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Old Wednesday 9th October 2013, 20:04   #2501
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Hi Teamscotch,
I presume your Wheatear was definitely just a Northern? - as you probably know, there was an Isabelline claimed on the beach boulevard on Monday.
Cheers,
Hugh.
Yes - disappointingly Northern, although I'll admit my heart skipped a beat when I first saw it sitting in the heather!

Cheers,

Phil
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Old Sunday 13th October 2013, 18:02   #2502
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Hi folks, I'm new on here ... but have looked in many times, particularly in connection with bird life on Tullos Hill - having taken an interestin this location since the tree for every citizen scheme and the asociated deer cull.
I was on the hill yesterday, picking brambles and elderberries, when I heard what was very, very like the call of a corncrake. I went home thinking this was unlikely, but listened to bird calls online, and am more convinced that it was a corncrake I heard ... unless there is a bird with a similar call of course.
Can anyone suggest what may have been the source of the call? I want to be excited and insist it was a corncrake ... but I'll stay calm and wait for responses from folks who perhaps know more about what is on the hill and could be making such a call.
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Old Sunday 13th October 2013, 18:17   #2503
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Welcome to BirdForum and Birds fae Torry Tattiemannie. Although Corncrake is possible here in autumn, it's very unlikely. What's even more unlikely is for it to be calling at this time of year because the characteristic sound is normally only given during the breeding season. It's a bit hard to know what other possibilities there might be. Pheasant is possible and a bit similar. Mistle Thrush makes a dry rattling call. Hard to be sure though! It might be helpful to know exactly where it was coming from e.g. on the ground, in a tree, from grass etc.
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Old Sunday 13th October 2013, 18:19   #2504
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Could Jays be a possibility as well?

Rich
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Old Sunday 13th October 2013, 18:20   #2505
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Could Jays be a possibility as well?

Rich
They're very scarce around the city - I've never seen one in this area at all, although you get them further up Deeside.
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Old Sunday 13th October 2013, 18:25   #2506
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Today was very different to last weekend - much cooler and a lot of the birds seem to have left. Migrants were in short supply, though my first Redwing of the autumn was near the Coo. Seawatching was the main feature. A Short-eared Owl was seen battling in off, whilst being pursued by a couple of skuas. Skuas were a bit of a headache for me too, with at least six being seen. I think most were Arctics, like this one, but some were a bit too distant to be sure. Two Bonxies and a Sooty Shearwater went north. Also moving were five Common Scoter and four Teal. A few Harbour Porpoises surfaced. A Snipe was heard calling around Greyhope Bay.
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Old Monday 14th October 2013, 12:55   #2507
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Cheers Andrew, as I said I thought it unlikely both in terms of their normal distribution, and the time of the year, but so far, having listened to calls by other rails, and many recordings of corncrakes, I am left knowing exactly what I heard, and corncrake calls are still the best match, and a very good match at that.
Re time of year though, I am more knowledgable re. wild plants than birds, and I see evidence of disruption to the season ... a few plants which had finished flowering in August ( or should have ) had flowers ... it has been an unusual summer, so I wonder if that could possibly have an effect.
I will look into the birds mentioned by yourself and have a listen to their calls. You asked for more info re location.

I was walking east along the path to the north of the fenced off area. about 50 to 100 yards east of the fenced off area I heard what struck me as the far off sound of someone sawing wood. This came from the left, somewhere in a large area of grassland on the north side of the hill. I looked to see if someone was perhaps pruning trees, but at the same time began to think it was not actually the sound of a saw on wood. there were breaks in the 'sawing' and I suppose the sound was a bit like the repeated drawing back and forth of a wood saw. Anyway, seeing nothing, I walked on until, to my right, i heard a similar sound, but more defined as a 'double syllable' rasping and closer together in time... a little like the classic frog sound from the movies, but harsher and deeper. it seemed quite close, and coming from a small clearing surrounded by gorse and broom. There was a ditch between myself and the area. I listened and tried to define where the sound was coming from, but realised I was unlikely to see anything as it could so easily be coming from in, or under the bushes.

At one point I could hear both the 'sawing' sound to the north, and the fuller grating sound close by. I made my way over the ditch, and the sound stopped. I stayed still for quite a long time ... possibly around ten minutes, and then heard the sound again. However I took a couple of steps towards the clearing, and heard the sound no more.

I was all set to go back to the hill today prepared to record with my phone if i heard it again, but not in this weather :)
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Old Monday 14th October 2013, 13:18   #2508
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OK, having listened to several calls, I think it most likely to have been a ring necked pheasant ... with a really sore throat :) Purely on what I heard, in the absence of all other facts and probabilities I would still say 'corncrake' ... but there are a couple of recordings in particular of a male pheasant crow that are close enough to persuade me that this was the culprit.
Thanks again for your help Andrew, and Clark.
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Old Monday 14th October 2013, 18:22   #2509
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Some interesting bits and bobs today. In the morning 3 tufty flew through the harbour, and at lunchtime a female type Merlin was dashing around the harbour putting on a wonderful display.

This evening, in the relative calm there were a few migrants on show. 2 ring ouzels were best, backed up by about 10 blackcap, 2 brambling, a lesser whitethroat, a few goldcrest, and good numbers of thrushes.
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Old Monday 14th October 2013, 18:52   #2510
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OK, having listened to several calls, I think it most likely to have been a ring necked pheasant ... with a really sore throat :) Purely on what I heard, in the absence of all other facts and probabilities I would still say 'corncrake' ... but there are a couple of recordings in particular of a male pheasant crow that are close enough to persuade me that this was the culprit.
Thanks again for your help Andrew, and Clark.
Plenty of Pheasant on The Hill this autumn. I also wondered if you might be hearing one of the bird scaring devices used in the Tullos Industrial Estate below the hill - occasionally I have wondered what on earth the noise is...!
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2013, 11:26   #2511
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Started my walk In lovely sunshine and ended In dull damp conditions.Nothing exciting seen but a Redpoll was just along from the Bay of Nigg Car Park.Off the "Coo" was a Bonxie giving the Gulls a hard time,a single Red throated Diver and a Common Scoter.I got a little excited by a small wader In Walkers Park,which was partially hidden by Oyster Catchers but It was nothing rare,being a Dunlin,which was spooked by Council workers,cleaning the mess left by the recent Travelling community,who were camped there.What a disgrace.

Purple Sandpipers,Ringed Plover and Turnstone were on the rocks In Greyhope Bay and a few Redwing around the bushes by the Skates Nose.Another little bit of excitement,came In the way of a small brown bird,flitting around the Sycamore and the nearbye undergrowth but after much patience,It turned out to be a Dunnock.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2013, 19:19   #2512
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Plenty of movement this morning. I managed to squeeze a quick look around nigg bay in before work, and enjoyed plenty of thrushes, goldcrests, a few long tailed tits, and a blackcap.

All the action was overhead though. I had, either coming or going from Phil's hill! a crossbill, 4 bullfinch, 2 mistle thrush, 4 siskin, and a good few chaffinch in about 20 minutes.

Plenty of blackcaps around the allotments with goldcrests, and at lunchtime, a woodcock sauntering around.
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Old Wednesday 16th October 2013, 10:48   #2513
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Had a walk round "The Ness" again this morning,with my friend Doug.A Water Rail In the Rose Willow Herb over the back of the South Bank was unexpected.A female Sparrowhawk sitting on the rocks down from "The Coo" was attracting some mobbing birds and a Common Buzzard came In off the sea,at Greyhope Bay.

At the Battery,there was a Lesser Whitethroat and a very obliging male Blackcap.Also quite a few Wrens were seen on my walk and Robins are everywhere.

Seen Mr Whitehouse at the Battery but never had the chance to speak,so hopefully he may have came across some more stuff on his walk.

Over to you Andrew.
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Old Wednesday 16th October 2013, 13:52   #2514
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I thought that might have been you Ben! I think you did a bit better than me with Water Rail and Lesser Whitethroat.

I struggled for migrants, only seeing one Blackcap and a Redwing. I'm surprised more wasn't about. My best sighting was a flock of twenty Barnacle Geese heading south. Otherwise things seemed fairly quiet with the only other notable birds being four Red-breasted Merganser, five Common Scoter, an Arctic Skua and a Dunlin. A Sparrowhawk was at 'the Tree' and perhaps may have been the one you had at the Coo. I wonder if it was a migrant.
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Old Wednesday 16th October 2013, 16:56   #2515
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Wow - it's been busy today!

At lunchtime I had a mealy redpoll along the north bank, and 11 tree sparrows went south over the battery, as did a lone barnacle goose. The redpoll went over inland rather frustratingly, but then did the scent thing and turned back to land on a railing in front of me. It then hopped down into the grass and disappeared into the 'new cover' when I had to go back to work.
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Old Friday 18th October 2013, 18:22   #2516
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I also had a Mealy Redpoll today at 'the Tree'. It didn't stop too long, but I reckon it's the first Redpoll of any kind I've had on the deck at Girdle Ness. Not much else about, except for a couple of duck flocks: around 15 Teal and 30 Wigeon. Lots of dolphin activity too.

I suspect things may develop over the weekend though - looks interesting.
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Old Saturday 19th October 2013, 12:30   #2517
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Big arrival of thrushes, principally Redwing & Blackbirds on the Hill early doors today. Also a good arrival of Brambling & a couple of Blackcaps. Felt monster, but I ran out of time...
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Old Saturday 19th October 2013, 17:11   #2518
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I've been out twice - can't add anything to Phil's list apart from a few swallows. Agree about the monster though. Tomorrow could be good.
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Old Saturday 19th October 2013, 20:55   #2519
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I've been out twice - can't add anything to Phil's list apart from a few swallows. Agree about the monster though. Tomorrow could be good.
Yikes - I thought my note would be the prelude to a decent haul locally thus arvo!

Tomorrow it is...
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Old Sunday 20th October 2013, 12:02   #2520
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Much less going on today than I expected. A few goldcrests, blackcaps and thrushes scattered around but not a lot else. There was a very Siberian looking chiffchaff at the north bank, and 4 tree sparrows were flying around. There was also a snow bunting at the battery, as well as 2 reed bunting. Could well be other stuff around....
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Old Sunday 20th October 2013, 12:40   #2521
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Likewise Mark, I was out first light expecting a semi decent fall......... and very quiet. Looking at the pressure charts Thur/Fri may be decent.
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Old Sunday 20th October 2013, 14:53   #2522
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It seems like I wasn't the only one not seeing 'the boy' today. Really a bit underwhelming. There were quite a few Blackbirds and Robins but other migrants weren't really happening. The best of it were ten Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, a Brambling, four Siskins, four Grey Wagtails, three Redwing, four Swallows, one Reed Bunting (probably one of Mark's) and two Tree Sparrows. Eighty Fieldfares in two flocks came in. Offshore I had three Long-tailed Ducks but little else. There ought to be something out there, but the lack of even semi-scarce migrants wasn't encouraging.
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Old Tuesday 22nd October 2013, 09:36   #2523
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Still plenty of thrushes (seemingly more redwing this morning), blackcaps, and a few crests, brambling and other finches around (including a redpoll spp overhead yesterday) - but the bulk of the activity seems to be in Torry itself rather than at Girdle ness - especially around Abbey road/Baxter place areas. That said, I can't make it out to girdle ness this lunchtime so no doubt someone will find something decent...
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Old Wednesday 23rd October 2013, 14:23   #2524
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Brambling and blackcap still relatively easy to come across in Torry. Great crested grebe in greyhope bay this lunchtime.
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Old Thursday 24th October 2013, 12:43   #2525
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Todays bird of interest - 'eastern' lesser whitethroat on the north bank. Showed quite well (briefly) around the trees and boulders at the western end of the north bank. Will have another look for it after work...
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