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Old Friday 13th November 2009, 13:28   #1251
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very quiet out on the ness this morning apart from a very nice flock of 8 snow buntings in the car park in greyhope bay. Very confiding they were too! I think someone mightbe baiting the site for them as there was some corn scattered around that they were feeding on.....

Some photos on the blog.
there's enough corn on this thread already without someone spreading it about.

Nice pics.
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Old Friday 13th November 2009, 16:07   #1252
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That's good to hear Mark. Haven't actually seen Snow Bunting for a while, and I am kind of aiming to see them when I go out birding tomorrow. It would be nice to see them at the Ness, so I'll have a look for them there tomorrow. Also, nice pictures.
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Old Saturday 14th November 2009, 16:31   #1253
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The Snow Buntings were showing very obligingly today at around midday today. It was good to see them still there. However, the Oriental Turtle Dove was something else!

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Old Saturday 14th November 2009, 19:00   #1254
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Snow Buntings. I like them. And it seems that, as previously reported on 'Birds fae Torry', someone else likes them to the tune of putting lots of seed out for them to feed on. A big round of applause for our mysterious benefactor. Anyway, there are eight of them still, in the car park at Greyhope Bay and they're nice. I got some pictures.

Not too much else in the robust winds today. A Fieldfare flew over, 59 Purple Sandpipers were roosting on Greyhope Bay, along with a more surprising Golden Plover. Offshore were at least 5 Red-throated Divers, 3 Common Scoters and a Goldeneye. The pair of Stonechats were again on the bank at Greyhope Bay.

And then I got distracted...
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Old Saturday 14th November 2009, 19:03   #1255
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These traffic lights made an unexpected appearance. I assume they've been acquired as part of traffic control measures in anticipation of forthcoming big rares.
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Old Saturday 14th November 2009, 23:37   #1256
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Snow Buntings. And it seems that, as previously reported on 'Birds fae Torry', someone else likes them to the tune of putting lots of seed out for them to feed on. A big round of applause for our mysterious benefactor.
Photographers ? More likely ringers.....
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Old Sunday 15th November 2009, 07:42   #1257
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Photographers ? More likely ringers.....
I'd actually assumed that's who it was too.
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Old Monday 16th November 2009, 19:53   #1258
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Still 7 Snow Buntings in the Greyhope Bay car park, still feeding on corn. Managed a few photos in spite of the darkness and rain at 3.00pm today. The Freak was all alone on the rocks, all his mates were on the golf course.
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Old Tuesday 17th November 2009, 20:11   #1259
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In all this excitement I kind of lost track of things, and forgot to mention stuff I saw on Sunday. The big news was of course, a new total for the Purple Sandpiper Totaliser. Our team have been working around the clock to collate the figures and I can now exclusively reveal that on Sunday there were,

223

That's right. 223. Bing! Give yourselves a round of applause. Also there were 80 Redshanks and 48 Turnstones roosting. The Freak was in Greyhope Bay and the eight Snow Buntings were looking their decorative best in the car park. Three Red-throated Divers were offshore and a male Stonechat was on the bank. In Walker Park there were nine Ringed Plovers and, very strangely, three Purple Sandpipers. Not sure I've ever seen any in there before, but hey, it was a big day for Purple Sands so anything goes. Off the Coo a Great-northern Diver flew south, three female Common Scoters were one the sea and groups of 9 and 10 went through. Five Gannets went through and a Kittiwake was still around the harbour mouth. Another male Stonechat was at St Fittick's.

Some more saucy Snow Bunting snaps.
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Old Thursday 19th November 2009, 15:32   #1260
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Remember and nominate Girdleness (or anywhere else you want) for protection here:

http://www.yourseasyourvoice.com/
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Old Sunday 22nd November 2009, 16:55   #1261
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Was down at the Ness today, some very rough seas made for nice viewing. There was a group of Bottlenose Dolphin and Divers (couldn't tell the species), no sign of Snow Buntings in the car park but there was a Redshank.
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Old Sunday 22nd November 2009, 17:09   #1262
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Was down at the Ness today, some very rough seas made for nice viewing. There was a group of Bottlenose Dolphin and Divers (couldn't tell the species), no sign of Snow Buntings in the car park but there was a Redshank.
I was down at the Ness this afternoon too and also saw the rough seas and at least a couple of Bottlenose Dolphins. I didn't see the Snow Buntings either.

There were 101 Redshank, but they were roosting on the Skate's Nose. Also 40 Purple Sandpipers and 19 Turnstones there and a female Goosander was on the river. The Freak was in Walker Park. Otherwise it was pretty hard work for not much reward.

The best birds of the day came at 10:15 this morning, with a long-awaited house tick in the shape of 11 Whooper Swans flying south over the city centre.
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Old Sunday 22nd November 2009, 18:34   #1263
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I was on the lookout for Waxwings but alas there were none.
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Old Sunday 22nd November 2009, 19:24   #1264
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The Waxwings don't seem to have arrived here yet, which isn't great. Hopefully they will arrive soon; if they don't then it might not be such a great winter for them this year. Have any of you seen them at Girdleness before?
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Old Sunday 22nd November 2009, 19:31   #1265
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The Waxwings don't seem to have arrived here yet, which isn't great. Hopefully they will arrive soon; if they don't then it might not be such a great winter for them this year. Have any of you seen them at Girdleness before?
Haven't seen them at Girdleness before but I presume that they arrive there, maybe my assumptions are wrong though. All the rowanberries seem to have gone now anyway, not much food for them. There was a sighting on 19th October at Altens according to Birdguides though.
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Old Sunday 22nd November 2009, 20:02   #1266
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It sounds like there are still lots of rowan berries in Scandinavia, so it might be that Waxwings will stay there for the winter rather than come over here. In big winters for Waxwings, quite a few have usually arrived by now. Perhaps we'll get a few though. I saw some Waxwings in Torry last winter, but I suspect they head inland pretty quickly. Girdle Ness doesn't really have any food for them so, other than the odd flock flying through, I reckon you'd struggle to see them there.
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Old Monday 23rd November 2009, 19:10   #1267
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Yes, I was thinking that Girdleness wouldn't be the best place to see Waxwings. In the city centre on good winters I see them from my window, which is lovely (we have a rowan berry bush) in our front garden, but they're normally here by now so I agree with you that it may not be such a great winter for them this year.
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Old Monday 23rd November 2009, 19:42   #1268
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they're normally here by now so I agree with you that it may not be such a great winter for them this year.
I think we've been spoiled by increased Waxwing numbers over the last decade and now expect them to turn up in good numbers. It's easy to forget that they used to be much scarcer. In the 1970s and 80s, the peak flock size in Aberdeen averaged less than 30 birds, in the 1990s it averaged about 75 birds, but since 2000 the peak flock size has averaged about 400 birds.

After I returned to live in the north-east in 1992, it took me four years before I saw a Waxwing, even though I drove through favoured areas like Hilton every day on my way to work. They were quite scarce during that time and of course there was no internet to tell you where the flocks had been seen recently!
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Old Saturday 28th November 2009, 12:47   #1269
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Had a bit of a spin round this morning. A male Sparrowhawk flew through the Plotties, where there were still quite a few Linnets. As is the way at this season, the sea was the main place to look. Lots of Eiders were off the Coo and in amongst them were four Common Scoters and a Velvet Scoter, all females. Four Long-tailed Ducks flew north, almost the first I've seen this winter. Also coming in fours were the Red-throated Divers on Nigg Bay. Six Lapwings were on the shore there. Purple Sandpipers were roosting on the rocks in Greyhope Bay, with a rough count of 174. A few skeins of Pink-feet went over.

I had a fairly thorough look around the waterworks and St Fittick's to no avail. Returning up the hill I was surprised to see that the old buildings at St Fittick's - where the Richard's Pipit was the other week - have been razed to the ground. Maybe some marauding hordes have been through recently, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. A male Stonechat was on the gorse there. Then, rather unexpectedly, a flock of around forty Snow Buntings flew over northwards. Not sure where they came from or where they went to.
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Old Sunday 29th November 2009, 09:32   #1270
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Squeezed in a wee seawatch this morning, between dawn and hypothermia. There were a few bits and bobs going north, but no little auks until Hugh Addlesee turned up and saw a couple that I didn't manage to connect with. Best of it for me were;
Black-throated diver, black guillemot, 5 velvet scoter, 4 long tailed duck, 8 common scoter, Arctic skua, 4 RTD, and singles of wigeon and mallard.
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Old Sunday 29th November 2009, 09:37   #1271
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Squeezed in a wee seawatch this morning, between dawn and hypothermia. There were a few bits and bobs going north, but no little auks until Hugh Addlesee turned up and saw a couple that I didn't manage to connect with. Best of it for me were;
Black-throated diver, black guillemot, 5 velvet scoter, 4 long tailed duck, 8 common scoter, Arctic skua, 4 RTD, and singles of wigeon and mallard.
I know what you mean about hypothermia, and I'm not even out
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Old Sunday 29th November 2009, 11:42   #1272
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Must have just missed you Mark. There wasn't too much later on, the best being a Great-northern Diver, 9 Long-tailed Ducks, 9 Common Scoter, a Mallard, three Red-throated Divers, three Dunlin, a Fulmar and a Kittiwake. Also a Harbour Porpoise. A bit disappointing really and it seemed to be getting quieter as the morning went on. Might be better tomorrow.
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Old Tuesday 1st December 2009, 19:28   #1273
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Any good migrants the past few days? Little Auk, Goldcrest,...Lapland Bunting? What's the weather forecast?
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Old Tuesday 1st December 2009, 19:45   #1274
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Any good migrants the past few days? Little Auk, Goldcrest,...Lapland Bunting? What's the weather forecast?
I've not been out since the weekend. It's a bit late for landbird migrants (although you never know). Seabirds might be a better bet, although the wind has gone round to the south now, which is less good.
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Old Wednesday 2nd December 2009, 09:47   #1275
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/breathingplaces/treeoclock/

If we all plant a tree each in the same place we could make a right little migrant trap....hows about Whitehouse woods?
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