Sunday, 26 June 2011

Golden Glow

  As I mentioned in the previous post, I had been wondering what had been using a hole down just about the high water mark on the beach. Well, by placing the camera there a couple of nights ago, I discovered two things and both for different reasons have put my mind at rest. If you look at the vid' below, you'll see what is using the hole..................


  This did surprise me for two reasons, firstly there are no droppings around the hole or on the grass which is most unusual and secondly, as you can see the hole is at the edge of the beach, so, on very high tides the hole would get flooded - perhaps this their 'summer' residence ! The other thing I learnt from using the camera is how many video clips it can really hold. Over the last couple of weeks, the average maximum number of clips has been around 28 - until this last occasion. From around 8pm in the evening until 8am the following morning there were 250 thirty second videos of these rabbits going about there nightly business, that's a lot of short films to go through.

  With that sorted, I put it back to the usual place around 9pm only to see that an otter had been there early in the evening - as it had left some fresh tracks in the ever diminishing small freshwater pool. However, it did come back again later in the evening...............

Spraint marking

  Finding Otter where otters spraint mark is usually pretty easy - especially in the summer - as the grass is usually much lusher and greener due to the abundance of natural fertilizer !

 On Friday (June 24th) I had a few hours out on my own again and took a look up north to see if the S-t Lark was still around. It was, but due to the sunshine there was an obvious heat haze coming up from the road down to Lamba Ness where the bird likes to feed. I did get a few pics of several other birds including a very close Whimbrel that was feeding close to the track. What was a surprise was that there were 6 birds in total which I thought was unusual for the time of year - they should be well into breeding now. My thoughts were that they were either late returning non-breeders or non-breeders migrating early, a cause for concern either way. There is an RSPB guy doing a Whimbrel survey up here at the moment and apparently the numbers have crashed since last year..........................

Whimbrel full frame, un-cropped, 500+1.4

  As we are now in the 3rd week of June, there are a lot of young birds around. This bird below is a young Wheatear, taken from the car again un-cropped and is a bit  too close................

Young Wheatear

 Later on in the evening, I headed out again as it looked like it could be a good sunset. Going first over to Lamba Ness, I could see there was a large bank of cloud on the northern horizon - no shots of the sun sinking below the horizon tonight then. Coming back, I did stop briefly to take a few pics of the back-lit cotton grass - all it needed was a silhouette of a Bonxie or something to finish it off....

Cotton Grass

  I then decided to head off up to Saxavord hill for the evening glow on some Bonxies or maybe a Golden Plover. Graham had mentioned here of Golden Plover up there so that reminded me to take a look. Sure enough, right by the roadside there was a pair of Goldies in the glow of the evening sun. Once I'd stopped the engine, the birds went back to feeding etc and didn't seem bothered by me at all. Eventually the male came right by the car and once again it was too close to get all of the bird in the frame............

'Golden Glow'

Full frame, uncropped

  Whilst sitting there watching the plovers, I also had a lovely Meadow Pipit close by the car in lovely lighting which I've often heard described as the 'Golden Hour' - this evening it certainly was.......

Meadow Pipit at around 9.45pm

  Alas, I didn't see the sun set as it disappeared into the cloud about 30 minutes before it was due, although it was a cracking evening.

                Robbie


3 comments:

MarkW said...

You are right about "golden hour" as the light in these shots is gorgeous & your camera on it's post is certainly showing it's worth. Brill!

We heard Golden Plover up the hill the day we went up; unfortunately I did not go prepared with sound equipment & it was one of the very few still evenings on Saxa Vord - never mind, next time!

robbieb said...

Thanks Mark, it's been another sunny day today, I was off out but other things have got in the way :(

Graham said...

Loving seeing those video clips Robbie - keep 'em coming mate !