After yesterday's rain that washed out the County Show in Kirkwall and brought a touch of muddy Glastonbury to the proceedings, today was absolutely gorgeous. Never mind that the remnants of ex Hurricane Bertha are headed our way for tomorrow, today we enjoyed the sunshine.
I find it quite heartening, with all this 'ex hurricane' stuff, that we're recycling someone else's weather, rather than wasting precious resources on coming up with our own name for it.
To give you a sense of just how nice a day it was, up here in jolly old Orkney, Our Lass was persuaded to go for a walk BEFORE breakfast. Uh huh, that's how meteorologically fabby it's been!
As we wandered down the road towards St Nicholas' Kirk, a female Hen Harrier drifted over the fields, pursued at a respectable distance by a flock of Starlings. A large group of Curlew were spooked into the air by the raptor, but soon settled down again after it had passed. Incidentally, today is Hen Harrier Day in England, a day of peaceful protest at the persecution of the species. There are fewer Hen Harriers in England now than in 1981 when they were given legal protection.
The bays either side of the church were looking splendid.
Plenty of waders were visible on the shoreline, including Redshank, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Curlew and Golden Plover.
We made our way to the cliffs at the Bay of Semolie and sat watching Fulmars, Great Skuas and numerous gulls gliding back and forth along the coast.
Eventually, the lure of a cooked breakfast became too much to bear and we headed for home. By now, there were loads of butterflies on the wing, mainly Small Tortoiseshells, but with a Red Admiral, a Painted Lady and a Green-veined White thrown in for good measure.
And some day-flying moths.
We had worked up quite an appetite too.