Monday, 14 November 2011

Well it is mid November !

  Unsurprisingly, the weather here over the last week has been pretty dreich (dull and gloomy) so it was a pleasant surprise one evening to briefly see a clear sky and a near full moon. I was outside working in my shed during the evening and heard the constant sound of geese and curlew flying over in the moonlight - far better than having music playing. Having the shed is another 'luxury' that I've been waiting for for many years. When I say shed, what I really mean is a place to work without bikes, lawnmowers and other garden implements taking up the space. I'm currently making two windows to replace rotten wooden ones in our front porch. In all of the house/cottage, these are the only wooden ones left out of 19 windows (excluding the sun-room) , the rest being upvc. When I asked the listed buildings person if we could change these two to Upvc to match the rest she said no. This was because as the house was listed with them in, we had to replace them with wood, despite as I have just said, the rest of the house being plastic.

  As the weather has been so dull, I've done very little photography this week, also because I've been working over at Burrafirth and up at what will be the new Valhalla brewery at the old RAF base at Saxavord. Yesterday (13th) I did have a quick look up to Lamba Ness. On the way to the end, I was passing the small freshwater lochan - just past the small causeway - and saw two Purple Sandpipers resting at the edge. Firstly it's not very often I see Purp' Sands' on freshwater, but also on this day there was no wind at all and so the lochan was mirror smooth. I almost didn't stop but then thought I'd give it a go to try and get some reflection type shots. Although the light was still pretty bad,  I made my way around them to get the light behind me and use the bean bag on the very wet ground for support. The sandpipers were very confiding and allowed me to approach quite close by crawling slowly towards them......................

Purple Sandpiper
  I know it would look better without the strip of background running through it, I have cloned it out on another picture but that's cheating - isn't it ? Another option would have been to raise the camera a bit higher by using the tripod (which was back in the car) but maybe that would have lost a bit of the effect.

  Back at home I had a bit of fencing to do along at the eastern end of the beach as the sheep in our field have been straying further along the shore. Even though they're not our sheep, I do count them daily and I can't see them all from the house if they go along there. Out on the sound, there were numerous Redbreasted Merganzers, 2 Slavonian Grebes, Great Northern Diver and 1 female Common Scoter  - garden tick (there were 3 earlier). I set up the trail camera again as there's been a lot of activity down by the small pool so I wanted to see what was around. The biggest surprise was this morning when I saw it had captured a Water Rail sometime in the night. I would be a garden tick but I can't really count it.......................

 It crosses one way and then returns at 15 seconds

  Surprisingly, I'm still seeing a hedgehog on a regular basis down at the pool despite the fact we're now in mid November - although it is still quite mild. A small party of Greylags have returned to the field to graze and when you can see the amount of damage they do to a grass field it's no wonder farmers and crofters alike are not their friends. One thing you can see, is that there is always one on the look out - geese are very difficult to take by surprise. The short film below is a sample of what five can do in just over a week........

 Greylag Geese


1 comment:

MarkW said...

I think they say 6 (or it might be 7) geese equal 1 sheep; that must be for grazing. Your geese appear to be digging you a new pond!