10 June 2010

Torry Rock Pipits Anthus petrosus cannabina take up growing pot plants

Amanda Biggins and other members of Grampian Ringing Group have been colour ringing rock pipit chicks around the rocky headland of Girdleness, Torry, Aberdeen this summer. You would describe Torry as not the most upmarket area of Aberdeen. On visiting a nest at the weekend, where Amanda had seen the bird building a nest the previous weekend, we noticed the vegetation around the site had been flattened, as if people had been sitting/lying there for some time. On closer inspection we were surprised to find a tray of six potted seedlings sitting in the grass within 2 metres of the nest. Trainer Raymond Duncan, having led a sheltered life, thought they were tomato plants and considered taking them home to give to his mother for her greenhouse. However Amanda, being a bit more worldy wise, immediately recognized them to be Cannabis sativa plants!


Despite the obvious disturbance around the site, the rock pipit was sitting on 5 eggs.

We suspect this pair may have resorted to getting stoned to help them ignore the picnic-eating families, dogs and drunks who descend on the area when the weather is nice. Amanda resisted the temptation to take the plants home!

Posted on behalf of Amanda Biggins from the Grampian Ringing Group and photos by Raymond Duncan.

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