Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Power of Prayer

A walk round the patch, thinking maybe some passerine migrants might be in order. Getting a bit jumpy as it is the Bird Fair next weekend, and last year I was marooned down there for the best early autumn fall for a number of years. Grrrr.... Anyway, there were no east coast passerine migrants around today, a fact confirmed by BirdGuides, where it's all herons and waders today. Not that I helped myself by not getting out til mid-morning. By the time I'd decided to get up, served the kids their breakfasts of choice (1 x Cookie Crisp, 1 x Coco Pops, and hyperactivity please), AND set up the bleeding 'Thomas the Tank Engine' trainset, mediated a dispute over ownership of the Nintendo DS AND found the remote control dinosaur, it was 9 am.

As I mentioned, my mobile phone records trace me to Newtonhill Parish Church* for 2 hours yesterday, for reasons that can only rationally be described as barbecue-related. I was asked if I wanted burger or sausage, but let's face it, all I really wanted was a juicy shrew. Now look what I found today. I'm not saying that God definitely exists, but if she doesn't, how do you explain THIS? Behold, Nature's Bounty!

I spotted this soggy gooey beauty from 20 m away - getting good at picking them up on jizz from a distance. If shrews need to eat constantly just to stay alive, I guess this one got a bit peckish half way across the road and 'Erk!', deid.

A quick look out to sea turned into a full hour and a bit seawatch, and I'm not sure why cos it wasn't exactly busy. Laziness I guess. I really like sitting down. It's only beaten by lying down. No Great Skuas today, but at 10:47, another adult Pomarine Skua went north - what's happened to all the Arctic/Parasitics? This was close in with spoons and everything, no possibility of mistake, before you start, you scabrous dogs. And although I complain... a lot... at least you can guarantee when looking out to sea that it's a different flavour every day. I mean, normally it's not a very nice flavour (yesterday was fish fingers (fishsticks), today was slug), but at least different, e.g. in contrast to yesterday, no Arctic Terns, but a trickle of Red Knots going south (39 between 10:15 and 11:30). Are they a patch year tick? I hope so... keep it ticking along. 2 Eurasian Teal heading south were a bit of a change, and there was a female Common Eider on the rocks with 3 well grown juvs - they're normally all eaten by the Great Black-backed Gulls before now. Also received by the editor.. 4 Manx Shearwaters north, 27 Common Scoters (25N in one flock, and 2S), 2 Red-throated Divers (Loons) south, 17 Sandwich Terns, 103 Northern Gannets (80N).

Got a really good recording of a juvenile Guillemot on the water, calling for fish. The link is here - juvenile Guillemot calling for its Dad - wanting fed. And a sonogram...

Compare it to the Razorbill on 29th July. Much less modulated (i.e. wavy). I notice putfile have taken some of my earlier recordings down because they consider them to be pornographic filth. It was just a Hume's Leaf Warbler! If they want filth, tho, I got plenty...

*The way Lizzie tells it... Jesus dies for us every Easter, and then we have to wait for a new Jesus to be born at Christmas. Between Easter and Christmas, there's no Jesuses. I have no comment to make.

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