Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Tuesday 23rd Feb

More snow over night has now given us around 8" of lying snow, not much in the grand scheme of things, but it has continued to keep the schools closed and the kids at home. For the local wildlife it has caused problems for some of the ones that have remained after the last lot at Christmas. The situation they now face is do they move south and use up valuable fat reserves or stay put and hope the snow soon goes? There are a lot of truly wild Greylag Geese around at the moment and as the days go by they are becoming less wary and often stay put when I drive past them in my car, whereas previously, they'd take flight as soon as I showed any interest in them at all.

Greylag Goose

As both of my girls were off of school again (and feeling unwell) I didn't manage to get out until after lunch time. I decided to head back down the road again to one of my favorite spots and hopefully see the otters. I wasn't too hopeful however as the tide was high and they would probably be below ground. It was a cracking day anyway and I was glad to be able to enjoy the walk around the shore in glorious sunshine.

As I thought, there were no otters out but plenty of signs of their earlier activity in the snow. I didn't have time to wait for them, so took a short walk further around the coast. Another sign of the continuing snow cover was a small flock of Golden Plover, resting on a small seaweed covered skerry just off shore. They are usually seen here in the close grazed sheep fields near to the old airport or nearby crofts, however their food source was now under 6 to 8 inches of snow. On one of the small sandy bays a Ringed Plover fed along the tide-line and as it wasn't too bothered by my presence, I led down in the sand and snow and watched it feeding for a while.

Ringed Plover

I turned back for home and noticed that the wind had become colder and had also changed direction, the sky had also clouded over and more snow was on its way. The only birds on the way back were several feeding Oystercatchers, a Redshank and a Snipe which took off from the rock strewn shoreline.


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