Twittering Away It Was.
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Twittering Away It Was.

 
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Haggis Hunter
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Joined: 29 Aug 2005
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Location: The building site formally known as Edinburgh!

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 6:29 pm    Post subject: Twittering Away It Was. Reply with quote

Whilst walking through Hunters Bog at Holyrood Park today, I was distracted by the sweet twittering of a small bird on a gorse bush.
I thought it looked a nice wee bird so I took a photo of it, but I haven't got a clue what it is? I know that one of you will know so can you tell me please?


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HighlandNick
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonechat. Male......
Favourite nesting place, gorse!!
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Haggis Hunter
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nick.

Apparently it is on the Amber list, does this mean I was lucky to have seen one?
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Wildlifewriter
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Joined: 04 Aug 2005
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Location: Norn Iron

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haggis Hunter wrote:
Apparently it is on the Amber list, does this mean I was lucky to have seen one?

It's always good to see a stonechat - though they're pretty common in Scotland and Ireland, Amber List or no.

Decline in European numbers is the old story - loss of suitable habitat on a large scale.

In GB&I, it may not be as bad as that. My own personal opinion is that stonechat numbers here are regularly under-estimated. There could be several reasons for this: they aren't a typical garden bird, so don't show up on the backyard surveys. Also: "our" stonechats moult out of that distinctive breeding plumage which you saw - in winter, they look much like all the other LBJs that are loafing around and I think many are mistaken for robins.

Stonechats are cool. I don't know why - they just are.

-Wlw
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ghiribizzo
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Joined: 22 Nov 2005
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Location: Ferryport-on-Craig. The Kingdom of Fife.

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's lots here in N E Fife near the shore. Smile
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Firth of Forth
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Location: East Lothian, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We saw some of those near rannoch at the weekend. They were making a helluva racket.
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Haggis Hunter
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildlifewriter wrote:
Stonechats are cool. I don't know why - they just are.


Funny you should say that, as I was thinking exactly the same. Perhaps it's because it makes such a nice noise, and when you see it is so beautifully coloured?
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Wildlifewriter
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly they are handsome little articles, but it also has to to do with their confident demeanour.

At my favorite "secret" nature reserve in County Down, I was utterly defied by a pair of stonechats. Doubtless their nest was close by, and they perched on top of a sizeable gorse bush, making that two-pebbles-knocked-together alarm call and daring Wlw to come any closer.

(Not that I would have taken another step, for the gorse was well spikey and poised to attack.)

Later, I saw a pair (it may have been the same birds) dealing with a young magpie which had ventured into the same thicket. They set upon it, beat it up, stole its dinner money, and chased it at least 200 metres down the track.

Then they flew back to the nest area - singing.

Definitely cool... Smile


-Wlw
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Seacon
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Joined: 16 Sep 2005
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Location: Northern Ireland

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2006 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HighlandNick wrote:
Stonechat. Male......
Favourite nesting place, gorse!!


Saw my first, and only one, of these a few weeks ago whilst geocaching. Had parked on the north County Antrim coastal road around near Glenarm village to find a cache 'Looking Through Madmans window'. On travelling back to the car after finding the cache he was sitting on Whin bushes (as we call them over here in NI) at the seaside edge.
I didn't know what it was, though the colours were so vivid that I went closer for a look. He simply hoped from one bush to another without any care or worry about me stalking him. I got quite close before he finally decided to leave. Thanks for the original post which has now identified this little beauty to me.

This topic brings me onto another request.

Can anyone recommend a bird field guide suitable for Ireland (or UK and Ireland). Something with photographs rather than just colour drawings? Preferably one which could be kept in the car.
Is there a 'definitive works' on this? The bird watchers equivalent of Delia Smith's cookbook!
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Billy Twigger
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best book for field identification that I have is an RSPB publication.

The cover on mine is different, -earlier print run I guess, but I'm pretty sure that this is it: BIRDS

Now, I know its a guide to birds of Britain and Europe, and by definition, Northern Ireland is not included, but my guess is that you won't go far wrong with it. (WLW will correct me if I'm wrong I hope!)
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yob kulcha
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Joined: 26 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We saw one of those while we were doing "Moss Troopers" yesterday. Neither of us had seen one before but I remembered this thread.

It's an edumacation in 'ere and no mistake, guv.

While we're here, does anyone know the name of the little bird that tends to hover about 20 feet in the air and make the most tremendous twittering racket?
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ghiribizzo
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Joined: 22 Nov 2005
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Location: Ferryport-on-Craig. The Kingdom of Fife.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skylark. Play Pink Floyd "The Wall". 'Look Mummy, there's an aeroplane up in the sky...'

Then study Hoagy Carmichael.
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yob kulcha
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ghiribizzo wrote:
Skylark. Play Pink Floyd "The Wall". 'Look Mummy, there's an aeroplane up in the sky...'

Then study Hoagy Carmichael.


Thanks Ian. Skylark was my best guess but I'm no ornithologist. Now I've got an excuse to steal "The Wall" back from my kids Smile
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Firth of Forth
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plenty of them at this cache!
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allieballie
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Location: Fife

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yob kulcha wrote:

Neither of us had seen one before but I remembered this thread.



I saw one for the first time this evening and only recognised it because of this thread. Great noise!
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