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TITLE
The Golden Age of Highland Birds (2 of 2)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_DESTHOMSON_11
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Desmond Nethersole-Thompson
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1910
KEYWORDS
ornithology
bird watching
conservation
audio

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Desmond Nethersole-Thompson first came to the Highlands in 1932 to study birds. Following almost twenty years of study, mainly in the Spey Valley, he published his first account of the greenshank species. From 1964, he and his family lived each spring in a remote valley in Sutherland where they followed a population of greenshanks through many consecutive years. In this audio extract from 1980, Desmond reflects on some of the birds which have returned to the Highlands in the current 'Golden Age' of Highland Birds.

And the green sandpiper, another marvellous wader, and it's the bird that defeated me. It's an extraordinary bird with a marvellous, diving, spectacular, courtship and territorial flight. And it is a wader that doesn't nest on the ground but lays its eggs up in an old thrush's nest or an old squirrel's drey. I've seen practically everything with the green sandpipers in Scotland except finding a nest or a brood. I've even seen a cock green sandpiper couple with a greenshank and the greenshank didn't like it at all.

And we've got whimbrels and red-necked phalaropes now, nesting on the mainland. And fieldfares and redwings - those magnificent northern thrushes - have been nesting in the islands and in other parts of the mainland. And up on the high tops, two birds that have never, never nested before have come in recent years; the Lapland bunting and the snow- and the shore lark. I remember with what joy - I had a letter from an English parson who described watching the Lap buntings on a territory that I knew so well, and he described them with their primrose-yellow bills, black faces, and bright chestnut napes. I thought it was a lovely description.

So, Highland birds; it's all happening and it's all up to you now. There's history to be made. But you only need a notebook, and a biro, and a pair of field glasses. But, you must learn to sit for long spells, and wait, and then a new and an exciting world will open up all round you

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The Golden Age of Highland Birds (2 of 2)

1980s; 1990s

ornithology; bird watching; conservation; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Bird Watching

Desmond Nethersole-Thompson first came to the Highlands in 1932 to study birds. Following almost twenty years of study, mainly in the Spey Valley, he published his first account of the greenshank species. From 1964, he and his family lived each spring in a remote valley in Sutherland where they followed a population of greenshanks through many consecutive years. In this audio extract from 1980, Desmond reflects on some of the birds which have returned to the Highlands in the current 'Golden Age' of Highland Birds.<br /> <br /> And the green sandpiper, another marvellous wader, and it's the bird that defeated me. It's an extraordinary bird with a marvellous, diving, spectacular, courtship and territorial flight. And it is a wader that doesn't nest on the ground but lays its eggs up in an old thrush's nest or an old squirrel's drey. I've seen practically everything with the green sandpipers in Scotland except finding a nest or a brood. I've even seen a cock green sandpiper couple with a greenshank and the greenshank didn't like it at all. <br /> <br /> And we've got whimbrels and red-necked phalaropes now, nesting on the mainland. And fieldfares and redwings - those magnificent northern thrushes - have been nesting in the islands and in other parts of the mainland. And up on the high tops, two birds that have never, never nested before have come in recent years; the Lapland bunting and the snow- and the shore lark. I remember with what joy - I had a letter from an English parson who described watching the Lap buntings on a territory that I knew so well, and he described them with their primrose-yellow bills, black faces, and bright chestnut napes. I thought it was a lovely description. <br /> <br /> So, Highland birds; it's all happening and it's all up to you now. There's history to be made. But you only need a notebook, and a biro, and a pair of field glasses. But, you must learn to sit for long spells, and wait, and then a new and an exciting world will open up all round you