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Scots bird names

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chris rollieIn spring and summer birdsong forms an audio backdrop to our lives, birds visit our gardens and we are cheered by the sights and sounds of birds around us. 

Scots is rich in language connected to birds.The Scots Language Centre explores this in a series of interviews carried out with RSPB officer Chris Rollie at Ken-Dee Marshes reserve near Loch Ken, Dumfriesshire in May 2010.

We are grateful to the RSPB for their help in putting together this feature.

 

gledChris talks about the gled (red kite), where the name comes from and how it behaves. As he chats, a peasie (lapwing) appears and the gled is chased away.

gled

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BlackbirdThe merle or blackie (blackbird and ring ouzel) have distinctive markings, here Chris helps us identify these birds.

blackie

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Tree PippitThe wood lark (tree pipit) is mentioned by Robert Burns.

woodlark

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ComorantThe cormorant has various names including mochrum elder. 

mochrum elder

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Yellow hammerChris admits that growing up in a mining community, he was a fair age before he realised the Scotch canary is the Scots language word for the yellowhammer.

Scotch canary

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PheasantThe phasie is Scots for pheasant.

phasie

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ChaffinchThe chaffinch is known in Scots as the shelfie.

shelfie

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Blackheaded GullChris talks about black heidit seagulls (blackheaded seagulls).

gulls

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MallardChris talks about mallards and teals.

teal

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