Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monday 28th July 08

Have a look at this:

Dead Common Shrew

I went for my first tour of the patch in 2 weeks and it's a disgrace! Non one... and I mean NO ONE, has been attending to the dead shrews and voles, such that I found this one stinking high and crawling with maggots. I took a video, but YouTube didn't do it justice, so took it down again, sorry.

Warm muggy day - wanted to seawatch but with the harr, visibility down to 100 m - not great..!! But I could hear an Arctic Tern offshore... and there was a small trickle of Common Gulls (17) going south in ones and twos, hugging the clifftops, which is why I could see them. Also a few juvenile Black-legged Kittiwakes on the wing, which they weren't when I last came down. A single female Common Eider on the sea was sticking close to a brood of 2 half-grown (4/8) eiderlings, big enough now that they only have the Great Black-backed Gulls to worry about.

Tbh, the land was pretty birdless, best bird being a butterfly... surprised/shocked to see a couple of Ringlets in the long grass by the track to the beach. A patch tick. GOD SAVE THE KING!

Wednesday 30th July 08

An hour off for a seawatch at teatime - 17:30 - 18:30 in a brisk northerly. I was bored in the first 5 minutes - not a good sign. I even counted Kittiwakes (now that's bored - a level above counting gannets*) - 90 south in 5 minutes = 1080/h - prob all local breeders heading to Fowlsheugh. There were eventually some small thrills - best being annoying small waders. 2 Dunlin flying south are not too common in Newtonhill, and there were 5 more annoying small waders heading south that I thought were probably Red Knot. Then 2 ASWs that were in fact quite ABWs going south , and oooohhhh!!!!! obvious - Black-tailed Godwits. Nice patch bird. 2 Velvet Scoters went north, 3 Manx Shearwaters south (poor). 1 Great Skua south - some feeding flocks of Kittiwakes shamefully failed to pull anything more interesting in. 6 Arctic Terns. Can't stay awake... zzzzz

*101 north, 55 south.

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