Friday, May 02, 2008

The Mole - Kenneth Mellanby, New Naturalist Monograph...

... is what it says at the top of my notebook for today, for reasons entirely unconnected with birding, but I couldn't think of a better title. Hell, it'll do. So, it's Friday night, and I have suppered marvellously on scallops and a glass of red wine* , have chortled through Brian Blessed presenting Have I Got News for You, but Jonathan Ross and his incredibly crap house band have bored the pants off me in less time than it takes to say 'syphilis', and that means it must be time to make up some exciting wildlife-related observations. Ooh, did I say 'make up', I meant 'describe' obviously.


## it's the sound of the rat from Ratatouille turning in his grave.

I went birding, in May, on the east coast, in an easterly breeze and.... it was crap! First House Martins are back around their nest sites at St Ann's, though. I caught a Song Thrush carrying a faecal sac out of the Cypresses at Mill garden, and this evening there was a fluttery juvenile Song Thrush in our back garden. Offshore, there was a Harbour Porpoise , a Red-breasted Merganser flew south (surprisingly a patch year tick), and 3 Northern Gannets went north. Plenty of Black-legged Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Guillemots and Northern Fulmars around, but still no Puffins.

Cran Hill: crap. I spent some time sifting through a small flock of gulls, counting 152 Herring Gulls, 2 Lesser Black-backs and 1 Great Black-backed Gull. Didn't take a lot of counting. A few Barn Swallows round the farm the usual cacophony of Eurasian Skylarks and Meadow Pipits and well, yes it was surprisingly quiet, overall. Never mind, I've still got the scallops, until 2 am at least, when we might all be seeing them again**.

** I'll take a photo.

Evening, was on Stonehaven beach with my geek-monster son, and saw a lot more gulls and some enterprising seaweed.

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