Sunday, February 03, 2008

Welcome to Newtonhill, the European Village of Wind, 2008

Actually I don't mind admitting that this past few weeks, what with my problems with deadlines and work and such, that the ol' blog has become a bit tired and samey. So I've sold my soul to the Devil (well, remortgaged it, to be accurate) and have arranged a couple of ghostwriters to take over during the week. And get this, they're REAL GHOSTS. Watch this space, you'll have to put up with me until they arrive from.... the Other Side...

Very icy cold yesterday, and I watched the Common Blackbirds and Starlings eating pears and fizzy cola bottles in the back garden. Today it has all defrosted remarkably, but still very windy - so i went for a quick blow (careful!) round the patch, and up onto Cran Hill, just in case Newtonhill itself wasn't windy enough. There was a constant trickle of Eurasian Skylarks flying over, which is always a sign that things are on the cold-weather move. Also a Goldcrest calling from the gorse bushes next to the inflated Elsick Burn.

There were 2 Common Buzzards hanging in the breeze over Cran Hill, and they were joined by 2 Peregrine Falcons. One of the Peregrines started to buzz one of the err... Buzzards - a couple of close fly-pasts, causing th eBuzzard to sort of stop and raise a foot in half-hearted self defence. no contact was made, but the Buzzard undertook a tactical retreat back to its side of the railway line. Heard the Peregrine calling triumphantly.

7 Rock Pipits in the stubble field up from the White Houses were a very poor shadow of the flocks of 50+ I was getting a couple of years ago. Personally I blame global warming. The sea was high, man, and pounding the beach, such that only 1 Ruddy Turnstone was braving it. When I surfed over the slurry of dog crap that is the path to the bench at the cliff tops, things didn't get much more exciting, or indeed any more exciting. Out at seaaaaaa..... a few Northern Fulmars being blown about - I looked for blue ones without success - and a couple of Great Black-backed Gulls looking for a bite. I wandered off round Crna Hill, where a Kestrel had joined the merry raptor throng hovering in the updraught from the cliffs, and there was a small flock of 7 Yellowhammers feeding in the cowsh*te around the farm.

That's all... I have to get back to my 2007 records. Every year I get to the stage where I'm so bored I can't stay awake, and resolve not to leave it to the end of the year next year, but I always do, this year included. So... I'm so bored... can't...stay... awake....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... [BANG!] errr.... whassat??? Argh!!!!!! It's the talc-covered pseudo-ghost of Squidward Tentacles!!! What have I been drinking?

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