Another dull morning, with a surprisingly chilly NW breeze, and a Roe Deer feeding in the 'Reed Bunting' bushes at the top of the track. I've never known a year as good as this for jamming into Roe Deers. In fact I guess there's 4-5 of them around (2 m and 3 f), and they're all pretty much used to me. This one was unconcerned by me standing 10 m away. If I'd broken into my Ian Paisley impression or blasted out a rousing chorus of 'Jerusalem' it might have objected, but I didn't so it didn't.
Pishing produced no Reed Buntings out of those bushes, but did bring up a pair of Song Thrushes carrying food. Another new successful breeding was at the Mill Garden where I saw a Pied Wagtail carrying food, and then a fluffy juv Pied Wag with a pathetically small tail. I raised* a juvvy Pied Wag once. It came out of a nest in the vents of the Medical Research Council building in Edinburgh. We called it 'Chisick', cos that's all it ever said. Infested with mites that crawled out all over my hands.
*I say raised... I mean killed. It didn't live.
A pair of Black-billed Magpies were systematically working the hawthorn bushes along the track, looking for nests and nestlings, I'll wager.
2 broods of Mallards on the burn down by the beach - 5 v small (1/8) duckings and 1 bigger (2/8) effort.
Half an hour looking offshore... smells like summer, but the sea was dead quiet... 52 Northern Gannets north, and 22 south, 3 Manx Shearwaters north (1 south) 1 Red-throated Diver north, and 1 Arctic Tern. Also another display (see below) by 3-4 Bottle-nosed Dolphins, including what I think was a mum + calf (big one swimming in synchrony and v close to a little one). An Atlantic Grey Seal off the rocks too.
The allotments were even more boring, but there was a Sand Martin/Bank Swallow (some sort of wanderer/mibrant) over the fallow field south of there. Also 2 Northern Lapwings still nesting, annoyed at local dogs and quite rightly.
Friday 8th June
The pair of Reed Buntings still present in the bushes by the burn at the top of the track, and a Roe Deer in the bushes at the railway bridge. 22 Common Eiders in the bay, a juvenile Common Starling feeding among the seaweed on the beach (they learn fast) and wtf - a fresh juvenile Common Stonechat in the vegetation up the cliff sides - where the hell did THAT come from?
Offshore, 06:30 - 07:00 (exactly - I used the atomic clock), there was 1 Great Skua going north, and a gorgeous adult Arctic Skua (Parasitic Jaeger) giving its full and undivided attention to a feeding flock of Black-legged Kittiwakes. 13 Common Scoters went north, 3 Red-throated Divers, 5 Manx Shearwaters, 4 Common Swifts (eh?) and 17 Northern Gannets. Better than that, a pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins including one breaching, going almost entirely out of the water several times, turning in mid-air and slamming back into the water on its back. I guess it could have been removing a particularly troublesome parasite, but I prefer to assume it was having fun.