Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday 9th August:
Foolishly went out for an early seawatch, though I suspected as I left the hoosie that knocking out another couple of levels in PS2 Indiana Jones Lego game would have been a better use of my time. I was almost right, as there wasn't a whole lot happening on the sea. Started at 06:00 with a single Arctic Skua going south in a fresh southeasterly, and downhill from there. 3 Common Scoters and 3 Eurasian Teal north, 1 Red-throated Diver, 142 Northern Gannets north and 61 south, a few Sandwich Terns. 7 Annoying Small Waders going south were probably Red Knot.

Interestingly, in light of the 20th July posting on Hugh Harrop's refreshingly unmodest blog, about 20-25% of the Black-legged Kittiwakes I was seeing (hundreds milling about) were juveniles, so not everyone is starving in the North Sea this year.

So I decided that Indiana Jones was a better use of my time, and quit after an hour to go home. As I got back the the car the Common Starlings started to kick up a fuss, and Merlin flew over my head and continued over to cran Hill They're less than annual here. So it was worth coming out, just.

I turned the volume right down on the TV, and kept the living room door shut, and didn't even turn the lights on, but the aura of PS2 electromagnetic fields were enough to get Peter scampering into the room wanting to spoil my game. grrr....

Sunday 10th August.
Back out again, with a determined... chin. With sweat from my pores as I work for my cau- cau-cau-cau caussssee. Flat calm and with rain rain RAIN!! Wet. 06:15 -07:50. A bit better than yesterday, with a single Pomarine Skua heading south, also a single Arctic Skua and 3 Great Skuas (2 N and 1S being mobbed by a foolhardy Sandwich Tern). 7 Manx Shearwaters north (it's not much, but it's something, as I told the nurse at the clinic). Best bird, in the objective 'scarcity status in Newtonhill' rankings was a single Ringed Plover going south.

Some Dolphin action! First for a while. First a pod of 4 Bottle-nosed Dolphins (2 adults and 2 dolphinlets) close in, and then much further out a flock (even) of 16+ dolphin-sp - I presume they were most likely to be Bottle-nosed, knowing they're out there today, but actually they were more White-beaked jizzy. A single Harbour Porpoise.

In other news, 118 Northern Gannets north, 44 south, 6 Arctic Terns north and a reasonable showing of 20 Common Terns N, 2 Atlantic Puffins north (in contrast only a few moulty Razorbills on the water), and 2 Red-throated Divers south.

A quick stomp around the patch was unrelieved by any hot bird action, in spite of my phone blasting out random migrant calls at intervals. I did find this though, which is a welcome change from the usual diet of dead shrews, voles and mice. ...

... a juvenile Oystercatcher. Note how the bill is still growing.

No dead voles etc. for you today.
Oh go on then....
I know you want it, don't you sir... a Common Shrew. Looking how I felt.
Update Monday morning - looking at it again, I think it's a Pygmy Shrew.

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