25 November 2011

When the wind blows

Well the hatches are battened down here as the high winds battering the West and North coasts of Scotland this weekend blow outside, it was gusting 40 knots here at breakfast this morning!! Along with the wind there have been several hail showers and the odd rumble of thunder.

Definitely a weekend for staying indoors and catching up with all the birding mags that have arrived in the post over the last couple of weeks. Coupled with the latest twist in the broken leg saga - DVT - a weekend of rest sounds good to me.

This weekend should have seen the local ringing group heading off to the Northern isle of Sanday with the primary aim to ring Sanderling and Purple Sandpipers as part of two ongoing projects (See: http://www.orkneyrg.co.uk/wader.html).

However due to the forecast winds it was decided to postponed the trip for a couple of weeks.

So it was very fortuitous that I decided to make a brew just after 10 this morning. As I walked into the kitchen I glanced out of the window to see a Sparrowhawk sitting on one of the handrails for the steps from the patio up to the lawn.

It was studying the two bushes either side of the steps very carefully and on several occassions disappeared into the bushes after the sheltering House Sparrows. Fortunately for the House Sparrows it left after about 10 minutes without a catch.

5 November 2011

Jackdaw behaviour

While in town this afternoon spotted this Jackdaw on one of the car parks. Not sure what it was up to but it looked like if was pulling a small stone out of the tarmac!!


 Having got the small stone out of the tarmac it then flew off leaving the stone lying on the tarmac.


There have been at least two male Blackcaps in the garden for the last week now. A couple of them were enjoying some apples out on the lawn this morning.

The Big 50

Yesterday saw me mark the Big 50 milestone. No, nothing to do with birds it was my 50th birthday.

The day started off dull, damp and misty, although the wind had dropped from the previous day. The drop in wind allowed me the opportunity to put my new weather station up on the pole where my previous one was. This new station allows me to monitor a few additional weather parameters as well as analysing the data better.

The only birding present this year was a book entitled 'Scotland - Birds of Prey' which has some stunning photographs in it.

In the afternoon 3 of us, plus my good lady were back on Deerness for another session at the same site we were at last week. Three mist nets were set and in the region of 20 birds were caught. 1 Blackcap, 1 Dunnock, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Redwing, 2 Robins, 1 Song Thrush and the rest Blackbirds.

For me, I got to ring 6 Blackbirds, the Blackcap (a female this time), the Dunnock, the Goldcrest, the Redwing, the Song Thrush and a new species a Robin. Another first for me was extracting the Goldcrest from the net.

This session also saw me ring my 1000th bird.

So all in all not a bad day.

Typically today is blue sky and sunshine, at least it's the weekend :)