Sep 5, 2008


After moving book cases for the dear MIL..bless her I rewarded myself with a swift trip out to Warbeth for a spy about. It was the back of six and a nice late summers evening. The tide was low exposing a lot of beach. In the distance the birds running over the sands are all ringed plover the same along the waters edge. A few redshank and Curlew fill out the distant shore. Closer in is more interesting with constant movement of Pied Wagtails. Coming down the track there had been fifteen or more come towards me on the graveyard side these ones were a dozen or more feeding and hanging out before they would go to roost. I wonder if they will fly south tonight or roost and leave the morn. Leave the morn I would think. The grazing behind the shore held lots of Meadow Pipits moving around in small flocks. A quick wander round the point gives a fine view down the shore and over to Graemsay and Hoy. The foreshore seemed to have little moving across it, a couple of herring gulls were still taking food to youngsters on the rocky waters edge. Here and there a Redshank moved about but little else. The lack of action was more than made up for by forty or fifty Gannets diving for food off the end of Graemsay. The birds fished for about a half mile stretch from Oxan up the Hoy sound. Their efforts were accompanied by Black backs and herring gulls. The dark forms of Bonxies could be seen patrolling through the melee looking for their chance.

Moving from the rocky shore and back to the path under the graveyard twitery small birds tumble over the wall into the yard a good few linnets I think but I don’t see them again. Following the track up to the car park for the graveyard three meadow pipits fly across and land on the fence posts and path. Looking through the bins the bird on the stab has the most amazing green flanks and I mean green. I am looking carefully at it in the bins desperately wanting it to be something else but it is just a very green Meadow Pipit. The birds it is with are Mipits and when it flies it is a Mipit…shame. The path produced plenty of birds over head ,various small birds waiting to migrate or resume migration are about. Several groups of Redshank and Groanlag geese. A small flock of Lapwings over the hill side, individual Curlews came from the golf course direction.

Reaching the car park I head up the road a bit to get a look over the wee pool below Brinnigar. This proves the best yet for here are four Heron resting up ,preening away. Getting as steady as I can for the long view the pool holds some Mallard and my first Widgeon of the autumn. In front of one Heron a Moorhen is stomping about on the waters edge. Moving up the road a bit reveals three more Heron. Yet another turns out to be a plastic barrel or some such crap. A group of five Black Tailed Godwit now drop in after a brief half circle. They look stunning in the low sunlight. Unfortunately they land out of sight but its enough for me, I turn for the bike.

Its nice heading back to the bike ,the warm sun is ahead but not to low. The air off the sea is fresh and clean. In the distance the dark hills of Hoy provide a fine back drop to show off the distant vibrant white gannets fishing for their supper. To the other side the pasture field has the constant chatter of small birds. It is a proper taste of migration at work and a delight to walk through. Sadly though it is all to soon over. Arriving back at the bike I have a last sit and scan the beach. I count fifty six Ringed Plover before a dog puts every thing up so that was finally that..Helmet on fire it up and whistle up a quick chorus of Rawhide as I head up the road….I only ever do that if its good or if its grim.

Evening all.

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