Feb 11, 2009

Snow time...day 5

Another day of cold goes by. Yet again the winds predicted have not appeared. This is something of a blessing. After no snow to speak of last night it began to fall shortly after first light. It continued on and off all through the morning to clear in the afternoon. Large showers still continued but it was more a matter of luck if you were hit or not. With a couple of inches falling on top of the lying snow and there being no thaw what so ever there is six inches of powder just waiting to be blown about by the next big wind…never mind we will worry about that if it happens.
Birds are scarce on the ground at the moment, two redpolls that are frequenting the valley were here this morning but little else. Snipe were at the springs down the field. I headed off to the Stones of Stenness on foot this afternoon. Both the Harray Loch and the Stenness Loch are frozen over and miles of dark water are now white with the fallen snow. It’s a surreal sight where once was water now has the illusion of land. Between the two lochs the flow of water maintains a free channel. This was my objective and sure enough scanning over the water it is inundated with birds. The far edge of the icy channel has hundreds and hundreds of Widgeon and Tufted ducks More swim round in large rafts. Closer to and numerous saw bills move about in the hoards of Goldeneye. There are a couple of hundred its an impressive sight. Less impressive is the way they all take to the air as a family group that have just arrived start to chuck stones and shite in to the water and ice. I suppose every one is entitled to their fun, I just wish they had had it some place else. I take a load of snaps though before heading back to the hill. On the Harray side managed to see the black Swan. Not that difficult to spot today strangely enough. Things must be getting tough for the birds now. Along the roads Snipe are starting to feed on the wet verges. These are dangerous times and collisions are all to common in these conditions. The now all to familiar half mile trudge back through the snow did throw up a couple of nice birds. First off I watched two Ravens harassing a gull. As they approached they put up a Peregrine from our neighbours garden that rose above me to head off along the hillside……Its still freezing up here.

No comments:

Post a Comment