Monday 4 June 2018

No egrets

We celebrated a birthday with lunch at a clifftop bistro last week. The location is stunning and the glass walls of the establishment provide unrivalled views of the Pentland Firth. If anything, with all that glass, it can be a bit too hot for the likes of me. However, I was very fortunate, a haar had veiled the whole scene in an anonymous grey. We really enjoyed our seafood meal, and as luck would have it, the haar lifted just as we finished dining. And so a postprandial wander along the clifftops was in order.

As it was a special occasion, I had not brought any bins or optics with me (as bitter experience has shown that these items tend to impact negatively on the ambience of the moment). This was a shame, because they would've been really handy in helping to identify this...

The small white dot was a long way off, and the only thing I could think it might be was an egret of some sort. Gauging size over the distance was impossible, so Little, Cattle or Great White? Who knew? I embarrassed myself on social media by suggesting these options, only to be reminded that there was still a Spoonbill in the area from the previous week. Oops.

And once again, my phone wasn't really up to the job of capturing an image of a mobile insect. This is a Great Yellow Bumblebee on a patch of Thrift.

Happily, Spring Squill doesn't move around as much as your average bee, so the above shot is rather better focused.

We returned home, to discover that the haar had burnt off, leaving a gorgeously sunny afternoon. Now equipped with a proper camera, I spent a pleasant half hour attempting to snap some of the insects visiting the blooms in our borders.

Garden Bumblebee

Silver Y moth

Hoverfly - still wrangling over the ID
The next day, we visited a plant nursery, so whilst Our Lass shopped for greenery, I monitored the amount of insect life to be seen. Unfortunately, the ID of this one remains a mystery.

After a pleasant lunch at a nearby tea room, we decamped to Inganess Bay, for another walk alongside Wideford Burn, because now several folk had managed to find damselflies at the location. Here, at last, I was able to begin my Orcadian flight season, with half a dozen Large Red Damselflies and a similar number of Blue-tailed. Oh joy unconfined!

Large Red Damselfly

A very immature Blue-tailed Damselfly
Plus, a few more hovers...

Helophilus hybridus

Sericomyia silentis
Those successes called for another round of celebrations. Rhubarb and ginger cake? Don't mind if I do!


Mark said...

Some of your bestpictures yet on that post.

Mr Tense I'm sending you the link to a prog rock blog I've just compiled. It comprises of my ten favorite songs. I tried desperately to employ the I&T principle of one track per band but after loads of agonising I couldn't quite do it.

let me know what you think, toodles, Mark.

Spadger said...

Glad you both had a lovely day out with some nice food and wildlife, even if you missed the egret - there's more of them around the corner. Better to savour the moment which will be unrepeatable - unless that is what you ate caused you indigestion!