Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Bye Bye Buchan

Another reasonable day at the office today despite being, in the main, similar fare to yesterday. Between Barleycrates and Culverwell there was naught but a lone Siskin, but once there a Great Spotted Woodpecker (not a daily occurrence by any means on the Island) was heard 'calling', likely the same Yellow-browed Warbler, still peeping away, a Song Thrush, a Clouded Yellow Butterfly, the 2 Turtle Doves and a Redwing 'in the hand' all entered the log. Of the latter, I have been privileged to handle quite a number, in an attempt to save them from a fate of certain death, which apart from being a bit of a Thrush freak anyway, gave me an affinity with this species. For the uninitiated, from now, and through the early winter, these mass migrants will be heard in the night sky letting out their wispy 'tsee' location call. In fact as I sat outside of 'Slight Return' enjoying a coffee mid-afternoon a number were heard overhead.

Kestrel - seem to have done very well procreating on the Island this year. This is just one of 3 or 4 seen daily around Top Fiels and the Slopes and is perched on what used to be a barn

Redwing - the first I have seen in the hand in Dorset. I am reliably informed that this individual is an adult male
Ditto - the same bird preparing for release. Thanks go to Dr David Murdoch for the photo shoot opportunity and details of sex and age

and it wont put me up nor down that today sees the last 'artist' descend from the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square. Occupied for a total 2,400 hours, the brainchild of supposed eminent artist Anthony Gormley, on our recent visit Ille and I were, to say the least, bemused by a grey haired woman seemingly sorting out her washing up. "Art for art's sake, money for God's sake", read the 10cc lyrics, but whichever way you view it we have the freedom to make up our own minds.

The 4th Plinth - 2 saucepans and a plate

Trafalgar Square - with mild, green Fairy Liquid

the last of 'Buchan Birds' - starts with a real little beauty

Little Stint - the Duty Engineer brought this to me just after midnight on my 60th birthday

Ditto - what a way to start a new decade?

House Sparrow - as far as can be ascertained, the only record of this usually common species, from off-shore

Bluethroat - both 'red' and 'white' spotted have been recorded on Buchan

Great Grey Shrike - the only Buchan record and 5th for the North Sea

Laughing Gull - the Harris's, Spencer's and Forster's of this world may make this out immediately, but for the visually impaired click on the image and squint a lot. The first record for the North Sea, scored by Operations Co-ordinator Dave Penney, and followed up the following year with a Black Kite. I knew there was something I didn't like about him!