Sunday, December 28, 2008

In Newtonhill, an unconfirmed report of...

Waited until it got light this morning, but by 9.30 realised it wasn't going to get light. So went out in the half light with drizzle and... dead. Not a tweet. After pottering around the Mill Garden and Honeypot Lane to little effect, I took a whim to go round Cran Hill, where for 9/10 of the way round the highlight was being attacked by a muzzled dog with its owner telling me 'he can't hurt you!' Then as I got back to East Cammachmore, the bushes were alive with 30+ Yellowhammers, 15+ Reed Buntings and a couple of Eurasian Tree Sparrows, among the usual Greenfinches and Common Chaffinches. As I was looking up at the trees, 3 Whooper Swans flew over, and even called. Not quite a patch tick, but not far off (I heard some flying over one bnight a few years ago). I just read that though and I's typed 'Whopper Swans' which is actually a better name. Changed in now.

Then a couple, with a couple of big dogs, came up the lane, asked me if I were a 'bird man'. I replied that yes, I am indeed a bird man. They asked me if we get Marsh Tits around here, and I said, as the authoritative birdman, that no we do not. They told me that they had a couple of Marsh Tits coming to their feeders. We discussed Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, House Sparrows and they were very familiar with them and saw them all the time. They knew that Willow Tit was a confusion species and we discussed that. Anyway, there was enough there to convince me to go for a look, and I shivered away an hour seeing lots of Coal Tits at their feeders. The Marsh Tits have apparently been around all the time, including this morning, from 8.00 to about 9.30 am, then move off for the day. So assuming I do't drink any more of this Glenmorangie, I'll be there early doors tomorrow. Will let you know how i do. Thet also get Great Spotted Woodpecker in their garden, and mentioned Green Woodpecker, which would be another patch tick. Just occurred to me that I should have discussed Common Blackcap with them.

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