By: David Jenkins(Author)
80 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations, colour maps
Birds in Mid Deeside 1970-2012 lists birds which have been seen in Mid Deeside, North East Scotland, and when and where they have been recorded. Rarities apart, this gives a good idea of when and at what times of year people may expect to find them. The list is based on a search of the literature after 1970 by Dr P.A.Chapman who lives in Finzean. He is an agricultural scientist and a very keen birder. The list also includes some unpublished records from the other authors, aided by local naturalist Mr Harry Scott.
Birds in Mid Deeside 1970-2012 highlights how some bird species have changed or are changing in numbers or behaviour, starting with reactions to changes in weather, especially warming springs. This topic has been especially studied by Prof. Tim Sparks of Cambridge, who is an international phenologist. A good place from which to watch in Mid Deeside is provided by a bird hide near Tarland, and interesting sightings there and nearby are described by Dr Ian Francis, Area Manager for the RSPB, and David Jenkins. These observations illustrate the migrations of some northern wading birds and the authors are concerned by recent breeding failure in Black-headed Gulls. The story concludes with a summary of a long study of bird numbers in the Forest of Birse, done principally by David Jenkins but also by Paul Chapman and Dr Alastair Pout, a birdwatching biometrician in Aberdeen's Marine Laboratory. This account describes the social structure of an Oystercatcher population and some methods used to count these birds.
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Professor David Jenkins and his family came to Deeside in 1961 and to Aboyne in 1972. Until his retirement in 1986 he was in charge of the Banchory research station of the Nature Conservancy/Institute of Terrestrial Ecology. This was first outposted to Glen Esk from 1956-61, after which he was mostly at Banchory. Most of the book's authors are scientists working in different organizations but it is written for naturalists and country lovers who are not scientists. Use of technical language is minimal. The book aims to show how all naturalists can work together to describe and encourage the wildlife of our countryside.
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