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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 19:15   #76
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Originally Posted by Helenelizabeth2 View Post
You never give up, do you?

Just might make me nasty enough to express my opinion of English folk who head North and then adopt the dialect. A tad pretentious, don't you think?
Pretentious? I dinnae ken whit ye min.
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 19:20   #77
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Pretentious? I dinnae ken whit ye min.
Min?!? Min?!? Go get that English/Scots dictionary out again - you misread something.
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 19:25   #78
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The Allotments

First stop on our virtual tour is the Allotments, on the north side of Girdle Ness next to Greyhope Road. And they're not called the Allotments because you see 'a lot' of birds there. Despite not often seeing much there (until yesterday, see above) I always reckon there's something lurking, probably a Lanceolated Warbler narrowly avoiding being butchered by the spade head of one of the rustic old boys who have their plots there.
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 19:28   #79
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Pretentious? I dinnae ken whit ye min.
Fit does this word mean, Andrew?

Maybe this useful resource will help:

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/languagecentre...ic_intro.shtml

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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 19:29   #80
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First stop on our virtual tour is the Allotments, on the north side of Girdle Ness next to Greyhope Road. And they're not called the Allotments because you see 'a lot' of birds there. Despite not often seeing much there (until yesterday, see above) I always reckon there's something lurking, probably a Lanceolated Warbler narrowly avoiding being butchered by the spade head of one of the rustic old boys who have their plots there.
Have you signed up for one yet? You will be growing your own vegetables now you are near some allotments, won't you?
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 19:34   #81
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Arrggh, it's in my head again.

Gonna rent that movie with Malkovich in it to re-learn how to make my own gun!

To compound it all, Golden Plover is actually a YEAR TICK for me since I decided to do an inland local patch year list this year.

(I'll be okay if we thrash Spurs tomorrow).
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 19:35   #82
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Have you signed up for one yet? You will be growing your own vegetables now you are near some allotments, won't you?
The thought has crossed my mind - although I'd be a bit tempted to let it grown a bit wild. Don't worry, when the Lancey turns up I'll let people in, for a small charge.
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 19:41   #83
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First stop on our virtual tour is the Allotments, on the north side of Girdle Ness next to Greyhope Road. And they're not called the Allotments because you see 'a lot' of birds there. Despite not often seeing much there (until yesterday, see above) I always reckon there's something lurking, probably a Lanceolated Warbler narrowly avoiding being butchered by the spade head of one of the rustic old boys who have their plots there.

Born and bred citizens of Torry,dont use the word Allotments (far too posh).They are and have always been called "The Plotties" for decades.
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 19:43   #84
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The Tree

The Tree. Look at it, just standing there. All coy and innocent. But this is no ordinary tree. This is 'The Tree', and I've often mused that more species have passed through its slender, supple limbs than through any other tree in this part of Scotland. But then I'm a bit weird and have got too much time on my hands. But I have seen Red-backed Shrike in it. And Lesser Whitethroat. So it's definitely quite good.
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 20:05   #85
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The Tree. Look at it, just standing there. All coy and innocent. But this is no ordinary tree. This is 'The Tree', and I've often mused that more species have passed through its slender, supple limbs than through any other tree in this part of Scotland. But then I'm a bit weird and have got too much time on my hands. But I have seen Red-backed Shrike in it. And Lesser Whitethroat. So it's definitely quite good.
Little Bunting, Pallas's (?Pallas') Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Blackcap, Robin, Blackbird , Song Thrush, Redwing, Goldcrests, etc etc.

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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 20:14   #86
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The North Shore

The North Shore is potentially a good place to look when the wind's from the south east and migrants are looking for shelter from the wind. It's also a good place to look on those more frequent occasions when there aren't any migrants, because there are usually at least a few waders and other birds along the shore.

A few pictures:

1. The shore below the 'Plotties' (as we must now call them!) and to the west of 'The Tree'. Note that there are other trees, although they don't hold quite the same exotic promise.

2. The bushes. I always reckon there's something in there, but it's usually quite hard to see into properly.

3. Greyhope Bay. The shore here usually holds a good selection of waders, including sometimes large numbers of Purple Sandpipers. Terns and gulls gather on the rocks.
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 20:15   #87
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Little Bunting, Pallas's (?Pallas') Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Blackcap, Robin, Blackbird , Song Thrush, Redwing, Goldcrests, etc etc.

Cheers,
Gosh that is a good tree. Does it have a name?
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Old Friday 5th October 2007, 20:17   #88
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Gosh that is a good tree. Does it have a name?
'The Sycamore'. Not very original, but scientifically accurate I suppose.

I should also explain that you can look at it for some minutes, as I have done, and think it's empty, and then discover, like I did, that the base and ground area is actually crawling with Robins and Blackcaps. Very strange.

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Old Saturday 6th October 2007, 13:34   #89
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2. The bushes. I always reckon there's something in there, but it's usually quite hard to see into properly.

3. Greyhope Bay. The shore here usually holds a good selection of waders, including sometimes large numbers of Purple Sandpipers. Terns and gulls gather on the rocks.
In my day, those willows were known as 'the Nightingale bush' for reasons you can probably guess. As for the Purpe Sands, I reckon that in winter they are always present in Greyhope Bay, but in calm weather or at low tide they can be very difficult to find as they are on the seaward side of the rocks.
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Old Saturday 6th October 2007, 19:06   #90
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In my day, those willows were known as 'the Nightingale bush' for reasons you can probably guess. As for the Purpe Sands, I reckon that in winter they are always present in Greyhope Bay, but in calm weather or at low tide they can be very difficult to find as they are on the seaward side of the rocks.
The Purple Sands are often a bit tricky to find. The best situation is a high tide when they roost on one or other of the breakwaters. I've counted over 200 on a number of such occasions.

I didn't get out birding today but had the usual scan from the flat. The tangle of roses and willowherb a few doors down finally turned up a warbler today: a male Blackcap. The first warbler of any kind of seen in ages. Not a lot else except for 2 Grey Wagtails and a Red-throated Diver on the sea.
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Old Saturday 6th October 2007, 19:30   #91
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Torry Battery

Torry Battery. To birders, those two words conjure up vivid images of mysterious eastern vagrants. Although probably not to the same extent as the two words 'Fair' and 'Isle'. Still, the Battery is probably the best spot within Aberdeen's premier site for migrants.

Why is the Battery so good? I could pretend to know, but instead I'll speculate. Perhaps it's the relatively high position that must make it prominent from a distance. Maybe it's the shelter from the wind and elements that the ditches and walls provide to tired migrants. It could be the tangles of bramble, willowherb and gorse. And very probably it's all of these and maybe some other stuff that only the birds know about.

Here's a few pictures:

1 and 2. What I suppose you'd call the 'moat', which runs around most of the Battery, except on some of the northern side. There's lots of bramble and willowherb and the birds can usually find shelter from the wind somewhere. On my first visit to Girdle Ness, I saw a Greenish Warbler hopping along the wall and in and out of the willowherb. Remember to watch what you're treading in, as you walk the moat. It's not all 'good stuff' underfoot.

3. And just to prove that birds do hop about on the wall, here's a Redwing. Honest.

4. This is what the inside of the Battery looks like. You can play at being soldiers, if the birding's no good.

5. The gorse on the north side. Note the burnt bits, produced through some judicious conservation management by local vandals. Well perhaps not very judicious. I'm not sure if it's becase it makes birds easier to see, but the burnt bits are often particularly productive. I've seen Pallas's Warbler and Firecrest here that showed a marked preference for freshly toasted shrubbery.
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Old Saturday 6th October 2007, 19:40   #92
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The Purple Sands are often a bit tricky to find. The best situation is a high tide when they roost on one or other of the breakwaters. I've counted over 200 on a number of such occasions.

I didn't get out birding today but had the usual scan from the flat. The tangle of roses and willowherb a few doors down finally turned up a warbler today: a male Blackcap. The first warbler of any kind of seen in ages. Not a lot else except for 2 Grey Wagtails and a Red-throated Diver on the sea.
I reckoned the sea wouldn't be all that good today so I stayed at home for a bit of raptor watching. Nothing much until 14:30 when 4 Common Buzzard decided to soar SW over...Cromwell Road Recreation Ground, of course. I managed to take a terrible photo of two (see below - a certain amount of faith is required).

Otherwise a few Redwing zipping around, and plenty of finches and alba wagtails over during the day. The weather just isn't bad enough yet.

Cheers,
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Old Sunday 7th October 2007, 20:19   #93
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Another day's raptor watching today, although once the sun went in it became rather raw.

Tally for the day from both windows:

Several Blackbird immigrants in a Rowan Tree joined by Jackdaws and Magpies and finches and tits.
1 Mistle Thrush NW
3 Buzzard lazily following the Great Western Road, in formation, west at about midday. 2 later going north.
Several Sparrowhawk sightings, including one bird that appeared to mistake a sparrow-sized brown piece of wood sticking up through the top of a hedge for a bird, and gave itself a surprise, flopping down into a walled back garden. It took five minutes to re-appear, roof-hopping into our back gardens area.
2 Peregrine soaring by the Dee shore,with one doing a tremendous stoop.
Loads of Pinkfeet SW, about 500 over the day.
1 Grey Heron NE calling about 30 feet up at 17:15.

So all in all rather routine (strange though it is, none of these birds are uncommon from the window)

AND

a flock of six Starling-type birds, very distant, flying on a line towards Kincorth. Looked rather pale. However, I don't want to jump the gun...

Cheers,
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Old Sunday 7th October 2007, 20:37   #94
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I saw what I reckoned were four Buzzards soaring over the city together around midday. They were a very long way off though. Also a Sparrowhawk soaring around. I'm still struggling to see Peregrine from the flat, which is a bit of a surprise. A few Bottle-nosed Dolphins were again in the harbour this morning. I tried to take some pictures but they were bobbins.

In the afternoon I did my WEBS count from Cove Bay to Nigg Bay. The most surprising sighting was two Snipe flying over Cove Bay village. There were also a couple of Wheatears along the cliff tops and three Buzzards around Doonies Farm. Before hitting the coast I had a look round Cove Bay Community Woodland. There's gotta be a Yellow-browed Warbler in there. But I didn't see it. Or hear it. It could have at least called. If I could get down to serious talks with the Yellow-browed Warblers, I'd be asking them to call a bit more often. But so far, they've refused to enter into dialogue.
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Old Sunday 7th October 2007, 20:48   #95
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Quote:
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I saw what I reckoned were four Buzzards soaring over the city together around midday. They were a very long way off though. Also a Sparrowhawk soaring around. I'm still struggling to see Peregrine from the flat, which is a bit of a surprise. A few Bottle-nosed Dolphins were again in the harbour this morning. I tried to take some pictures but they were bobbins.

In the afternoon I did my WEBS count from Cove Bay to Nigg Bay. The most surprising sighting was two Snipe flying over Cove Bay village. There were also a couple of Wheatears along the cliff tops and three Buzzards around Doonies Farm. Before hitting the coast I had a look round Cove Bay Community Woodland. There's gotta be a Yellow-browed Warbler in there. But I didn't see it. Or hear it. It could have at least called. If I could get down to serious talks with the Yellow-browed Warblers, I'd be asking them to call a bit more often. But so far, they've refused to enter into dialogue.
I've seen one in what Stuart Reeves called 'the Nightingale Bush' round about this time in Oct. Never sat still. There's also that lovely little clump at the foot of the steps just past the Battery, near to the breakwater. I've only seen Goldcrest, Garden Warbler and Goldfinch in it, but it looks like a likely place to me, a nice little tangled grove, with potential.

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Old Sunday 7th October 2007, 20:53   #96
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The Lighthouse Field

The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that Girdle Ness conforms to the first rule of birding. Which, in case you didn't know, is:

Places with lighthouses are always good for birds

And right next to the lighthouse is a big field. And on the odd occasions when this field isn't being used as an unofficial driving range by cheapskate golfers, it gets a few good birds. Wheatears are a speciality and usually there are a few pipits knocking about, particularly Rock Pipits. On my first visit, I was rather astonished to see 3 Black-tailed Godwits wandering about and last year a Shore Lark appeared in the spring. I'm still waiting for Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Richard's Pipit though.
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Old Sunday 7th October 2007, 21:24   #97
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The Sea

The Sea (see figure one). Cruel. Grey. Unrelenting. Occasionally good for birds. Often the only place where any birds are at Girdle Ness in fact. So a good thing to do is to look out to sea. But where from? Well, at the end of Girdle Ness there are two options.

Firstly, the 'comfy' chair (see figure two). Advantages: relatively comfy and you're not sitting on the ground. Disadvantages: no shelter from the wind, people driving past and pointing at you. Also oriented a bit far north which means you tend to pick up birds a bit late (birds mostly move south to north here).

Secondly, the Foghorn (see figure three). Advantages: provides shelter from most winds and you can look a bit more to the south and pick up birds sooner. Disadvantages: not very comfortable, wet arse inducing.

Take your pick. In between the two, there's a weird concrete thing (see figure four). With a potted plant next to it. My theory, if you'll bear with me, is that this is actually a space craft that has crash landed at Girdle Ness. The 'potted plant' is in fact an alien, much like Rangdo of Arg who appeared in the 80s TV quiz 'The Adventure Game' in the form of an aspidistra.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP-lt9boL
Any other theories?
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Old Sunday 7th October 2007, 21:43   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Whitehouse View Post
The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that Girdle Ness conforms to the first rule of birding. Which, in case you didn't know, is:

Places with lighthouses are always good for birds

And right next to the lighthouse is a big field. And on the odd occasions when this field isn't being used as an unofficial driving range by cheapskate golfers, it gets a few good birds. Wheatears are a specialty and usually there are a few pipits knocking about, particularly Rock Pipits. On my first visit, I was rather astonished to see 3 Black-tailed Godwits wandering about and last year a Shore Lark appeared in the spring. I'm still waiting for Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Richard's Pipit though.
Hi Andrew

It is amazing to see birds in the most unlikeliest places, and as you say it is the places that hold Lighthouses that are the most interesting for birds. Girdle Ness was somewhere I never thought of going while I lived in Aberdeen myself.

While living in Aberdeen, I went to Montrose Basin/Lighthouse for many visits instead, and that is a great place to visit too. Saw lots of Linnets (at the Montrose Lighthouse) one year, and other birds of all types - too many to mention!! Could see Seals/Dolphins too. Stonechats (Montrose Golf Course/Beach area) another year. Montrose SWT is a great place for shorebirds/Sandmartins too.

The birds that you see are the ones, you least expect to see. Very interesting to know. I think the birds become less bothered with human disturbance too.

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Old Sunday 7th October 2007, 21:46   #99
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Take your pick. In between the two, there's a weird concrete thing (see figure four). With a potted plant next to it. My theory, if you'll bear with me, is that this is actually a space craft that has crash landed at Girdle Ness. The 'potted plant' is in fact an alien, much like Rangdo of Arg who appeared in the 80s TV quiz 'The Adventure Game' in the form of an aspidistra.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP-lt9boL

Any other theories?
The sea air has affected your brain?
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Old Sunday 7th October 2007, 21:49   #100
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Quote:
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The Sea (see figure one). Cruel. Grey. Unrelenting. Occasionally good for birds. Often the only place where any birds are at Girdle Ness in fact. So a good thing to do is to look out to sea. But where from? Well, at the end of Girdle Ness there are two options.

Firstly, the 'comfy' chair (see figure two). Advantages: relatively comfy and you're not sitting on the ground. Disadvantages: no shelter from the wind, people driving past and pointing at you. Also oriented a bit far north which means you tend to pick up birds a bit late (birds mostly move south to north here).

Secondly, the Foghorn (see figure three). Advantages: provides shelter from most winds and you can look a bit more to the south and pick up birds sooner. Disadvantages: not very comfortable, wet arse inducing.

Take your pick. In between the two, there's a weird concrete thing (see figure four). With a potted plant next to it. My theory, if you'll bear with me, is that this is actually a space craft that has crash landed at Girdle Ness. The 'potted plant' is in fact an alien, much like Rangdo of Arg who appeared in the 80s TV quiz 'The Adventure Game' in the form of an aspidistra.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP-lt9boL
Any other theories?
Hi Andrew

Sorry I overlapped your post here!!

Your comfortable bench seat looks the best. Still you would get a wet bottom on a rainy day though

Wonder if picture 4 is an Memoral (War), the potted plant may be part of it - thought of by my OH Dave. You can lean on that at least, and use it as a resting post.

LOL love the idea you have about aliens

Regards
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