Jul 29, 2009

Quiet times on Hobbister

The quiet times are well and truly upon us now. Birds have disappeared from view in a lot of places. To day we took the last RSPB walk around Hobbister for this season. We were struggling to show the breadth of species today. This is as true for the flowers now as well as birds. Meadow sweet is in its abundance now across the hills and undisturbed places. Hobbister had the honey sent in the air as it rushed up Vam towards us. Along the track Meadow pipits were in their usual abundance with the last of the broods being fed now. Raptors as well put in a poor showing with only a pair of Kestrels putting in an appearance. The Hen Harriers and Short eared owls were particularly conspicuous in there absence. Red throated divers appeared briefly calling at a good altitude and disappearing out in to the flow. It was to prove the only view of divers to day. It’s a frustrating thing to walk down the track knowing fine your not far from Reed bunting Stonechat, Willow warblers and Wrens yet nothing will come from cover and show them selves for more than a passing fleeting glance. It was a similar thing with the red grouse, Two heads appeared in the middle distance and bobbed about giving tentative glances. One bird did rise and put on a brief flight for us later on so we managed to tick one speciality at least. The cliff top return leg was to be hampered with an unfortunate on shore breeze consequently we had almost no birds on the water. A Black Guillemot dodged about for us and some growing Fulmar chicks added the aww factor. It was hard enough spotting but poor Allan had to do the running commentary on the desolate Sean before us. We had Bonxies, Arctic and Common Terns, Shags, Lesser and Greater blackbacked gulls .The pair of Kestrels swung around and put on another show for us as we made our way back. We were fortunate to get a good amount of Twite today tho and there were birds all over the Hobbister paths. We hoped the folks enjoyed themselves but it was slim pickings today.

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