still, there you go. Also, 7 Sooty Shearwaters, my first of the year, heading north, always on a slightly more distant line than the bulk of the Manxies - I've noticed that before. It took til 7.15 for the skuas to wake up and get going, but between then and 8.05 there were 9 Great Skuas, all north. A Pomarine Skua too. Between you and me, the Pom is a bit stringy. Argh! I can't believe I'm saying this. I'm going to format it with really dense text so that no one gets this far. It was a long way off, and was more of a jizz id than anything - didn't see any plumage and didn't appear to have spoons. I don't think I'll be bothering the County Recorder with it. Back on real birds... two Black Guillemots flew north! To put that in perspective, there's a small but unknown number breed a couple of miles to the south of me at Muchalls, but these were only the third and fourth individuals I've seen at Newtonhill in 4 1/2 years. That's the problem with Black Guillemots - they look pretty, but they're just pig-headed. What else... 20 Sandwich Terns, 9 Common Terns and 7 Arctic Terns, 204 Gannets per hour and 144 Fulmars, a dribble of Kittiwakes (mostly herds of juveniles sat on the water), a few rafts of Razorbills, and a few individual Guillemots. 4 Dunlin flew north.

There was one Harbour Porpoise sploshing about - now there's something that's become really scarce here this past couple of years, and a Grey Seal. But continuing my series of appetising dead mammals along coastal tracks, I found a beheaded Wood Mouse (patch tick!), the head still there next to it, half eaten, and a Harvestman Spider sucking its blood (no really!). So now I know why small mammals die on paths... they're overrun by packs of hunting Harvestmen, apparently. I'd assumed I'd flushed a Kestrel from it's breakfast without noticing, but the mouse was still there 90 min later as I went back to the car. Still dead.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Simpsons Personality - must be true...?

You Are Lisa Simpson

A total child prodigy and super genius, you have the mind for world domination.

But you prefer world peace, Buddhism, and tofu dogs.

You will be remembered for: all your academic accomplishments

Your life philosophy: "I refuse to believe that everybody refuses to believe the truth"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Do your seabirds lose their flavour...

... on the bedpost overnight?? Cos mine seemed to have very much the same flavour this morning. Seawatched for another hour-and-a-bit, til I got bored, in a fresh northerly (boo!) for 7 Great Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas, 1 Manx Shearwater, a few Common and Sandwich Terns, and 3 Common Scoters. Gannets coming past too - didn't bother counting, but it was about the same as yesterday i.e. 300 per hour north, but with lots v distant mostly south, so it's all feeding movements. At least the Arctic Skuas were entertaining, both v close in and after their brekkie. I might have missed the first one, a gorrrrrgeous very pale adult, as it was under my line of sight, but was alerted by the noise of a Sandwich Tern in evident distress - the distress being that it had an Arctic Skua attached to its primaries.
Behold.. her Bounty! Pt 2
A chatty man with a dog asked about the eerie whistling noises he hears offshore coming from some black-and-white birds. I explained in detail how in mid-late summer, Little Auks fly down from the north and hang around adult Guillemots and Razorbills, bullying and harrassing them with high pitched whistling until they force the adults to disgorge their fish. If a joke's funny the first time, it's funny every time, I say.

It was surprisingly chilly, and when I went for a good poke round the Mill Gardens, bushes, etc of Newtonhill a deathly quiet predominated. Eventually managed to chivvy out a few Common Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, Blue Tits etc., but not a lot happening today.

Back out at tea time for another look round and another hour starting at the blank sea. Jeeeeesus I need a north-facing bit of coast. Another 6 Great Skuas, 4 Manxies, 4 Arctic Terns. I know the North Sea is full of Sooties just now, but I aren't getting them facing south east. There's some Balearics around too, but I'm never sure with these*, if they're on their own in the North Sea, or with something like 4 Manxies: there's some sites and people where you can pretty much trust the seawatch reports coming out to be gen, but I also feel there's a lot of stringing. As if some people who don't seawatch often feel they're owed 1 good bird each time they get out, and basically it's Cory's and Balearic Shearwaters, and Sabine's Gulls, that are easiest to string. Oh, and juvenile Long-tailed Skuas. yeh right. There, I said it. How arrogant is that? Note also how Little Shearwater claims have dried up since fellow birders saw through that little ruse. OW! Go to bed, Martin, nurse has your tablets here.

*except mine of course. That was a stick-on.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Don't want to offend...

... the sophisticated readership of Birdwatch magazine, but this post contains the word 'shit'. If you don't want to read the word 'shit', I suggest you switch over just now to a nice saccharine blog like Birdchick even though it has gory bloodstains.

So yesterday I heard there were 'hundreds' of skuas battling north against the wind at Peterhead. Sounds like hyperbole to me (gasp!) but there's also lots of Storm Petrels out there, which I need for my patch list. So tea time tonight I headed out to see what harvest the sea would yield...

Behold! Her bounty...
6 Great Skuas
1 Arctic Skua
2 Manx Shearwaters
2 Common Scoters
13 Bar-tailed Godwits

Now even by my standards, that was shit. And I still need Stormy for the patch. Still, ever optimistic, I'll be back tomorrow.

Hey! Good news... I'll be at the Bird Fair next weekend, on the British Birds stand, hardly ever saying 'shit' at all, so if you were offended at being compared to a medieval plague victim (blog posting passim), now's your chance to look askance in my general direction.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Dawn of Time

Somewhere in my loft I've got the first issue of Birdwatching magazine, complete with 'amusing' article by Bill Oddie, identification of something or other by Ian Wallace, and a nice picture of a Great Crested Grebe on the front. 20 years ago! Blimey. I was 16.

But that's not big and it's not clever... this is big and clever. Issue 1 of British Birds, from June 1907. Brainchild of Harry Witherby.

Mmmm Harry Witherby, now there's a hero of the Birding Revolution. Unfortunately done to death by others, but he'll get the Secret Freezer treatment one day.

What struck me, looking at the contents page

is that actually it's not really that different from the contents page 99 years later, June 2006.

Behaviour of this, study of that, changes to lists etc. You'd think there'd be nothing left to read about. Note inciteful paper by the author of the Secret Freezer.

grrrrr..... European Storm-petrels past Peterhead today. Still need for Newtonhill list. Roll on the weekend.

btw... is this the best bird blog entry ever?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

So *that's* where all these hits have come from

Argh... my secret is out. Wondered why people were suddenly visiting the Secret Freezer. Turns out Chris Harbard has been saying it's good, sullying the pages of Birdwatch magazine with filthy lies (No. 170, p56). Now I'm going to have to maintain some standards, for the first time in my life. Curse you all!

Hang on a minute... what do you mean... 'illustrates the simplicity of blogs'!!

Ta to Chris, Marianne and Steve. Birdwatch rocks!* (but not much on it)

(*there are other magazines that may rock harder, but I'm not going there today).

Monday, August 07, 2006

Eeek! Argh! Phew!

This is NOT what you want to see when you get back from a week off work.... photograph on your desk accompanied by a note from a work colleague:

'Saw this while out climbing last week - what is it?'

Eeek! Apart from being a bloody Wallcreeper. Argh! Where were you climbing? Switzerland! Phew!
Still jealous though. Not an easy bird to see and photograph.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Heroes of the Birding Revolution IV - HG Alexander

Horace Gundry Alexander ('HG') - 1889-1989.

A Quaker, prevented by his religious beliefs from doing anything remotely exciting or enjoyable, he and his brothers were drawn to birdwatching like moths to a flame. Born in London, educated at Cambridge, he was in his youth one of the pioneers of Dungeness when it was nothing but a wasteland of Stone Curlews and Kentish Plovers. He went on to become a teacher, League of Nations, blah blah blah, and is perhaps most famous for his peace-work and his friendship with Gandhi during India's struggle for Independence. In fact, when Gandhi was in jail, he described HG as one of India's best friends. Hung out with Salim Ali. Spent his later life in the USA, continued birding up til his death, even though he couldn't see or hear properly any more. Cool.

He earns his prestigous 'Heroes' medal for his prolific contribution to the early development of sight-based bird recording. Numerous notes in British Birds (, contribution to Witherby's Handbook of British Birds and author of the iconic 70 years of Birdwatching. Take this record of a possible Yellow-browed Warbler from Dungeness, 1915. Remember a few miles to the west, gun and taxidermy-based ornithology was in full swing, with George Bristow's shop churning out rarities of spurious provenance and virtually no field-based description. HG was not like that...

British Birds 9: 183-184 (1915)
On the 24th September 1915, I put a small bird out of a bush on Dungeness shingle, which looked as if it must be a Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus superciliosus [now inornatus]). It was almost dusk at the time and I lost the bird without getting a very good view of it, though I once heard a note, like the ordinary Willow-Wren's note [Willow Warbler] in general character, but sharper and much shriller.
Fortunately I found it again in the same bush next morning and obtained a much better view. When it first flew out, almost from under my feet, the yellowish colour of the rump attracted my attention, and in consequence I wondered if it were really Ph. proregulus; however, an examination of some specimens kindly lent me by Mr. Witherby convinces me that this is not the case. The eye-stripe was not very conspicuous, and the only time the bird gave me a good view of its wing the side-feathers covered much of the coverts, so I did not see much of the wing-bars; but both these features. as far as I saw them, a
re in agreement with one or two of the specimens examined. the short tail and regulois appearance were marked as the bird flew, but when it settled it looked just like a small Willow-Wren. I heard the note again three or four times. The bird became rather difficult of access after I had put it up two or three times, and I had to leave it in order to catch the train.
Dr N. F. Ticehurst mentions one or more occasions when this species has been observed in Kent, but no instance of it being obtained is recorded.

Now I'm not sure what that bird was (and I doubt it would get past a modern day County Recorder... 'I regret to say that although your description is suggestive there are one or two features that worry me and therefore...') but notice how this lays down the formula for an h
onest description, of a wild-bird, alive(!), its call, its behaviour, and the possible conclusion as to id, with caveats and other possibilities. Compare and contrast with the 'a bird was obtained and brought to me...' standard of bird recording prevalent elsewhere at the time. I love the bit about having to go for the train too. Interesting that Ticehurst wasn't aware of any others being obtained, because one (a Hastings Rarity) had been published in BB the year before. He was obviously experimenting with what was to become a long and honourable tradition of BB editorial members forgetting what has just been published in their own magazine.

Horace Gundry Alexander... you had a crap and mildly amusing name, but you were instrumental in developing the modern age of sight-based ornithological recording, and for this I name you a Hero of the Birding revolution, 1st Class.

HG Alexander (second left), going over the finer points of Yellow-browed Warbler identification with Gandhi and other members of the Indian Ornithological Union

A wee moose, and stop press, a wee gull!

Headed out round Newtonhill this morning, hoping against hope that a bit of migration or something might be happening. Not really expecting anything, so a bit surprised to find two Common Chiffchaffs in the Japanese Knotweed (bit of botany for you there) by the Elsick Burn - hell, maybe there *is* something going on. So I slowed down and had a good poke round. Didn't really turn anything else up apart from a load of surprised juveniles (Sedge Warblers, a fresh brood of Goldfinches, House Sparrows and Starlings, and a family of Willow Warblers including one juvvy trying to sing and getting it wrong, throwing in a pile of low pitched Blackcap-like notes) wondering who the 'pish monster' was who wouldn't leave them alone.

Vaguely aware of a constant trickle of adult and juvvy Barn Swallows heading south along the coast (30+), with a couple of Sand Martins, a few Sandwich Terns occupying the 'parent and child' spaces in Newtonhill Bay (eh?), and in an hour offshore the grand total of 2 Great Skuas (1 heading N, one on the water looking intimidating), and a 4 Common Terns. Saw 1 Puffin carrying fish to the clifftops, which surprised me, this late on in the season.

Dead (Common) Shrew count of 2 today, although I suspect one of them was an individual I'd noted previously and failed to eat. The second was definitely a new arrival. And a bonus! A House Mouse dead on the clifftop path! So much bigger compared to shrews. The problem with shrews is they're delicious at the time, but 10 minutes later you could manage another. Not so for mice, which keep hunger locked up til lunch.

Time off family duties for good behaviour, so got ano
ther hour's seawatching in the evening. It was very nearly very dull, although for the whole hour there was a raft of 50 feeding Kittiwakes just offshore with 33 Arctic Terns (ads and juvs) and 3 Common Terns. Another 5 Arctic Terns went north. 3 Great Skuas, 1 Arctic Skua and a Manx Shearwater,a ll north, 1 Common Scoter south, a juvvy Puffin on the water and 239 Gannets north (can tell I was bored by the way I counted the Gannets).

But no! not boring at all because right underneath my nose, there was an adult and juvenile Razorbill on the water, and a 1st summer Little Gull. Hurrah! And
it was doing something I'd never seen Little Gulls do before.. smoking a cheap cigar and drinking a Bacardi Breezer. No, that was me; the Little Gull was trying to feed in association with the Razorbills. For 15 min I watched it constantly. It would hover above the ad Razorbill, then follow it above the water when it dived, occasionally dropping to the water surface and pecking (presumably) at some piece of sea-crap churned up by the Razorbill. If it lost the adult, it would hang around above the juvvy (which was calling constantly) until the adult came back (that looked a bit clever to me). When the adult surfaced, it would sometimes splash down aggressively right next to the Razorbill, but never touching it - don't think it was trying to steal fish. Lots of Kittiwakes going past, which it ignored, but it flew at and chased off a single Black-headed Gull. Got some photos with the Coolpix on maximum digital zoom (so not v good quality - sorry moving too much to digiscope properly). It was still doing it 25 minutes later, but after that it turned up in the raft of Kittiwakes and terns, where it fed with typical tern-like hovering and dipping.

I was ready to write a Note to BB, incorporating the
words 'sea-crap', but on checking when I got home, I found this by Steve Madge from 1965 - describing every detail of what I had seen! Amazing, and I reckon if I'm only 41 years behind Steve Madge I'm not doing too badly.
Amazing though!

Below - some poor quality Little Gull with Razorbill.

Heroes of the Birding Revolution III - Bob the Builder

As any fule kno, when Bob the Builder gets a day off, there's nothing he likes better than a spot of birdwatching (and/or going for long sticky 'walks in the wood' with Wendy). Bob has a single-observer inland record of Blue-crested Warbler (first and only Western Palearctic record). The record was never officially submitted and is hence not admitted to the British List, but he made a high quality 15 minute video of the bird and the circumstances of the find, which has been broadcast repeatedly on BBC children's channels to an audience of millions, and is currently available as a DVD price £15. One can only admire this innovative digital approach to rarity reporting which has never really been repeated, although there are overtones of the single British Bay-breasted Warbler record. And Ivory-billed Woodpecker, for that matter. Bob the Builder - you are a renegade, and a rake, but the birding scene needs characters like you. I therefore title you a Hero of the Birding Revolution, Second Class.

Friday, August 04, 2006

By special request....

... I'm back.

And straight out for an hour's seawatch off the rocks at Newtonhill. Ahhhh, it's good to be back!!! It's like being back in the womb, but with more Kittiwakes. Not much like the womb at all really. More Puffin and less pushing... more migration and less gestation... more Prion and less amnion... more yolks and less, err.... yolk. Hey these jokes don't write themselves you know.
I would have to be nuts - flat calm, visibility for miles and an empty sea, but I gave it a go anyway. Surprisingly, more skuas than usual - 7 Great Skuas and 2 Arctic Skuas going north. A Velvet Scoter went south, 3 Manx Shearwaters north, bit of a flurry of Arctic Terns (23 north) (2 Common Terns), and 10 Common Gulls south.

Only 6 Puffins. Also the father-kiddy pairs of Guillemots appear to have swum away, but there were 10s of juvvy Razorbills getting fed.

Some poetry to relieve the boredom:

Swan swam over the sea
Swim Swan Swim!
Swan swam back again
Well swum Swan!

That's all for today.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Loch Mallochie

Hooray for hotel internet access... otherwise I would't be able to show you this brood of Wigeons at Loch Mallochie (Loch Garten RSPB)

Lizzie contemplating how best to throw stones at Wigeons