Saturday, 26 December 2009

Winter chill

The top way out - achieved with the help of JC + tractor

It's got rather chilly here in the north, too chilly as everything is freezing up. We live a Klick up a track so no grit and the thawing and freezing has caused the track to become an ice track, crampons are required to walk on it. I managed to get the car out on Thursday but bringing it back an hour later was scary as it slid towards the 1 metre ditch, including running water of unknown depth in the bottom of it. So having managed to get the car back in to the gateway I left it there. However, tomorrow, it would be useful to have the car as I need to go to the airport, that's if the planes are doing their taking off thing. Our neighbour appeared at lunchtime to feed his cattle in the barns next to the house so I ventured a request. The customary "no bother" reply and so sometime later the Renault was hitched to the huge tractor with a rather short bit of rope. |It was all a bit hairy, the track being icy on the upward route, the tractor only getting grip on the verge and cornering was slightly alarming, at one point, taking a rather sharp and ice ring like bend tractor headed for ditch, car went straight on and JC and I both looked somewhat alarmed I suspect. However, finally the car was left on a nice snowy grass triangle next to the lightly gritted lane and hopefully I should be able to safely drive it tomorrow.

It would have been good to go birding on the coast with all this chill. The Shunan is almost solid and Loch of Bosquoy has but one pool. An interesting pool though with three Slavonian Grebes on it espyed distantly from the house.

At dawn on Xmas Eve Peregrine was added to the in the garden list as two screamed through airspace arguing noisily. Nearby there were 9 Skylarks, 2 Stonechats, 4 Reed Buntings and the usual mob of Starlings and House Sparrows. At least one Dunnock, one Robin and one Song Thrush continue to be present along with ten or twelve Blackbirds. Today a male Hen Harrier drifted over the Shunan.

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