Monday, January 01, 2007

In the interests of complete-itudity

Just back from the beach at Newtonhill is a sloping cow-pasture with a half-hearted spring/burn running through it, notable cos it always looks like there should be Yellow Wagtails running around it in spring (there never is). But it does build up a flock of Rock Pipits during the winter - over 50 in 2005/6 - that feed inconspicuously among the wet grasses. I always feel obliged to spend 30 minutes scoping the field for Water Pipits (no luck there either). Anyway, this year there hasn't been very many Rockits at all in that field - max was 13, put up by a dog-walker, and his dog, on 17th December. Hoping for better things. 30 Ruddy Turnstones on the beach on 17th too, but disappointingly no Purple Sandpipers at that point.

Cripes, this stretch of North Sea is dead during the mid-winter. And its cold. So cold. Ach, comrade, it isz zo cold. Occasional auks flying past, with 3 Razorbills fishing in synchrony behind a Red-throated Diver on 17th. We've also picked up a flock of 11+ Mallards, that swim around with the Common Eiders and roost with the Herring Gulls on the rocks.
After their traditional month off, a couple of Northern Fulmars were back at the cliffs on 24 December, with a few more going south and a feeding party of 7 on the water. Highlight of my birding that morning though was the delightful smell of bacon sandwiches wafting down from the houses at St Ann's. Oooh, no, not quite - the highlight was the delightful smell of 11 Purple Sandpipers with the Turnstones on the rocks. There were 73 Eurasian Curlews in the fields at Cran Hill on 24th too. It's not much, but it's something.

There's a couple of Peregrines in residence too, hunting pretty much all the time in and around the Newtonhill area, so plenty of hot all bird action to keep me occupied.

This week, I am mostly looking forward to:
1) Breaking the seal on a virgin notebook for 2007.

I am mostly not looking forward to:
1) Sorting out 2006 records for the County Recorder. grrr.... I hate those difficult choices. Do I include Garden Warblers? They're as common as muck but all mine are migrants. Does anyone care how many pairs of Sedge Warblers bred?

I also think, in the spirit of internationalism and solidarity with the working birders of the World, I might adopt IOC official English names :-) It sounds like a good way of making sure everyone hates me.

Random recommendation.
This was sent to me in error, I think. from BEYOND THE GRAVE!! oooooooh!

With the greatest interest and never-slackening attention I read Tom McKinney's website Skills Bills. Unreservedly do I recommend it to the workers of the world. Here is a website that I should like to see published in millions of copies and translated into all languages. It gives a truthful and most vivid exposition of the events so significant to the comprehension of what really is the Proletarian Revolution and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. These problems are widely discussed, but before one can accept or reject these ideas one must understand the full significance of such a decision. Tom McKinney's website will undoubtedly help to clear this question, which is the fundamental problem of the universal workers' movement.
Nikolai Lenin
(Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov)

It must be true- I couldn't make it up....


Harry said...

Ah, old Vladimir, whatever did become of him? He used to be a bit of a firebrand in his younger days, quite the revolutionary....

Martin said...

Yes, he was quite the wee tearaway at school. I remember him well. Just like all student revolutionaries, though, he faked his own death and now sells car insurance from a call centre in Ipswich.