Sep 9, 2008

A busy lochside

Last night I was out a spin to lochside Harray for an attempt to catch a sunset. It was a perfect sot of night bright and clear with a distinct lack of midges. Arriving at the picnick area the air is alive with bird sound. All around the heather and grass is buzzing with wee birds. Meadow pipits abound the air is full of chattering Swallows yet beyond all that Twite can be heard. There are loads of birds here and I mean loads, strange to think they might all be gone in a few hours or at first light. Considering the pleasant prospect of moving some where warmer for the winter i move off down the board walk and then right over the big mound and down to the shore in the bay. My buldering about here produces the best bird of the night. Rising up in a wee group of birds is a Jack Snipe. He rises up and flies in a flat curve away from me complaining as he go’s. Moving along the shore so I can see out into the loch I see a fella fly fishing. He is a handy thing for me as he will give the sunset some scale. So there I am waiting for the sun to go down casually spying around for waders on the different islands shore lines when a small hatch of flys happened. Its not like they bite but I was soon picking then out my lugs and blowing them off the camera. Fortunately at the point of distraction every thing took to the air at once on the northern side. The flys are forgotten as the spectacle unfolds before me. I cant see waders shore birds, geese from the fields gulls, starlings balling, lapwings and masses of Curlew rise and fall back to earth almost as fast. The more spooked or cautious circle there spots with alarm calls ringing. It looked like an attack run from a Peregrine passing through. With the unseen bird soon gone peace returned. It was an impressive sight to se how many birds are using this one area. Once the sun started going down it was camera time. I did try for some flight shots as Curlews and the like passed over but they were mostly to far for my feeble wee camera. They did look stunning against the darkening sky tho.

With the sun well set and the photos done, the path back has a fantastic gathering of Swallows above it. The birds have been gathering above with the intention of roosting in some of the deep cover here abouts. As I reach the bike there is a definite change in the Swallows calls. I wonder if that is them thinking of coming down for the night….is that how it happens…I wonder..

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