It has been a while, hasn’t it? Apologies for the lack of posts, I’ve been too busy to do my usual blog posts as I’ve been working and going out and volunteering and learning and all the usual stuff a student does. That’s why I’ve decided that I’m going to try to drastically shorten the length of my posts now, perhaps just focusing on a best bit in the past few days or a particular outing or sighting or something. So that’s how this blog is hopefully going to work now.
However, this post has a lot to cram in… I’ve had a few lifers since last time I posted, in fact I’m not even sure what my last lifer was when I last posted, I’ll go check now… It was the Yellow-browed Warbler I had at Girdle Ness. Since then I’ve had a few lifers. One good day at Girdle Ness produced a Jack Snipe which had been blown in, hunkering down in a puddle in a car park, and then walking back through the car park I spotted two buntings, which turned out to be Lapland Buntings! Very chuffed with those but my pictures were terrible as it was almost dark at that point. So here’s the Jack Snipe…
My next trip to Girdle Ness was extremely wet and windy and yielded no results, but the one after that gave me another bunting from the same carpark, this one a Snow Bunting, and then a long 2.5 hour seawatch hoping for Little Auks gave me a single Great Northern Diver heading south. Girdle Ness is awesome.
In other news, for our we Rural Skills Club we borrowed a camera trap from NESBReC (North East Scotland Biological Records Centre) just to put out on campus to see what we got. We were expecting Rabbit as we’d faced it at a spot where there was plenty of Rabbit poo, and we did get a Rabbit. We also got several Roe Deer and, completely unexpected, a PINE MARTEN! This is a great record as it’s within Aberdeen City boundary and it’s a first record for the site. They’ve been seen just up the road in Kirkhill Forest and I’ve found signs of them not far away from campus, but it’s great to get it on camera. Since then I’ve been baiting the camera with jam sandwiches and peanut butter but we haven’t had any further records. I did a write-up one night on Pine Martens on Craibstone Estate which I’ll probably upload to here at some point, just theorising about stuff.
Um… what else… I’m spreading my knowledge into plants more and more. I’ve asked for field guides for Lichens, Mosses/Bryophytes, Wildflowers and Fungi, so I’ll hopefully be able to get out and ID more without having to trawl through the internet. I always find it’s far nicer having a book to look at than using websites. So hopefully those will be mine at Christmas. I got an early Christmas present in the form of my Muckboots, seen recommended all over the place (and rightly so!)
They are now almost all I wear on my feet.
I made this wee vid of Dippers on my patch, and was quite honoured to witness what I did…: https://youtu.be/NcOYndTEMSs
A quick trip out to Torness for, you guessed it, the Barred Warbler was successful, and also resulted in 2 Little Auks heading north. A nice 2 tick day.
And finally, I’ve just been out and about back in the Hermitage looking out for anything I might be able to ID, these have mainly been ferns. I’ve looked longingly at a lot of mosses but haven’t bothered to dive into them until I have the field guide. All the ferns below have been new to me, and all found on my patch… Common Polypody, Common Maidenhair Spleenwort, Wall Rue, Black Spleenwort. I was really looking for Forked Spleenwort as you get it on Arthurs Seat in Holyrood Park but I’m not sure if you get it on Blackford Hill. These were all photographed in the quarry by Agassiz Rock.
So yeah, hopefully my blog will come back to life now that I’ve told myself my posts don’t have to be hundreds of words long. Anyway, cheers for reading!