Sunday, 27 November 2016

It's mud news week!

In our 21st Century lives, it's often not possible to distinguish the cycle of the year in any tangible sense, beyond a vague notion of what is being marketed by retailers. Easter eggs? Must be January 2nd. Santa hats? Probably mid September.

One of the joys (and occasionally that phrase is uttered between gritted teeth in the brunt of some horizontal weather) of living a more elemental Orcadian life is that the cyclical nature of the seasons is much more obvious.

There's the rather prominent effect of the passage of the setting sun back and forth along the western horizon. There's the holiday time-share experience of summer and winter migratory birds: skuas swapping skies with berry-ravenous redwings; and long-in-the-beak oystercatchers giving way to long-tailed ducks.

But this weekend, a more subtle change occurred, close to Tense Towers and close to our hearts. The muddy field entrance, just over the road from our front garden, cattle-poached and unprepossessing, has brought a little piece of Winter to our doorstep. And although these birds are resident in Orkney throughout the year, only during the colder months do Snipe choose to visit our immediate vicinity. They are very welcome.



4 comments:

Mark said...

"the boys are back in town" ah sorry they never actually left!
ktda, Mark.

ps there are some boys who actually are back in town after four years, the Waxwings, have you had the chance to see any?

Imperfect and Tense said...

Without actually holding one, I'm not sure if it's possible to tell a girl Snipe from a boy Snipe?

There are a few small flocks of Waxwings in Orkney at present and, although we're unlikely to see them at Tense Towers, I did manage to see one whilst driving through Finstown the other week.

Countryside Tales said...

So well camouflaged. Haven't seen Snipe for a while now. CT.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Hi CT, they are indeed masters of the art! See http://aeshnacaerulea.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/snippet.html