Feb 28, 2009

A gap in the rain.

It’s been an endless day of drizzle and rain but during one of the dry spells late in the afternoon the call of outdoors lured me out. I only ventured just down the road to a track that leads to a watery hole in a grass field. It is from here I have been hearing the Widgeon whistling at nights. Looking out over the ground before me pasture land is divided in fields and forms a gentle bowl. At the lowest places of which the wet ground gathers the bounteous rains to eventually empty them selves in to Harray loch. The largest of the pools lies on the lands of Brecken. And as the name suggests was named for the brecks that used to lie here. I should explain brecks are areas of heathery wet ground. It was once habitat like that down here and I spent many a happy hour shooting rabbits and wandering across it. It is all improved grazing now and only a few wet pools that drain it now remain. Before me now lies the largest pool. It has a healthy amount of birds on it tho. I am approaching down hill over a bed of tractor flattened gorse bushes so I am watching my feet more than the birds ahead. There are loads of rabbits about with a black one taking my attention. A while later I caught sight of something grey and white moving along a fence line and here was a rabbit with a white collar. This was quite common here when I was young. As kids your rabbits would get out and come back days later all scratched up and gagging for some lettuce. You would see the local population jean pool livened up wit patches of brown white and ginger! Looks like its still going on….i ken the purists hate this kinda crap but it makes me smile anyway….easier for Hen Harriers to catch perhaps. Five hares across the fields and two close by and the digression from the pool was complete. The wee pool its self held 105 Widgeon several Greylag a few mallard and two Shell duck. The Shell duck looked like a pair sitting on the shore and taking to the water as I approached . Settling as my approach became noticed i waited for a while for things to settle. Before me the air is alive into the distance with skeins of geese and ducks. Birds arriving draw my attention back to the pool. Five or six Widgeon settle down and disperse quietly leaving a Shell duck in the open. It is immediately challenged by a show of force. The new lad backs off to rise up a bit and is set upon again a couple of times. The drake returns across the pool to its partner or significantly guarded other to re enforce their pair bond. It all drama down here between the rains..lol Along the shore there are two mature Greater Black backed gulls fifty five lapwing, no more than a dozen Curlew though. There were a couple of ducks I couldn’t make out. I will have to be back at first light one morning soon and have a scope about. Spits of rain and an approaching grey curtain moving in across the loch make it time to go luckily its only a hundred meters from the house as I am wearing a fleece made from recycled sponges. So it’s a quick march back through the gorse stalks. It’s a nice introduction to the patch about me and strange to see how some of the ground has changed. I look forward to re learning the parish

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