We walked up Greeny Hill as the weather came in. It's not far from home but we'd never been up here before. Great views of much of the West Mainland. I need to come up on a day with better light, or come early in the morning, it might be good during an aurora.
|The Brough of Birsay, beyond Loch of Boardhouse. from Greeny Hill on flat, grey day.|
I've finally discovered how Blogger is working now and why I was having trouble with captions for photos, hopefully problem solved. I'll need to go back through some posts and recaption the photos I guess. More of a problem on the 104 page. I think Blogger are refining the features on new Blogger every now and again, alternatively it is just my incompetence. Listening to more music, so expect more additions to the page, much enjoying Jules' interviews and the trucking through his back catalogue. Not much there for the 104 page, except this week with Paloma Faith, unexpectedly. This has led me to listening to Benjamin Clemantine again, I Tell a Fly is an interesting listen. The programme also led me, obtusely, to revist Salif Keita, I've not listened for a long time. Anyway, some music added (104, see top of page) last week and more to come now.
Covid-19 restrictions impacting on my private life. The disease has not really appeared much here, but we are subject to the same restrictions as much of the rest of Scotland, not the Central Belt though. On the whole that seems sensible. I tend not to write about this stuff, but I find the politics of the disease fascinating. I worry, as I agree to an extent (an extent = a little) with some back bench Tories. That must be a first. The disease does make you evaluate your politics, what's important? For me it would be civil liberties and our hard one freedoms; equality, in the sense that sectors of society are not more disadvantaged than others; economics, in that we cannot put the next generations in permanent austerity, they're going to have enough to cope with dealing with climate change; safety, but not at the expense of the other three; environment, and ecological security, over-arching each of the previous four. Talking to people it is often surprising, knowing their politics, where they stand. The statistics of the disease are especially interesting, I particularly like this for a bit of clarity and reassurance - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/b006qshd - .
Being older, I find the predicament of the care homes concerning. We are imprisoning people who have done nothing wrong, and there are significant numbers of inhabitants of these new prisons who would rather take the risk and live life, be it more briefly. Somewhere quality of life appears to have been exchanged for longevity as a value. The oft repeated "following the science" mantra strikes me as bizarre looking at the mish-mash of illogical inconsitencies in the measures imposed across the UK. Some of that is political and not for disease control. However, I entirely get the dangers for the NHS, you only have to watch the documentaries about how things were in northern Italy for that time earlier in the year to understand the real fears. Easy to criticise, hard to be the people who make the decisions. (Keeping in mind that they will want to be re-elected/elected at some point in the future.) Better shut up now before the waters deepen and the shore becomes more distant.
There continue to be at least 50 Brambling around the house with up to 35 or more under and around the feeders at any time. They are especially keen on the Niger seed I throw on the floor next to the Rosa rugosa. In the 1km there has been a Jack Snipe, some Fieldfare movement and a nice selection of duck suddenly took up on The Shunan and have stuck.
Further afield I've seen Grey Plover, Red Grouse, a late Bonxie and a few other bits and bats. At Yesnaby I came across two Snow Geese, most likely the ones that have been touring South Ronaldsay and East Mainland. There were 70 or so Barnacle Geese with them amongst a vast flock of Greylags. The next day 60 Barnacle Geese went over Howaback, a site record.
|Snow Geese and Barnacles at Yesnaby.|
|Some of the 60 Barnacles over Howaback, a site record number (previous - 2). The same day there were 57 Woodpigeons there,also a site record number.|
I've ceased moth trapping for now. Three moths and then one from all three traps seemed to indicate time to call it a night for now. If we get a bit of a temperature bump then it will be worth trying for some of the later species but I'd be better occupied wandering the night with a torch.
There have been quite a few late hoverflies and one found at Hobbister appears to be Eupeodes luniger. I initially, carelessly misidentified it as E. corollae. I didn't look carefully enough at the abdominal markings. To get to E. luniger it is necessary to judge the angle of the point the eyes join (this being a male) a difficult thing to judge as the angle of observation, or photograph, impacts on the apparent angle of join, but I think the eyes meet at around 70 degrees and not 90 or so.
Thanks to RM for picking out my error on iRecord.
Some photographs from some of our walks last week.
|I couldn't figure out what this fibre glass vehicle was, too small for a Trabant.|
|These all from near Loch of Wasdale.|
And from around the garden.
|Click above for the link, N.B. starts with adverts - Tim speaks eventually....|