Sunday, March 25, 2007

Most exciting thing that happened to me today... I managed to carve into my finger with our new super-sharp kitchen knife. AGAIN. That's the third time in the last 2 weeks - have got a right hand covered in scars that deseerves a Purple Heart or something. My own cutlery is trying to kill me. Was a nice day today though. Got outside into a cool easterly. Sky Larks singing all over the shop. If it had been the first week of May, I wouldn't have been hurrying to work. Course it was the last week of March - I still wasn't hurrying to work, what with it being Sunday and all, but prospects for a migrant or two much reduced. I say cool wind, actually it was freezing.

Usual dross down the valley to the beach. I mean, beautiful Greenfinch displays, Song Thrushes singing, serenaded by Winter Wrens, charmed by European Goldfinches, flushed the pair of White-throated Dippers again etc. You know the score. Offshore though, things are starting to liven up, with an unexpected passage of 50+ Common Gulls, plenty of Northern Fulmars back n' forth, and some Black-legged Kittiwakes on the sea. Lines of Common Guillemots and Razorbills going north, mostly, and some rafts of up to 50 birds ebbing and flowing off the breeding cliffs. My first Atlantic Puffin of the year, a single Red-throated Diver north, 3 Northern Gannets. 150 Herring Gulls sat on the rocks, with 13 Common Eiders, which included some green-grey-billed ones, for a change! Couple of Great Cormorants settled down at the breeding area on Fraggle Rock, and 3 European Shags fishing close inshore. We are set for summer! Went for a walk round Cran Hill, and scoping off there spotted a Bottle-nosed Dolphin going north too.

Cran Hill, awash with song - over 20 Skylarks on view at one point, with 6 of them singing simultaneously, I could barely get to sleep. Also Yellowhammers joining in, complaining because they got cheese again with their bread. I sneaked up on the overripe dung heap in the farmyard at the back of Cran Hill. It didn't see me coming. And neither did 2 Pied Wagtails, a Grey Wag and 12 Linnets feeding thereupon. By this time it was starting to warm up and I got into that mode where I start scoping the surrounding fields looking for Northern Wheatears. Wasn't happening, but it might have.

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