Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Frederick David York Revisited

Now, let's be fair I haven't actually been your archetypal doting granddad, boring you all stupid with photos of our new arrival, but here's an opportunity to see more of Frederick if you wish to do so. For those who don't, DO NOT CLICK ON Picassa Web Albums. These shots were taken when one day old and with his equally gorgeous mum. Lots of love to all 3 of them.

Picasa Web Albums - Lisa - Lisa and Fred 1 Oct

Single Common Snipe and Chiffchaff was all between Barleycrates and Top Fields, while there similarly there was the same or another Common Snipe, a few overflying Siskin, 2 Sparrowhawk and a dozen Blackbirds. Further along, between Culverwell and the Obs, a Merlin was still patrolling, I was present at the finding of seemingly another Yellow-browed Warbler, while a Grey Wagtail flew overhead and the 2 presumed same Turtle Doves remained in the Observatory area.

The penultimate visit to Buchan Alpha

The expression VisMig seems to be the current buzz word, so try this for size. What would be the view looking into the 'flare' night after night, especially during Autumn movements

From my position in the Marine Control, I could view just about every nook and cranny on the barge (inside & out) via x75 mag CCTV cameras. These in turn were connected to monitors and a recording facility, all of which would activate should the general alarm be sounded. However, I had a much better use for them, keeping an eye out for alighting birds. This worked very well even allowing for tentative identification before venturing 'up top'. This 'still' shows a Great Skua having just taken a Kittiwake, which I had followed throughout the chase, and plucking process. It was not unusual to see these marauders knock Gannets out of the air

Black Guillemot - infrequent visitor. This individual stayed close by for a few days, and allowed what I consider this novel shot. What it has in its bill is anyone's guess

Kestrel - all the Raptors passing through fared very well, having a ready and plentiful supply of victuals. Birds of prey on the rig list included Merlin, the above, Sparrowhawk, Goshawk, Peregrine, Hen & Montagu's Harrier, Osprey, Black Kite and Common Buzzard (albeit the latter while the rig was undergoing maintenance in the Cromarty Firth). In addition the North Sea Bird Club list also boasted Red-footed Falcon, Honey Buzzard, Red Kite, Rough-legged Buzzard and Hobby

Wood Pigeon - Regular and often, with more than an isolate record of Kamikaze activity. On several occasions a seemingly healthy bird would simply plunge into the sea where, not surprisingly, it was gladly met by the ever vigilant Gull flock