Sunday, 2 December 2012

Moonbow, amongst other things

Thursday I got back from work late after a meeting in Kirkwall and a visit to the supermarket. Unloading the car under a mostly clear sky, in the dark obviously, Moon low to the east and rain showers to the west, and there in front of the showers in the west was a graduated arc in the sky, like a rainbow but different shades of    white. For about 30 seconds it was perfect across the sky, then it faded from the north just as rainbows do, leaving a part arc to the south-west. Never seen one of those before. I called Louise and the girls and they all managed to see it too, but no time for a photo.

Yesterday I had too many jobs to do, no sign of last weekend's Blackcap though. One of the jobs was to go to Kirkwall and pick up the Tim Wootton drawing I bid for on eBay. It's of our Tree Sparrow so we decided we had to have it. I'm really pleased with it too. Proceeds of the auction went to the Orkney Bird Report so a double plus. Many thanks to Tim for the excellent drawing and the generous donation. Tim's opened a new gallery in Kirkwall, opposite the Dil Se in the Anchor Buildings, well worth a visit.

Got up this morning with the intention of an early(ish) trip to Birsay, I should have been able to get out onto the Brough. Engine started, hacking ice off, faff around a bit then into reverse... awful noise, stop, aaaaggghhhh!! Car broken, the (no longer so) trusty Fiesta has complete front suspension failure. So home patch watching for me.

And of patch watching "Patchwork" seems to have reinvented itself as a blog with an annual, instead of monthly, competition. The old Patchwork was a subscription magazine, I rather enjoyed it and the monthly competition, with its very complicated rules, if you want to find out more about the new version head on over to:

For Patchwork purposes this will be my patch. Currently I record the Bosquoy and The Shunan squares and the two to the east as the home tetrad using BirdTrack and I'll continue to do that. The Loch of Harray shore goes into BirdTrack as a separate recording area. Hopefully I'll do better at keeping a running total than the tetrad total on the blog...

From the road north of Bosquoy and south of The Shunan looking up to home.

On the home patch today the Great Spotted Woody put in another appearance, this looks like the same bird as has been around for a while. Looking at the photos though I reckon the October one was a different individual. Also today the now well illustrated Tree Sparrow, a couple of Brambling, a couple of Chaffinch, the Linnet flock is still here, and good numbers of  Greenfinch and House Sparrow. There were a few Skylarks as well. Down at Loch of Harray there were at least 5 Slavonian Grebes, 780 Coot (yes, I did give them a careful look over, although they were a bit distant) and most surprisingly an Eider.

A local rarity, probably just four or five in the county this year, two of which have been on our feeders


AndyC said... all is well,youve had a good year on the rare front..this one might be worth a try

AndyC said...
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