Nov 21, 2010

Lochside morning.

It was such a flat calm morning that I thought I would head out and see what was to be seen. Lochside was to be the first port of call. It was lovely as well with the early winter colours of the heather and reeds reflecting in the water between the islands. I like this time of year, the first of the winds has been and the coldness of the winter depths is yet to fall. Whilst setting up my scope a lone Wren started its chiding cal from a bust thirty paces from me. This is a bird that is a handful to catch in the digiscope as they are so flighty. Sure enough I managed to get the bird in view in the scope and offer up the camera but two quick snaps and it was gone, disappeared in to the heather where it moved about and gave out some song. No prizes for guessing the sex of that one then!
There were a few birds on the water but my attention was drawn to the fields on the far side below Biggins, spread along the loch shore was a good flock of Lapwing numbering 125+ interspersed within that flock were a hundred or so Golden plover and 30 odd Curlew. Either side and above them the ubiquitous greylags grazes away. I didn’t bother to count them as I seem to be quite blasé about the tens of thousands of grey geese that are spread across the county. 25 or more Teal were emerging from the loch in a seemingly determined feeding column. As they come ashore a flurry of action draws me away as a Hoddie and a Herring gull squabble over some food on another island. It soon falls quiet though but a scan along the shore reveals five Snipe maintaining their usual immobile stance. As the winter progresses Snipe are becoming more and more visible at he waters edge, not only on the loch sides but along the sea shore as well.
The water its self held no real surprises. The predominant duck was the Tuffted with a hundred or more in view. Amongst these groups of tufted further out were five Scaup and in amongst the islands but spread out were three male Goldeneye. A small contingent of Cormarants dried their wings and preened on one of the skerries with a couple of birds paddling about and actively feeding. With the place kindo scoped out I packed up to head over the other side of the loch for a view but shortly after arriving on came the rain. I remained at the junction of Harray and Stenness for a while and stoically ignored the increasing rain until I thought my jeans were suitably wet and my legs cold enough then jumped back on the bike and shot off the four miles home….another short day….och well!

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