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    Making do- additional

    Managed to sneak out locally on Saturday afternoon. Still a bit dodgy underfoot, but this was my only chance of the weekend to get out- my Sunday had been nobbled for dad duties. And when I say 'Dad' I mean 'doing whatever the boss chick had planned for me.' Anyway, back to Saturday. My mate...
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    Making Do- 2021 begins

    So, lockdown is back. Stay close to home is the official advice, although the online advice says you can travel up to 5 miles beyond the boundary of your local authority for outdoors exercise. Hmm. I think I'll take my cue from the healthcare professionals who begged us to stay close to home...
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    Green Sandpiper 2021

    01/01/2021 Home, Uddingston, Lanarkshire 1. Blue tit 2. Great tit 3. Dunnock 4. Robin 5. Blackbird 02/01/2021 Home, Uddingston, Lanarkshire 6. Woodpigeon 7. Magpie 8. Carrion Crow Baron's Haugh RSPB 9. Bullfinch 10. Coal tit 11. Goldeneye 12. Goosander 13. Little Grebe 14. Cormorant 15...
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    Green Sandpiper's 2020 (Part 3)

    Freedom!! The lockdown had lifted, sort of. The consistent fall in infection rate in Scotland meant that by the start of July, we now had more freedom to go further afield, albeit with the usual caveats about not being stupid. Caveats which not everyone adhered to, sadly. Now was the time to...
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    Green Sandpiper's 2020 (Part 2)

    LOCKDOWN!! Stay indoors unless absolutely necessary. Only go outside for an hour's exercise a day, and stay within a mile of home. Don't meet up with your friends. Don't mingle. Overall, don't die. Lockdown brought out the best and worst in a lot of people. The initial fright and...
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    Green Sandpiper's 2020 (part 1)

    Where did the time go? Its amazing, every year I set myself targets/ goals/ ambitions for this birding life, and included in these without fail are to keep up with this blog. And, as you may notice, every year this fails miserably. This, for obvious reasons, hasn't been any normal year. It...
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    There's No Place Like Home

    A truism, which has sadly become a reality for so many of us. If you're anything like me, you'll have spent the long dark nights of winter thinking of spring adventures- the days when our little friends arrive back from their winter holidays and deafen us with song, the days spent at the coast...
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    Green Sandpiper's 2020 List

    01/01/2020 Uddingston 1. Blackbird 2. Carrion crow Caerlaverock WWT 3. Canada Goose 4. Barnacle Goose 5. Mute swan 6. Whooper Swan 7. Shelduck 8. Shoveler 9. Wigeon 10. Mallard 11. Teal 12. Tufted Duck 13. Pheasant 14. Little Egret 15. Hen Harrier 16. Buzzard 17. Moorhen 18. Lapwing 19...
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    Birding sites- the Green Sand Assessment.

    Like a lot of us, I'm guessing, I'm a huge fan of Bill Oddie's Little Black Bird Book. I'm a fan of the man himself, naturally, but there's something about the self- deprecating tone of the LBBB that strikes a chord. One section involves our man categorising different types of birders, in a...
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    The Story So Far....

    Its only the end of January..... but even so, this year has started off much better than previous years. Not only in terms of birds seen (I'm on 74, which isn't stellar) but in terms of the enjoyment I'm getting from it. Since my last post (I really need to up my output...) I've had a mixed...
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    New Year Outing- Good Omens?

    Christmas and New Year are family time for GreenSand, so while a lot of folk go mad on New Year’s Day, I always wait until the 2nd of January, making the most of the holiday. I’ve mentioned before about being a twitcher for birding sites, I get uncomfortable unless I get to visit places that...
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    GreenSand 2019

    01/01/19 Home: 1. Coal tit 2. blackbird 3. great tit 4. blue tit 5. robin 6. dunnock 7. rook 8. carrion crow 9. magpie 10. starling 11. black- headed gull total: 11
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    Twitching

    I'm not a twitcher, I may have mentioned this occasionally, and I'd rather immerse myself in bird- life than spend my scarce free time travelling miles to tick off a bird. Plus, I'm crap at it and have a very low success rat. So, I'm not a twitcher of birds. But is it possible to be a...
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    Old Haunts- Sticking to What You know (pt 2)

    Reasonably flushed with success after my clifftop adventure, I decided to head to Balgavies Loch SWT reserve for Osprey and whatever else I could possibly find. I've been lucky with Osprey, really, since I have only once visited a recognised 'mega- site (och of the Lowes, Loch Garten, etc) and...
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    Sticking to what you know

    Not much birding last weekend due to Scout Leader duties, but there was enough in the garden and round about to keep the dark clouds away. Previously, though, did get the chance of a day away in the exotic North- east of Scotland. Now, I'm not much of a sea watcher, and fields/ moors/ forests...
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    No Place Like Home

    I've often made a big deal about how Baron's Haugh RSPB is my local patch, and involves a 20 minute drive to get there. I've always felt it was worth it, to immerse myself in what was my first reserve visited, where the wonders of this unassuming place in industrial Motherwell were first laid...
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    Knowledge and Expectation

    We all make a big deal about our knowledge, or gen. Whether its about a particular species, or a particular area, 'gen' is one of our most valued commodities. But what happens when this knowledge turns the hope of a good day out into the expectation of a good day out? Is a little bit of...
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    Staying Local

    after the Big Day Out at the start of the month, I've had a couple of quiet weekends. A flying visit to Baron's Haugh was mildly dissatisfying as it was relatively quiet. I tend to have an idealised view of the Haugh as a birding haven, which more often than not isn't borne out by experience...
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    Big Day Out in Dumfries and Galloway

    Three wise Men Reach Dumfries and Galloway. New Year, new list, new hopes, and determination to make this a good birding year. After the relative disappointment of 2016’s year total (for the first time I failed to beat the previous year, and worse still, much of the birding I had done had been...
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    Green Sand's 2017 list

    1st January to 2nd January Mute Swan Whooper Swan Pink-footed Goose Greylag Goose Canada Goose Barnacle Goose Shelduck Wigeon Teal Green-winged Teal Mallard Pintail Shoveler Ring-necked Duck Tufted Duck Goldeneye Goosander Pheasant Cormorant Little Egret Grey Heron Red Kite Hen Harrier Buzzard...
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