Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gropper Shocker...

... with words of mine,
that don't quite rhyme.

Still chilly this morning, but the Sedge Warbler was singing a bit better by the Elsick Burn, and we've picked uo another one a little closer to the railway bridge. And an extra Willow Warbler singing today (3 now - 2 around the Mill garden), with a couple of Common Whitethroats setting up territory. But pah! I careth not, for what do I hear but the annoying reel of a Grasshopper Warbler from the brambles on the south side of the valley. Patch tick!!! ... and then heart attack! Because as I walked through the dead bracken for a closer look at the Gropper, I flushed a pair of Pheasants blam blam! and ka-chow! Game on.

From the clifftops, a tight flock of 12 Barn Swallows heading south-west, and offshore, a 20 minute seawatch (see, I'm getting really serious) produced 2 Arctic Skuas (that's Parasitic Jaegers for those of a Nearctic persuasion), one of which turned round for a full and frank discussion with one of the many Black-legged Kittiwakes going by. Northern Gaannets going north (26) and 11 Red-throated Divers (that would be 33 an hour - I worked it out for you. In my head). A few European Shags, Northern Fulmars offshore, and 3 spp auks including 50 Atlantic Puffins, none being dismemebered by anything today. A few pairs of Great Cormorants getting down to breeding on Fraggle Rock, and a Grey Seal out there too.

Rock Pipit with food, Newtonhill, 2nd May 07

Cormorants on Fraggle Rock

Walk back home was punctuated by a single Common Linnet feeding in gardens, and a White-throated Dipper flushed back at the Mill.

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