Sunday, 17 December 2017

A walk at Palace and other stories

A lovely morning, if cold, with occasional hail showers pushing through. Not knowing about the flock of Arctic Redpolls in Stromness the previous day was probably a good thing as I wasn't distracted and so went straight out to the coast.

At the start, as I got out of the car, the male Hen Harrier went by, probably the same individual which has been here in winter for the last two. Then as I walked north, having started at the cemetery, two Peregrines circled high, back and forth for a good few minutes. On size I would have said these were a pair. The usual Wigeon flock with a few Teal a Mallard were present, seven Cormorant a good count, a Grey Heron. The Common Seal dormitory held 35 and there were a few Greys about as well. Then as I approach Mount of Misery a scan revealed a gull of interest, distantly, the other side of the burn.

Mount of Misery

Crossing the angry burn seemed like a bad plan.

The Brough from the burn.

Fortunately the suspect flew over to the south side of the burn and with a bit of stealth I got within photo range. It was a 1 cy and spent a lot of time bathing, much of that with a Geeb, slightly naive in my view as the Geeb was eyeing it up dinner-wise.

The hound and I then headed back to the car, via a rainbow and a burst of hail.


On the way home I stopped off at the Loch of Boardhouse where there were good numbers of diving duck but nothing too special, the most remarkable record being of a flock of 106 Geebs, a very good  count.

It wasn't until late in the evening (after enjoying a famous, and rather rare 3-0 victory lifting us out of the relegation zone and into lower, mid-table respectability) that I became aware of the finchy goings on in Stromness, a flock of four Coue's and then a Rosefinch. So it goes. 

The weather this morn was extra grim, not enticing me to go out, wind rain, dark, generally unpleasant. I stayed in trying to catch up entering insect records to iRecord, I am well behind. Eventually early afternoon things brightened up and I debated heading for Stromness but in the end went to Northside. Good decision, a blustery walk with the hound and Louise produced four Iceland Gulls heading east, two 1cy and two adults. No pictures as they shot by in the blustery, showery, poorly lit afternoon.

At home a Woodpigeon (unwell), a Goldfinch and four Chaffinch were of note with a juv Mute Swan on The Shunanaith a pile of Wigeon and Teal and a very early Coot.

This is a very lovely album, lots of (accurate) bird references as well, highly recommended.

A Pocket Of Wind Resistance

No comments: