Sunday, 25 May 2014

Glaucous from the bath

Well it would have been nice to have nailed it 100% but I shouldn't do that as it wasn't (quite). The Glaucous flew by the bathroom window, a garden and half a field away with a Geeb and fortunately I wasn't reading or doing the crossword or suduko, so I had my glasses on... but am I sure it was a Geeb and not a Leeb? And did I really nail that wing shape in the few moments of sans-bins observation? Close but no bananas I reckon, shame.

 View from the bath

However, it was a great day in the field with the first Chiffchaff of the year singing in gardens opposite the track to Bosquoy, a drake Pintail on The Shunan, and late afternoon, a Cuckoo heard distantly and then seen as it flew singing over the house and headed off west.

The day ended with a good deal of hopping around the Harray Hall to an excellent ceilidh band following some bril'sets from Fiona Driver,  The Family Atlantica, Gregor Morrison, Christina Stewart and Dervish, so no early birding today.

Since my last report I've been three days on Westray, working 24/7 unfortunately, so no skua or Buffy outings but nice views of Puffins and some redpolls were some compensation.

 Puffin, Westray

The crossing to Westray produced just one Bonxie in 75 or so minutes, no Arctic Skuas, I saw more Arctic Skuas inland, one flew in front of the car as I drove out of the track. On the way back I did see two Arctics, these do seem to be very low numbers and rather confirms that these two species are in real trouble, at least here in the northern isles.

On return home I was very nearly in serious trouble as whilst greeting family I noticed an interesting finch on the Nyjer and immediately grabbed the bins and camera in preference to fond hellos, managed to salvage relationships later..... the finch turned out to be an interesting looking redpoll, initial id suggests flammea.

 On this view this bird looks rather brown and cabaret like. However, views of the rump and the background colour of the plumage of the mantle and back suggest flammea. More pictures of this bird and discussion on the redpoll pages (see tab at the top).

I have to post a picture of the shed door I made and hung the other weekend, for someone who was considered entirely hopeless at these sort of tasks previously I think I have a right to be rather proud of this effort (hopefully it won't blow off at the next arrival of a hooley).

And here's an interesting conundrum, it might be expected that the end Sycamores would get their leaves last, but for at least the last two years this is what has happened (spot the male Hen Harrier in this image).

Our peedie wood

Loch of Bosquoy

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