Sunday, 10 December 2017

Swimming things and that storm

Rat swimming

(Vimeo link - )

Beside our track is a very tiny burn, more of a ditch really, but surprisingly rich in wildlife. This rat was panicking after Cora scared it and it leapt.

Today I was off to do the WeBS counts. I walk from home for most of it, I have three places to count. The Shunan and Loch of Bosquoy are about a 90 minute or so walk depending on how distracted I get. It was cold but still at first and there were showers of hail and sleet pushing through from the west, mostly brief. However, down by Bosquoy the sky darkened and a heavy shower cam through. I sheltered, hunkered down with the scope just behind a gorse clump beside the Burn of Layane, again little more than a glorified ditch. I'd been sitting for a few minutes and the dog was off doing dog stuff when there was a water sound and out of the corner of my eye I saw a swell on the burn's surface. The gorse has long been suspected of being an Otter holt, nothing showed and I went on counting duck. A scan with a scope a minute or so later and a view full of Otter. I watched him fishing for quite a while before going on with the count, he would have been (distantly) visible from our kitchen.

Dog Otter fishing

Storm Caroline came through on Thursday, quite fierce although it didn't seem too bad, perhaps because it was the day time. Louise battled to save the big shed alone as I was at work. The wind blew the end window in and then ripped the side door off, it had a good go at the end doors too. So yesterday was mend the shed day, accomplished in a fashion. Snow followed it with the usual scary road conditions, Louise and younger daughter enjoyed tobogganing down the new road.

Little Auk

This was found on Friday on the pavement at the entrance to work. As there were no pupils in I scooted of to Palace to let it go. Put on the beach it just sat there, a nice snack for a passing Geeb, so it being lively I chucked it in the air and it flew off strongly to the south, hopefully to regain the ocean at some point.

Bosquoy, WeBS day

Not much to report from the WeBS, Pintail drake at Loch of Sabiston and Shoveler at Bosquoy and at The Shunan. 

I do enjoy a beer and our local Lidl (other supermarkets also sell beer) often has a surprise. There are plenty of Scottish breweries now brewing some excellent drinking (what a change from the not so distant past when it was hard to get a drinkable beer in Scotland). This Yippie IPA does not look or taste much like an IPA though, good as it is, bitter I would call it. A bit strong for me too at 6.5%. I mostly buy Scottish beer but Tesco here regularly stocks Heart and Soul and Pride and Joy, both excellent and brewed in Cragg Vale where we used to live. More beers may shortly be featured... As  may be deduced beer is usually consumed whilst I cook.

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