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Old Friday 26th October 2007, 19:11   #151
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I finally managed to get a Redwing for the house list, one feeding a few gardens down.
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This talk of thrushes reminds me that I finally managed to see my first Redwing from the flat a couple of days ago.
Old age getting to you Andrew?
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Old Friday 26th October 2007, 19:20   #152
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Old age getting to you Andrew?
Speak up sonny, what was that again?
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Old Saturday 27th October 2007, 08:25   #153
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Old age getting to you Andrew?
Well done, CC. I love it when other people catch Dr W out. Sadly, I am too old and slow to often achieve this myself.
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Old Saturday 27th October 2007, 18:55   #154
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I'm just pleased to see this thread has such an avid readership. Even if people are only looking out for reasons to section me, I take it as a compliment.

It's been a few days since I had a proper look round, so I braved the moderate mid-morning drizzle and strode purposefully off round the Ness. A 'good sprinkling' of thrushes was noted, a couple of dozen Blackbirds, several Song Thrushes, half a dozen Redwings and one Fieldfare, mostly around the Allotments. I wasn't paying too much attention to the Eiders today but still saw at least three 'be-sailed' birds, a drake on Greyhope Bay and later two more on the harbour. One of these showed a bit of an orangey bill, which is more typical of the borealis types I've seen before.

Regular readers will know that I'm always on the look out for evidence of miscreant activity. I'm not sure if this qualifies but, rather morbidly, there were three dead rabbits inside the Battery, alongside various discarded fireworks. The Herring Gulls were finding the rabbits to their liking (see picture one). Their opinion on the fireworks isn't yet known.

The rain veered towards the heavy side of moderate so I headed back to the flat. After it stopped raining the wind picked up and there was quite an impressive flurry of Gannets moving out to sea - most of them adult birds. Also a few Kittiwakes and auks, mostly going south. Another overdue house tick was gratefully received, a female Red-breasted Merganser circling the harbour before continuing south.

I went down to the pier on the north shore early in the afternoon for what was a pretty high tide. There I basked in the magnificent spectacle of over two hundred roosting waders (see picture two). 79 Turnstones, 98 Redshanks and the Purple Sandpiper Totaliser moves on to:

72

Kerr-ching! Well done everyone - a great effort. Four of the Purps had red colour rings on their right legs (see picture three, specially for Dr G). Quite a few have been ringed at Girdle Ness in recent years, although I don't know if they use colour rings. I just checked the colour ringing website and it appears that birds with red rings on the right leg were banded in the Netherlands. Hmm...In-ter-esting.

The fresh southerlies brought in three juvenile Swallows, my first for weeks, which were hawking over the Plotties. There was also a Mistle Thrush over and a pair of Stonechats on the north shore.
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Old Saturday 27th October 2007, 21:23   #155
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Kerr-ching! Well done everyone - a great effort. Four of the Purps had red colour rings on their right legs (see picture three, specially for Dr G). Quite a few have been ringed at Girdle Ness in recent years, although I don't know if they use colour rings. I just checked the colour ringing website and it appears that birds with red rings on the right leg were banded in the Netherlands. Hmm...In-ter-esting.
Whereabouts is Girdle Ness again?
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Old Saturday 27th October 2007, 21:30   #156
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Whereabouts is Girdle Ness again?
I shouldn't worry about it. We won't be going there next weekend anyway. So no Purple Sandpipers .
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Old Saturday 27th October 2007, 22:01   #157
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Four of the Purps had red colour rings on their right legs (see picture three, specially for Dr G).

Ever thought of being the Simon Barnes of the photography world-How to be a bad....... And you weren't playing Slint to the purp sands were you-from their looks........
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 09:28   #158
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Four of the Purps had red colour rings on their right legs (see picture three, specially for Dr G).

Ever thought of being the Simon Barnes of the photography world-How to be a bad....... And you weren't playing Slint to the purp sands were you-from their looks........
Sometimes I make a bit of an effort,
http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...12/ppuser/3550
Might even have a proper go later today. It was a bit gloomy yesterday, and I didn't have the proper gear with me!

Slint are rather quiet a lot of the time (as I'm sure you know ), so I could have been playing it to them.
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 09:40   #159
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Sometimes I make a bit of an effort,
http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...12/ppuser/3550
Might even have a proper go later today. It was a bit gloomy yesterday, and I didn't have the proper gear with me!
Wow. That's a really nice pic. Why aren't you putting these on your thread?
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 10:04   #160
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Wow. That's a really nice pic. Why aren't you putting these on your thread?
That was taken two years ago, when I used to try a bit harder! I might try and get some better pictures today, particularly as the light is very good. I normally only take the wee man out with me, which isn't as good for photos. I might get the big man out today.
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 10:59   #161
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Was down at Tullos Field this morning and came across 8 Redwing and a large party of Finches (50+) but could only id Goldfinch from their calls,although they were not all Goldfinch in the flock.Great morning for photographs Andrew...? Your Purple Sand,shall take some beating,all the same.The challenge has been set...!
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 19:43   #162
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That was taken two years ago, when I used to try a bit harder! I might try and get some better pictures today, particularly as the light is very good. I normally only take the wee man out with me, which isn't as good for photos. I might get the big man out today.
Do as you like but don't expect anyone on here to bail you out when the polis turn up.
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 20:05   #163
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I shouldn't worry about it. We won't be going there next weekend anyway. So no Purple Sandpipers .
Andrew, as a friend I would ask you to reconsider your plans. I can't give anything away but you may be short of a couple of items from your appendage should a certain person not connect with these particular calidrids. Strange as they are so common at Heacham which is not a million miles from where your would be Nucifraga sp reside.

Don't say you haven't been warned.
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 20:26   #164
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Dave, I suspect that I'll be safe as far as the rock dwelling calidrid action goes next weekend.

Helen, as you know I'm a two-scope family. And they have to have names. It's nothing illegal.

Well, as mentioned by Ben, there were a few thrushes around this morning and I had some nice views of one or two Fieldfares and a Redwing in the rowan trees on Abbey Road. I still haven't found the famous zebra crossing there yet. Maybe they got rid of it. A house rarity was a Chaffinch flying over. Not too many of those around at the moment, it seems.

It was rather a fine day but I didn't head out till early afternoon when I was back on high tide duty at the pier. Wader totals as follows *drum roll* Turnstone 94, Redshank 112, Oystercatcher 151, Knot 1 and the Purple Sandpiper Totaliser bounds on further to,

93

Woah! I did have a bit of a fun PM only quiz with a couple of 'regular contributors' asking them what they thought the Totaliser would be up to. Their guesses (I'll spare their blushes by not telling who they were) were 43 (chortle) and a slightly more respectable 79 +/- 5. But perhaps there's an amusing quiz in here. Can you guess the next highest total for the totaliser i.e. the total when we beat 93?

Nine of the Purps had red colour rings and most of these, it's now apparent, have yellow flags on their right legs. They're hard to see though, being quite high up on the tibia and usually obscured by feathers. Checking the colour ringing site, it now seems pretty certain that these birds will have been ringed on Greyhope Bay, although presumably in previous winters so it's at least good to see them coming back to old haunts.

Not too much other stuff out and about this afternoon. A Redwing was at the Battery, a Red-throated Diver on the harbour, a female Stonechat on the north bank and a drake 'borealis type' Eider was on the pier with the Purple Sands. I had two flocks of Siskins flying inland, totalling around 20 birds.

Then, back at the flat, I had rather a welcome house tick: a Black Guillemot flying off the harbour mouth and then coming down on the sea. It was quite far off but the light was so good I could even see its red legs as it landed.

Now, it's come to my attention that some people have been suggesting a certain 'lack of quality' in some of the photography on this thread, so I decided to have a bit more of a go at taking some decent shots today. So, out came the big man and the following were the most favourable results. I await Dr G's judgement.
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 20:30   #165
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Here's a few more. Unfortunately the Purple Sands tend to like to stay on the dark side of the pier, so it's hard to get good light on them. They also like to sleep a lot.
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 20:30   #166
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Andrew, as a friend I would ask you to reconsider your plans. I can't give anything away but you may be short of a couple of items from your appendage should a certain person not connect with these particular calidrids. Strange as they are so common at Heacham which is not a million miles from where your would be Nucifraga sp reside.

Don't say you haven't been warned.
If Andrew lets me down I am sure you will be taking me to Heacham to find me one then. After all, you have bred already and can take the risk of failure more easily. :)
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 20:33   #167
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It was a braw day here in Aberdeen, and a high tide too - almost devouring the whole of Aberdeen beach. There was also a rather remarkable moon rise, coming up over the sea before disappearing into the clouds.
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 20:37   #168
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It was rather a fine day but I didn't head out till early afternoon when I was back on high tide duty at the pier. Wader totals as follows *drum roll* Turnstone 94, Redshank 112, Oystercatcher 151, Knot 1 and the Purple Sandpiper Totaliser bounds on further to,

93

Woah! I did have a bit of a fun PM only quiz with a couple of 'regular contributors' asking them what they thought the Totaliser would be up to. Their guesses (I'll spare their blushes by not telling who they were) were 43 (chortle) and a slightly more respectable 79 +/- 5. But perhaps there's an amusing quiz in here. Can you guess the next highest total for the totaliser i.e. the total when we beat 93?
Hey! You deliberately misled me by telling me the total was down a bit! You fixed it for Laura to win!

p.s. That's not a moon, that's a neep!
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 20:44   #169
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Hey! You deliberately misled me by telling me the total was down a bit! You fixed it for Laura to win!

p.s. That's not a moon, that's a neep!
Err, no I think you just got a bit confused. The Totaliser totals are always the highest recorded during the winter, so if there's a new total it will always be higher than the previous highest total. And Laura wasn't that close, so she doesn't really win either. Although her guess was at least higher than the previous highest.

And that's a real natural moon.
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 20:47   #170
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Err, no I think you just got a bit confused. The Totaliser totals are always the highest recorded during the winter, so if there's a new total it will always be higher than the previous highest total. And Laura wasn't that close, so she doesn't really win either. Although her guess was at least higher than the previous highest.

And that's a real natural moon.
Oops. I am totally senile. I actually thought that you were seeing 70-odd Purple Sandpipers at one time! It did seem large, I must admit, but I just put that down to what a fabulous patch you have. :)

*shuffles off to take medication and find slippers
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 20:53   #171
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Err, no I think you just got a bit confused. The Totaliser totals are always the highest recorded during the winter, so if there's a new total it will always be higher than the previous highest total. And Laura wasn't that close, so she doesn't really win either. Although her guess was at least higher than the previous highest.
Hang on. Maybe my brain cells are wilting too - isn't the totaliser just a running total?

Anyway it should be like one of those guess the price of the house daytime tv shows, where the nearest guess wins. And if you take mine as 79+5, that means I guessed84, which is only 9 off the real answer!
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 21:07   #172
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Now, it's come to my attention that some people have been suggesting a certain 'lack of quality' in some of the photography on this thread, so I decided to have a bit more of a go at taking some decent shots today. So, out came the big man and the following were the most favourable results. I await Dr G's judgement.
Well at least they are more or less in focus. Only exposure,composition,depth of field etc to go. And I hope Aggie did not see you with your big man out. Maybe a mistake then to have said that you should get your exposure right ......

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Here's a few more. Unfortunately the Purple Sands tend to like to stay on the dark side of the pier, so it's hard to get good light on them. They also like to sleep a lot.
They are proud and unassuming birds-possibly expecting only pics of the highest quality of themselves to appear on BF-soon as they see you it's the old hide in the shade and pretend to be asleep routine again....

And I hate to say it but I almost like the moon ones
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Old Sunday 28th October 2007, 23:21   #173
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I think I'm struggling to explain the Totaliser. Or people are struggling to understand it. The figure on the Totaliser is the maximum count of the winter so far. So today I saw 93 Purple Sandpipers. All together. In a flock. And that's the most I've counted so far this winter. So that's the figure on the Totaliser. The figure will go up when I count more than 93 Purple Sandpipers.

Thank you for your advice on the photos Dr Grubb. I think it would be good to see more of your own efforts on here, so I can admire the work of a true master .
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Old Monday 29th October 2007, 00:20   #174
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I think I'm struggling to explain the Totaliser. Or people are struggling to understand it. The figure on the Totaliser is the maximum count of the winter so far. So today I saw 93 Purple Sandpipers. All together. In a flock. And that's the most I've counted so far this winter. So that's the figure on the Totaliser. The figure will go up when I count more than 93 Purple Sandpipers.
93 is good-I saw 2 today at Joppa. I think I'm struggling to explain the Totaliser. Or people are struggling to understand it. Perhaps that's because in your ivory academic tower you seem to fail to communicate with the common BF man-I have an 'O' grade in Maths and struggle to understand if you are trying to scam the local turf accountant or count birds

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Thank you for your advice on the photos Dr Grubb. I think it would be good to see more of your own efforts on here, so I can admire the work of a true master .
I am certainly no master- a couple of humble efforts here from our last bash
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=83835&page=5 #124

But then I might let loose my brother, the photomeister on you the listmeister-I think pic and bird skills may be roughly inversely proportional

I'm glad it's going to be a quiet Bf bash-no controversy such as listing/twitching/local patching/ photography/musical taste etc-ah I can just sense the karma

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Old Monday 29th October 2007, 08:00   #175
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I think I'm struggling to explain the Totaliser. Or people are struggling to understand it. The figure on the Totaliser is the maximum count of the winter so far. So today I saw 93 Purple Sandpipers. All together. In a flock. And that's the most I've counted so far this winter. So that's the figure on the Totaliser. The figure will go up when I count more than 93 Purple Sandpipers.
!!! You don't make any sense Andrew. So if the count is always higher than the last one, how come you said to Helen that the total was down a bit?

Plus in post 130:
"but could only see 7 Purple Sandpipers. Then they all got spooked and flew towards the harbour, which meant that the Purple Sandpiper totalised lurched up to:

34"
If you could only see 7, and the Totaliser is supposed to be the number you see in a flock, how come it suddenly lurched up to 34 on that day? Are these the hidden magical Purple Sands?
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