Feb 11, 2010

Having time unexpectedly on my hands this week I managed a bit of a spin about this afternoon. First off was a stop at the loch of Brockan. I don’t know if the stone is called after the loch or the loch is called for the stone circle. I digress tho. The reason to stoop off at Brockan is to have a look for Pintailed ducks. This loch is a bit of a strong hold for pintails and sure enough there are five to be seen moving about. These are ther first I have seen this winter so it’s a special treat. There’s not a lot about on the water and the birds about the fields are very flighty. I spin on around the back of the loch and out to the main road past the Hackland kirk.

Spinning on and I nip down to the beach in Evie. Parking at the west end it doesn’t take much of a scan to see the exposed sand in the distance bare of birds occupied only by dog walkers. Things are better where I am with a female red breasted merganser preening on the old pier. I take a few photos of her before yet another dog walker arrives back in the carpark with a sniffy pooch. A few startled cries of Redshank herald precursor a shore wide jump to the wing. Turnstone with a few Knot, a few Curlew and a couple of Rock pipit all move west on to the rougher shore. Although they have moved a healthy scoping distance up the shore line I see one or two Dunlin in there as well so I move off up the beach after them.

Mostly every thing has come down in a big sandy clearing in the weed strewn shore. I manage a few more shots and things are going well. I slowly close the distance with the birds coming and going but ignoring me. A splashy dog in the sea put paid to all of that though. A bit annoying but its just the way of it. I try not to get het up these days.

A run back over the Birsay moors gives nice views of a very dark slim tailed Henharrier about hands with the Clikmill, Sabiston loch that gem of Dounby looked to have the sun to low across it to be much fun for scanning at Housby . Crossing the crossroads I head off towards the Stenness stones for a look. The fields on the way provided a few Fieldfares but little else. It was surprising that neither the Evie beach bird crop nor the Queena one was to have a single bird put up with the bike passing. All a marked contrast to the flocks of geese. They take to the air with my passing whether I have the engine running or roll past with it switched off.

I make it to the stones for sunset and scan the loch while the gloom gathers. Nothing out of the ordinary here and infact what there is seems quite a distance off, luckily its been a nice calm sort of day and visibility is at a premium. All to soon its time for a couple of those sunset shots and off. I didn’t see a hell of a lot but then again I didn’t make that much effort….nice to be out though.

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