Friday, April 27, 2007

Pre-work birding

Diane's friendly warning in my ears... any children I wake up, I'm taking with me apparently. So I was extra quiet, and got out unaccompanied. Calm dawn, and a few Willow Warblers singing around Newtonhill. In fact they're very mobile and flighty, and v likely fresh in. Then as I was walking down the burn a bird comes flying up towards and past me, and it's the first Common Whitethroat of the year. It sat down briefly in a dead willow behind me. For the first and perhaps only time in my life I pray.. please DON'T let it be a Spectacled Warbler! Can you imagine the irony?? Chances of getting that past BBRC? Fortunately(?) it was just a Common Whitethroat.

Not a whole lot more migrants about, although as the morning warmed up the House Martins started hawking about over the railway viaduct. Apart from the outside chance of a good migrant, what I like most about these calm spring mornings is hearing the Common Eiders 'ooh'ing in the bay, and the sight of small numbers Atlantic Puffins dotted around the flat sea.

On the rocks off the cliffs, I spotted a couple of these yellow-billed Common Eiders - note how they're paired up. Also 4 spanking Ruddy Turnstones (but that's enough of their fetishes). A single Manx Shearwater went north in the few minutes I looked out, and 7 Northern Gannets.

Photos of yellow-billed Eiders. Phone cam sorry, hence not great. But you can see the yellow bits.

Btw who's original any more? Not me, apparently. Well worth a trip to the IBWO Skeptic blog where Tom kindly linked to yesterday's storytime, but check out the third comment down (especially) by anonymous. Also the summaryof David Sibley's talk, posted here. It's like we're reading from the same script.

Take a look at my patch - it's the only one I got.

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