Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Black is back !

As you will see, the  black template is back and I have to admit it was down to 'user error' as is often the case when technology goes wrong ! I had a friend call in this morning and explained to me how and why it happened so, hopefully, it won't happen again. 

I had a very brief trip over to Fetlar this morning to do a quick job and I have to say that the 'commute' to work was a very pleasant one. Twenty five minutes, on a free ferry, with loads of sea birds and scenery to look at, must make it one of the best journeys to work I've had in many years; - probably only eclipsed by the walk up village street on St Kilda many years ago, to repair the stile into  the kirk-yard. For the first part of todays trip there were loads of Longtailed Ducks, Eiders and Tysties, later this was followed by passing Gannets, Fulmars and Shags. Fortunately the crossing was fairly calm, although hand holding the camera/long lens was difficult at times. I'm sure for the folk that do it every day find it a bit of a chore when its blowing a gale. 

The job only entailed about 10 minutes work but took up two hours of time due to ferry times, it's a pity the weather wasn't better so I could have made better use of the time there.

Returning back to Unst, I had a quick look at Westing and found two Redbreasted Mergs' and a summer plumaged Redthroated Diver fishing in the bay there along with a couple of  'bottling' Common Seals. Around the island, there are now dozens of noisy Oystercatchers and the numbers of Greylag Geese has risen again now the snow has gone. The vast majority of them will move away to breed but it still leaves a quite number (and rising) to breed. Before heading home, I took a quick look at Haroldswick Bay as the wind direction would mean it should be quite calm and good for spotting either otters or wildfowl in the sea. I didn't find either of them but I did see a 1st winter Glaucous Gull as it flew slowly around the shoreline looking for food. Last winter, there were double figures of these large gulls around Unst, but this year there have only been a couple - and this was my first of the winter.

This evening has been another frustrating evening again as far as the night sky goes. The latest auroral activity level for the high Arctic is around 9 out of a possible 10, and so for here it should be at least a 6 - if it wasn't for the cloud! Hey ho.


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