Sunday, November 04, 2007

My blog is really boring today. You should go see the McKinney. Is this why there are more Hen Harriers in Russia?

I wandered round Newtonhill etc this morning as usual. Lots of Eurasian Siskins flying through today. Flocks of up to 20. Still trying to lure Pallas's Leaf Warblers out of the bushed, but still no luck. Occurred to me that it's been such a mild autumn... the leaves are still pretty much on the trees unlike last year.

A whopping 15 Mallards in the bay (whoop de doo), and spying through my powerful KGB binoculars.... also a single Red-throated Diver and (divers alarums!) an Atlantic Puffin on the water.

Because everyone else appears to be seeing Pomarine Skuas in the North Sea this weekend, I thought I'd go hoover a few up on a mid-morning seawatch. Perfect flat calm - good for seeing skuas going past, even if distant. But I sat there for an hour, 9.30 - 10.30 and saw not one single skua. Is that a record today? they were mostly centred further south, but plenty seen in Fife even. I can only put it down to the Newtonhill force field - a bit like that thing in the Simpsons movie, but there solely to keep Poms out of my scope distance and hence to hack me off. Hell other people were seeing this.... which is taking the piss, frankly.

I saw a very pretty Peregrine Falcon flying back and forth along the cliff tops. Offshore, some Common Goldeneyes have turned up - with a couple on the water and 7 flying north. Also 42 Northern Gannets north, 3 Red-throated Divers N (and 2 S), 1 wonderful Manx Shearwater north, and a couple of Black-legged Kittiwakes N. I was so bored I was counting auks (55 north). No definite Guillemots (Common Murres) - most of the things id'd for definite were Razorbills, but there was another, or perhaps the same, I careth not, Atlantic Puffin, and 2 Little Auks heading north.

Bored with lack of skua action, I walked back into Newtonhill (Eurasian Sparrowhawk being mobbed higher and higher by Carrion and Hooded Crows, Roe Deer being chased across the burn by a particularly aggressive dead Hedgehog) and up Cran Hill (wind). Sieved through the Yellowhammers looking for Chestnut Buntings and Rufous-collared Sparrows (if you're going to aim high, aim tame I always say) (eh?), and came across a Stock Dove (Stock Pigeon if you prefer) in the stubble, which is a good patch bird (my third?). Rock Pipits feeding in the stubble round Cran Hill too, which never fails to confuse me.


John said...

Thanks for the link to McKinney. I sort of assumed that Prince Harry sucked cock, but would never have suspected him as a hawk murderer. Maybe the RSPB should be renamed the Royal Society For the Protection of the way, it's not just Russia. There are lots of Hen (Northern) Harriers here in the U.S., but then we did away with royalty too...unless Hollywood counts.

Tom McKinney said...

From Wiki: "Anastasia, Tatiana, Olga, and Maria, who were wearing several pounds of diamonds within their clothing, thus rendering them bullet-resistant to an extent. They were speared with bayonets."

Wasn't everything so much better back in the olden days.

darrell j prest said...

or russia is bigger?
or has no royals and gamekeeping scum