Aug 19, 2011
Things are fairly starting to move now and over the past week I have seen the Ruff at the Shunan, a Marsh harrier at the mill of Rango, a pair of Greenshank at the loons. The past couple of days have produced flocks of Meadow pipits in the verges and fields. The Rendell hillside yesterday held a couple newly arrived and very tired looking mippit flocks. There was also a flock of sixty Swallows hunting together over a wheat field and resting up on the hydro cables. Things are certainly warming up in the migration stakes. Today I basked in the sun at the Black Craig (shirt off it was so hot!) and although whales and dolphins were not to be seen in the fantastic conditions I did manage two Manx shearwaters. The cliff top heath provided a few Common blues and my first Painted lady of the year. The sea was pretty quiet tho with only a small flow of Gannets way out heading north to take the interest. Five Whimbrel passed. I watched them approach in the bins then held them in the scope for ages before they disappeared south heading past the high cliffs of Hoy. Heading off I was circled by a juvenile Twite that called and called, landing ahead a couple of times. Cresting the hill two more Whimbrel take off and pass over me calling as they go. I am quite impressed with this im having a good day for Whimbrel!!. Its not all over though and as I start down the hill there is a ringtail starting to quarter the edge of the heather. Its back is to me and as I stand still its unconcerned by me, I suppose the wind is taking it away and it has nothing to fear. It makes a great excuse to stop and catch my breath after the up hill down hill bash from the cliff top…..The quiet time is looking a little less quiet now!!
at 10:55 PM