Aug 20, 2008

Over the barriers a look

With this evening being such a fine late summer evening I took a run over the barriers for a spy about. A nice run down the ham strait took me to Graemeshall Loch The loch was heavy with mallard and geese but my attention was really on the fore shore In the distance was a Sandwich Tern. This a bird I really need for the photo year list I have running on birdforum. It wasn’t to be tho. In the foreground Arctic Terns were being harassed by a couple of Arctic Skuas. A noisy and dramatic struggle unfolded before me the Terns every twist and turn matched and bettered by the bigger bird. It was looking grim as the Tern was obviously tiring than as suddenly as it had started the Skuas faded away. Within minutes the Terns regrouped and started fishing a distance down the beach whilst the Skuas settled on the shore near the first barrier. I clocked one of the Skuas on the shore and managed a close approach over the were covered rocks with out spooking it to get a few shots and then it was back aboard and off to the next barrier.

Little was to be seen at either end of the second so I nipped to the far end of the third and took a walk along the beach at Weddell. Its strange how soft the sand is on either side of Weddell Sound. Walking on the tide exposed sands gave little support and you sink up to the ankles. Before me pleeped the Redshank scaring up Ringed Plover and Curlew…Thanks lads I can always rely on you’s! Reaching the beached fish farm boat and nets I got great photo opps with a flight of Pied Wagtails A flock of ten or more were about and seemed fairly unbothered by my presence. Needless to say I got camera to scope and whiled a way some time. Moving to the point there is some cover from low sand dunes and rocks I plan to look over the shore but getting through the vegetation All the way along the shore edge there is big growths of Sea Rocket in pink and white. The scent is sweet and all pervading on the breeze. A true delight of summer. Amongst all of this and between me and the rise are the wee birds tho. A load of Wagtails and then a flock of Linnets take to the air complaining. Cautiously I stick my head over the rise. Below are a load of Redshank and Curlew that soon start to rise taking every thing with them. Oh well it happens doesn’t it!

Moving on from Weddell point I get in a position to scope out Dulse skerry This has a load of birds all over it. Working my way through them I check the Curlew for Whimbrell with out luck. There are a few Terns lurking but none of the Sandwich that I am looking for. My attention is drawn to a family of Ringed plover that land close to me and set about making enough noise to drive me away. I take a few snaps in the bright evening sun. Whilst this is going on three flocks of Golden Plover take to the air over the course of ten minutes. I could see there were some on the weed covered rocks but there were way over three hundred in total. I was surprised at the numbers that were lurking down there. This was about enough for me as I fancied trying for a sunset shot some where on the way home. Wandering back in the warm sun I came across the back bones of a long dead seal…quick snap… a good load of Yarrow in flower and some mean thistles. The sands were quite amazing with the amount of fresh water springing out of them.,I cant help wondering if its rain water draining of the low hill behind or if its spring water. Something to look at another day….I didn’t get a sunset as fog rolled in from the Atlantic and swallowed every thing by eight thirty. Oh well tomorrows another day.

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