Sunday, April 20, 2008

Black and Calandra Larks eh? Show-offs.

Strange and strangey strange. I had a hunch about Black Lark today. In fact I wandered down the coastal fields looking for one. Little did I know I was only 400 miles too far north. And a Calandra on Fair isle is just taking the piss, sorry. Newtonhill by comparison was a cheery sunny place, but not a rarity hotspot. Sunny and cold with a NE breeze still not singing the Ood song of spring migrants, although they appear to be pouring in all over the shop. Around the top of St Ann's there were lots of chirpy European Goldfinches, Common Chaffinches and House Sparrows singing and displaying, Common Blackbird and Song Thrush in the gorse, then down at the Mill Garden... this.

A Common Shrew

I still haven't lost my touch. The touch of DEATH. Inexplicably, it was surrounded by a gang of pickled gherkins. Your guess is as good as mine, probably better.

Snuff porn for Shrews.

Down the track to the beach, and among the Blue Tits, Great Tits, etc, a Common Chiffchaff, singing, allowing me to whip the ol' RememBird out for an airing. Then to the beach, passing under a Peregrine Falcon, and a look offshore, which was boring except for another Great Northern Diver (Common Loon) headiing south. Also 5 Northern Gannets going north.

The Community Park was empty, as were for the Allotments, except for strange looking men doing strange looking things with strange looking bits of wood and metal. I went down the coast, looking for Black larks, calling in at my favourite Barn Swallow farms* to see who had turned up yet.
*Andif you think my Swallow farms sound inhumane, you should see my House martin sweat-shops.

No swallows of any kind, and no larks apart form Sky Larks in the fields. And you know what, it dawned on me as I walked up the Water Valley which looks as though it's been given a dose of Agent Orange, there are no leaves on the trees yet. Talk about slow.

In the afternoon I took my whining hyperactive kids into the woods and hills to see Cairn Monearn, site of Britain's first Eskimo Curlew, 153 years ago, and we saw some Eurasian Siskins, Goldcrests, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming. Peter says he saw its bum, but I don't believe that. He also wanted a carry within 20 s of arrival.

Cairn Monearn. Eskimo Curlew magnet

1 comment:

Harry said...

It seems that spring has yet to arrive in Newtonhill, would have at least expected a fall of Willows up your way on Sunday...every headland and island down here was heaving under the weight of them, with Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Wheatears all well represented, lesser numbers of Groppers and a few choice birds at most sites: the best I managed were a relatively humble 1st-s male Pied Fly, a Lesser throat and 2 Black Redstarts, which wasn't much compared to what was elsewhere in Ireland, but much better than staring at birdless bushes as well...