Saturday, 26 November 2011

After the sunshine ? - wind and rain !

  Like in a number of other places, 'between weathers' here, broadly means a better day than the previous one or the day that is forecasted to follow it. Tuesday was one of those days, not particularly nice, but better than Monday and certainly better than the forecast for Wednesday. I was doing a 'skip run' along the shore road, when I saw the mum and two otter cubs at one of the usual roadside places. She had caught a large Lumpsucker fish and was eagerly feeding a relatively short distance from the road. The two cubs looked like they were having a great time not far away playing and mock fighting in the water - all part of the growing up process. They are now quite big and apart from their faces, they are becoming difficult to tell apart from their mum unless I see them well. She was showing the obvious signs of a fresh bite on her nose which looked quite sore - if it were my nose I'm sure it would be ! Brydon was saying its a common occurrence and was probably a crab bite and he believes it is one particular species of crab that usually inflicts this wound.................

 Despite being 'between weathers', it was still a pretty dull day so I only took 3 pictures and the rest of the time I used the video setting and took a few short recordings. Even though she's looking directly at me (she knew I was there)  there a so many vehicle movements along this stretch of road each day, as long as I stay in the car and keep quiet, they will carry on as normal.


  My pc is now quite ancient in computing terms being 5 or 6 years old and just can't handle the processing power needed by some of the video editing packages; so the videos from my 7D, are almost straight out of the camera - apart from file conversions. I'm also not 'up to speed' with video - and don't really want to get in too deep with it - so I'm not sure what the footage will look like on a more modern, faster pc. From what I can see here, as long as the vid' isn't clicked on to go full size then it's passable so to speak - I think I'll stick with stills !

  Later on in the morning, I called in at Haligarth for a quick look. Nothing in the garden or wood but just across the field I could see a small duck on the loch behind Buness House - it was a red-head Smew (a female or immature). Brydon had seen it earlier in the week (and got it on his garden list) so maybe I could try and get some shots of it? Unfortunately, between me and it, was open ground with only a low wall leading down to the field corner - not an easy approach. Also on the loch were several Teal and a few Mallard, as soon I made an approach they would be off and in turn so would the 'redhead'. So, just as you would do with Otters, I only moved forward when it dived, this in turn would help in that if the other ducks took off as I moved, the diving Smew wouldn't be frightened off at the same time. For a change the plan worked, the other ducks left (without too much fuss) and the re-surfacing Smew was none the wiser enabling me to get within range....................

'Red-head' Smew

  By Thursday (24th Nov) the weather was back to wet and very windy again. Fortunately I was working again (I'd rather do that when it's like that) so it didn't affect me too much. The forecast was for gales and gales we had! Overnight on Thurs/Fri at times it gusted to F10 with driving rain and at times sleet and hail. Airing on the side of caution, I had decided to bring the trailcam in on Thursday and how glad I was that I had. When I saw the bottom of the field on Friday morning, only 4 inches of the 30 inch camera post was above the water line !.........

...the red arrow marks the post
   When there are any strong winds or swell from the west side its always worth taking a look at Westing. The best wind direction is either north west or westerly but even Fridays south westerly created a big sea. According to Magicseaweed there was a predicted swell of between 25 to 30ft offshore with 30-35ft a few miles further out.................

Westing storm



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