Monday, 26 September 2011

  Well the weather and winds did produce a few rare birds around the place but not here. A few more Yellow-broweds' were around the place and that was about it for Unst, the rest were birds that had been around for a while and had stayed put. Over the weekend I also stayed put so to speak as Catriona was working and I was to be 'in charge' of the kids. I took advantage of that and did a bit more fencing in the field for next year when I want to plant a few more trees and maybe a few berry bearing strubs. Putting in the strainer posts (9 inches in diameter and 7ft long) is very hard work in most of the ground here; no machinery for me, just a long metal bar and a post hole tool - like a long pair of tongs but with a pair of narrow spades at the end. Some of the posts (I've got ten to put in) took an hour and a half to 'plant' due to the rocks, thankfully I've only got four more to do.

  While outside, I saw a small wader fly in to the tidal pool at the eastern end of the field, it was quite along way off but I couldn't put a label to it. Going back to get the scope, I returned to discover it had been disturbed by the otters - I never thought I'd be annoyed at otters being present ! However, one of the cubs was calling, so I assumed it had lost its mum. I was wrong, it had lost its brother or sister as mum was there also. Both of them were anxiously looking and the young cub was constantly calling. They were heading in my direction and as the wind was wrong I was going to be rumbled no matter what I did; even if I retreated back up the field, they'd still catch my scent. I lay in the grass and just hoped the wind would carry my scent over their heads, but no, even though they didn't see me, they got a whiff and headed back eastwards - but not in a panic but still all of the time looking around for the lost one............

video

  Later on in the afternoon, I saw a small wader again over near the pool. Fetching the camera, I managed to get a few shots of the bird in the now very poor light. It certainly looked like a Dunlin, but it wasn't really behaving like one. As it moved around, it would constantly move its head back and forwards in the same rhythmic manner as say a wagtail would move its tail or a Common Sandpiper would bob up and down. It was a piece of behaviour I'd not seen before.........

Dunlin
 
  Not long after seeing the Dunlin, I heard the call of the otter cub again, the cub and mum were still looking for the other one, lets just hope they get reunited before too long. I've now done a short compilation of some of the otter trail cam videos which, for the moment is here on Youtube
  This evening (26th Sept) at around 9.45pm, I looked outside as there was an aurora prediction. Sure enough, there was a green glow to the north east with a few 'curtains spreading down so I went and set the camera up facing north east. Over the next hour, to an hour and a half, I, along with Sula, had a wonderful sight of the aurora from east to west directly over Ordaal. I can't really describe it but it was almost a 'Joanna Lumley moment' as we now call it - like when she saw the aurora in northern Lapland in a tv documentary a few years ago and was spellbound by it. It's now 11.30pm and the pictures are downloading to the pc, so I'll post a picture etc tomorrow evening.

              Robbie

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