Saturday, April 14, 2007


Family walk in Fetteresso forest, round the back of Stonehaven. See, we're so oil-obsessed up here we even name our forests after oil companies. All sea-misty in Newtonhill but glorious sunshine and 20oC as soon as you escape. Forest was inhabited, nay infested by Coal Tits, Eurasian Siskins, Goldcrests and Winter Wrens. We walked up to a viewpoint from whence I could look over the valley and spy Cairn Monearn, which as I'm sure you're aware is the crowberry hilltop where Britain's second (Scotland's first) Eskimo Curlew was shot, 152 years ago (nearly) by Cusack Smith on 6th September 1855. Apparently it was so fat the oil was running out of it. And the curlew was pretty portly too... Boom Boom!

On the way back down the hill a crossbill sp. (actually, it had a small bill,I'm going to call it a Common Crossbill) female perched high in the spruces, but was chased off before I could get a call recorded. I did record this ?interesting sequence of 2 Coal Tits song-duelling across a path - one going a fast 'pitchoo pi-tchoo pi-tchoo' answered on the other side by a slower 'wee-woo wee-woo wee-woo'. The background talking is Peter looking for dinosaur poo in the woods. See what I have to contend with? Worse was, he found some! Between you and me, I think it's dog. But bless, he doesn't know, and he's so proud of it now, sat on his bookshelf.

On the way back, a Barn Swallow flew across the road - first for the year for me :-O

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