Spending too much time with just my dog lately on wind swept beaches and vast mudflats the likes of which wandering waders dream of. I take a notebook out with me so i can take details of my sightings and record weather conditions just to give me a better indicator of where to be and when in the future. I think staying in one place is a good move most times but every now and then i do move about to see what other areas have to offer me.
So there I sat Poppy by my side taking shelter from the wind as I stared pondering the names of birds I could see in front of me, Great Northern Diver , Black Guillemot, Cormorant, Shag and my very favourite bird the Fulmar. These names just don't do it for me in the fact they dont tell me much about the bird from afar , so i started calling these birds my own names, not the names that they are known by the Orcadians and Shetlanders like Tystie (guillemot) or Mallimack (fulmar). I chose to name them by how they act , the Diver would now be known as Sub why because they are big and somehow just submerge underneath the waves like they let air out of their body with a valve. Absolutely amazing how they disappear and for a lengthy bit of time, the more astonishing thing about the Subs is how far they can cover under water. Unlike the Flicker which is my name for the Black Guillemot. The Flicker as its name suggests by a flick of the wrist (wing) it is gone on an underwater mission to destroy fish and crustacean alike. These names are for me to distinguish birds quickly from a distance because sometimes when the sea is choppy you will see the a second of bird fleeing to the depths and then it will be lost to the waves. Cormorant and shags have a very similar diving act and by far the most pronounced , these are the Ploppers. They energetically jump up their bum will be hanging in the air while the head and neck is arched in to the water followed by the body , bum and feet ....Plop.
More to come in whats in a name !