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Old Sunday 7th October 2007, 22:21   #101
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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.
Looks like the foghorn has had a new coat of paint recently. It used to have 'SNP' sprayed in big letters on the white wall. We always assumed it stood for 'Still No Petrels'

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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 07:23   #102
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Just seen a Peregrine make a kill from the kitchen window, down by the Dee Shore. Seemed rather effortless. Probably a pigeon, as there were lots around this morning, flying out to the fields to feed.

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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 07:52   #103
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Discussing the relative merits of a bench, a foghorn and a lump of concrete now. October not really getting going for you is it?
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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 08:38   #104
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October hasn't really kicked in round here yet, Andrew. A bit like Liverpool's recent performances I fear.

I suspect I may have just seen your Peregrine, Phil. Or at least I saw a Peregrine - perched atop the spire of the 'red brick church' (not sure what it's name is). That's 63 for the house list, for those of you who are closely following.
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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 08:52   #105
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The Lighthouse Field

The Lighthouse Field is called Walkers Park.The Lighthouse was designed by either the Father or Grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson,of Treasure Island fame.
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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 09:21   #106
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Found my first bluethroat in the torched gorse. Happy days!
Never saw anything good in the sycamore though.
We always preferred the foghorn for seawatching.

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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 11:47   #107
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In future posts, I hope you will all refer to the foghorn by its proper name - the Torry Coo

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/447569
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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 11:56   #108
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In future posts, I hope you will all refer to the foghorn by its proper name - the Torry Coo

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/447569
I'd forgotten it was called that!

The Peregrine disappeared for a bit but then reappeared on the church spire. Also this morning two Red-throated Divers south and a Bottle-nosed Dolphin briefly.
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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 12:41   #109
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Love the thread

HI there,

am pretty new to BF, and also to the area - my girlfriend has just moved up to just south of Inverbervie and plan to relocate there around new year.

Have spent some time gazing out the window in Gourdon and watching the sea, wishing i had something a little stronger than my 7x25's to get the ticks up.

Did see my first ever purple sandpiper at high tide a week or so ago however and it was delightful.

I hope i'm not taking over or disrupting the thread however,if anyone out there would recommend a decent scope for me to buy so that i can see a bit further towards norway than i can at the minute that'd be great. It is not my intention to break the bank tho. Can only afford a few hundred quid and would like something that can last.

Keep up the excellent reports tho guys... it might not boost my list, but it is increasing my optic-envy.

All the best,

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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 16:00   #110
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October hasn't really kicked in round here yet, Andrew. A bit like Liverpool's recent performances I fear.

I suspect I may have just seen your Peregrine, Phil. Or at least I saw a Peregrine - perched atop the spire of the 'red brick church' (not sure what it's name is). That's 63 for the house list, for those of you who are closely following.
If that was at 10:30ish it was probably the one I saw soaring then streaking over Broad Street round about then. They're still making odd trips to Marischal College even though breeding's over (I work close by).

Three thrushes over Marischal College off the sea about ten minutes later. Almost a fall!

Cheers,
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Old Monday 8th October 2007, 16:02   #111
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HI there,

am pretty new to BF, and also to the area - my girlfriend has just moved up to just south of Inverbervie and plan to relocate there around new year.

Have spent some time gazing out the window in Gourdon and watching the sea, wishing i had something a little stronger than my 7x25's to get the ticks up.

Did see my first ever purple sandpiper at high tide a week or so ago however and it was delightful.

I hope i'm not taking over or disrupting the thread however,if anyone out there would recommend a decent scope for me to buy so that i can see a bit further towards norway than i can at the minute that'd be great. It is not my intention to break the bank tho. Can only afford a few hundred quid and would like something that can last.

Keep up the excellent reports tho guys... it might not boost my list, but it is increasing my optic-envy.

All the best,

Kev
As to scopes, I recommend waterproof (personal experience). Haven't any particular one in mind.

Cheers,
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Old Tuesday 9th October 2007, 07:46   #112
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If that was at 10:30ish it was probably the one I saw soaring then streaking over Broad Street round about then. They're still making odd trips to Marischal College even though breeding's over (I work close by).

Three thrushes over Marischal College off the sea about ten minutes later. Almost a fall!

Cheers,
The Peregrines can be seen daily on the east side (facing Schoolhill) of the Mitchell Tower of Marischal College.Look for the "whitewash" that gives away their favoured roosting sites.If they are not there,try looking on the ledge below the spire of the Triple Kirk,which is the red brick ruin,across from Union Terrace.I am afforded great views from my work,which is on the 14th floor of St Nicholas House.My apologies for going "off thread" a little but this information may help some others see them.
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Old Tuesday 9th October 2007, 20:35   #113
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It was a wonderfully misty damp and mucky morning here in Torry (see pictures). Just how I like it. But, I didn't have much time to enjoy the hordes of rares that were no doubt flitting around Girdle Ness. An hour or two around lunchtime and that was all. The signs were promising when I approached the Allotments and a Redwing and Brambling flew out. The most obvious feature was the first significant arrival of thrushes this autumn. Around the headland there were perhaps 100 each of Fieldfare and Redwing, 20 or 30 Blackbirds and a few Song Thrushes. There was the usual scattering of Robins and Dunnocks and a couple of Wheatears were on the golf course. But that was about it. No warblers and, really weirdly, no Goldcrests. Where are they all at the moment? Normally you get loads of Goldcrests at this time of the year regardless of the weather. More exciting viewing was provided by at least 4 Bottle-nosed Dolphins, relatively close up rather than the usual distant views from the flat, and a Peregrine hurtling across the harbour mouth.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2007, 18:54   #114
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Well, in light of the arrival of birds yesterday I had a proper look this morning. It was still a bit misty and muggy and very calm. Surely there'd be something. Well... if I tell you the first notes I made were the waders on Greyhope Bay, you'll know that it wasn't really happening. Still a few thrushes lurking about, particularly Song Thrushes, but hardly any other migrants. The one Goldcrest is almost noteworthy at the moment! Also 25 Rock Pipits were in the lighthouse field, but amongst their number was not the half-expected Buff-bellied Pipit disappointingly. Plus 2 Stonechats and a Red Admiral. Also the amusing sight of a Pied Wagtail belting after a Blackbird like a skua chasing a Kittiwake. That Blackie won't be marking emergency landfall at Girdle Ness again! Those waders: 1 Purple Sandpiper, 13 Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlin and 19 Turnstones. A lonely Barnacle Goose flew south - my first of the autumn. 2 Red-throated Divers were on the sea and then 3 flew south past the lighthouse. Much to my surprise, they were calling, not something you often hear along the coast. And I got a top quality recording with Remembird. Well, if you turn it up really loud.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2007, 19:09   #115
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Funnily enough, I had a Swallow chasing a Pied Wagtail today.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2007, 19:15   #116
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Funnily enough, I had a Swallow chasing a Pied Wagtail today.
Impressive! Pied Wags might look a bit soft, but I reckon they're well hard. So for a Swallow to take one on is pretty plucky.
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2007, 20:06   #117
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I was amazed at this myself.

The Pied Wagtail was roosting on a wire before the Swallow took a dislike to it and came down towards it and chased it for some time over a horse paddock. I presumed the Swallow had mistook it for some unsual hirundine (with it being on the wire and all black and white).
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Old Friday 12th October 2007, 20:00   #118
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A very foggy night,so could be some nice birds in the Torry area,in the morning.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2007, 17:45   #119
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A very foggy night,so could be some nice birds in the Torry area,in the morning.
Stayed at home today again. Didn't fancy the winds much. The day's watching was completely devoid of interest, apart from a couple of Redwing and Sparrowhawk, until about 14:25 when a flock of 70-80 Fieldfare passed the back window over Great Western Road going SE to NW. My first decent-sized thrush flock of the year.

Cheers,
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Old Saturday 13th October 2007, 18:04   #120
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I've been watching the fieldfares and redwings here - they have stripped a pink rowan tree of it's berries through the course of a week.... and more too but that's the one I've been watching Took some pics and they are on my flickr account.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2007, 19:44   #121
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Well I seem to have found myself a few hundred miles to the north of Torry this weekend, so don't have anything to report (at least from Torry, although I could tell you a thing or two about what I have been seeing). I noticed there was a report of a Slavonian Grebe on the harbour on Friday - will have a good look for that when I return on Monday.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2007, 20:19   #122
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Well I seem to have found myself a few hundred miles to the north of Torry this weekend, so don't have anything to report (at least from Torry, although I could tell you a thing or two about what I have been seeing). I noticed there was a report of a Slavonian Grebe on the harbour on Friday - will have a good look for that when I return on Monday.
I often fancy a trip to Shetland on the ferry, but since I don't drive there would be certain difficulties getting about. Two weeks in the Sumburgh Hotel would be a nice relaxing jaunt though. So now I have to decide for next year: two weeks seawatching at the Butt of Lewis, two at Sumburgh or two at Istanbul watching raptors. Hmmm, life is hard

On the principle that no two days are the same, stuff should be pouring in here overnight. Roll on Eastern Crowned Warbler - a cert for the Ness I'd say.
Hope you're not still up there when it arrives!

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Old Wednesday 17th October 2007, 20:33   #123
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Back on the beat

Well, no Eastern Crowned Warbler today, but I was firmly back on patch. There was the keenest of northwesterly winds with a few showers and lots of rainbows (see below). Mid-afternoon a few skeins of Pink-footed Geese blew across town. Later I had a walk to the Ness whilst, I'm afraid to say, listening to the football. Remember that your ears are just as important as your eyes when birding. Err, anyway, I did see a few birds even if I didn't hear much. And we can also get a couple of regular winter topics on the go.

The Eider subspecific challenge
I love nothing more than grappling with variations in drake Common Eiders. Well maybe I love Lagavulin and cookie dough ice cream better, but it's a surprisingly close thing. This winter's first contender (and we're definitely talking winter now) was seen on one of the south piers this afternoon and then later on the river. It had really rather prominent sails, which it was enthusiastically 'erecting' no doubt to impress the nearby females. Maybe it impresses the drakes too, I don't know. Most Eiders with sails that I've seen tend to show an orangey tone to the bill with rather rounded frontal lobes. This bird had a grey-green tone to the bill, with quite pointed frontal lobes. The legs were also rather dark and grey looking. If we go along with Eider guru Martin Garner...
http://www.birdsireland.com/pages/si...der/eider.html
... we could speculate that this is a borealis type from the eastern part of its range e.g. Svalbard. Indeed it looked a bit like the picture of a Svalbard bird shown on the page above, as can be seen from the excellent picture I took (see below). Okay, maybe it's not all that clear. But it was getting a bit gloomy. Or maybe it's just a local bird and maybe some of them have sails and it's nothing to get too excited about. But hey I might have a long winter's birding ahead of me, so let's keep things interesting shall we.

The Purple Sandpiper totaliser
Some regular readers of this thread have expressed an interest in seeing Purple Sandpipers at Girdle Ness, possibly in the fairly near future. So, I thought I'd start a series of regular counts of these rather fetching calidrids. It wasn't a particularly high tide today so there was plenty of room still on the rocks at Greyhope Bay, which is where they all were. And the totaliser says:

9

Let's hope that, if we all work together, that number can shoot up during the course of the winter. There were also 40 Turnstones, 2 Dunlin and a Golden Plover having an identity crisis with the Oystercatchers.

I had a quick go at seawatching from the Coo, but, as seems to be the order of things these days, very little was moving aside from some distant auks and Gannets.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2007, 20:39   #124
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The Eider subspecific challenge
I love nothing more than grappling with variations in drake Common Eiders. Well maybe I love Lagavulin and cookie dough ice cream better, but it's a surprisingly close thing. This winter's first contender (and we're definitely talking winter now) was seen on one of the south piers this afternoon and then later on the river. It had really rather prominent sails, which it was enthusiastically 'erecting' no doubt to impress the nearby females. Maybe it impresses the drakes too, I don't know. Most Eiders with sails that I've seen tend to show an orangey tone to the bill with rather rounded frontal lobes. This bird had a grey-green tone to the bill, with quite pointed frontal lobes. The legs were also rather dark and grey looking. If we go along with Eider guru Martin Garner...
http://www.birdsireland.com/pages/si...der/eider.html
... we could speculate that this is a borealis type from the eastern part of its range e.g. Svalbard. Indeed it looked a bit like the picture of a Svalbard bird shown on the page above, as can be seen from the excellent picture I took (see below). Okay, maybe it's not all that clear. But it was getting a bit gloomy. Or maybe it's just a local bird and maybe some of them have sails and it's nothing to get too excited about. But hey I might have a long winter's birding ahead of me, so let's keep things interesting shall we.
I know you just make this stuff up. I'm not fooled, you know. Designing whole web pages just to support this nonsense is getting a little obsessive though, don't you think?

(Just hold on to those Sandpipers)
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2007, 20:49   #125
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Is there a badger in that picture?
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