Sunday 12 August 2018

Welcome to I&Tplayer...

Blogging at Tense Towers just hasn't been happening of late, so time to catch up on what you've missed with a rapid round-up of recent romps.

At the end of July, First Born visited for a long weekend of food and frolics...

Ensconced in the Teashop in Stromness 

Watching Puffins at the Brough of Birsay

Our Lass and First Born pose for a sunny selfie

As she left, First Born managed to photograph Tense Towers from the plane!

On the 6th August, the Orkney Field Club organised a trip to Flotta, ostensibly to look for the presence of Emerald Damselfly in a bid to explain the recent spread of the species to Hoxa Head in South Ronaldsay. To break out from the population in Hoy, the Emeralds would likely have needed to travel across Flotta, so if we found any, it would add credence to this theory. An excellent day of general wildlife watching was had, especially as the first damselfly seen was an Emerald!

A fence post with a wig of lichen

Stanger Head, looking across to Switha, Cantick Head and the Scottish mainland

Kirk Bay, Flotta

Yours Truly participating in a bit of a spontaneous beach clean. The huge beach ball seen at the bottom of this cliff had likely come from a passing cruise ship or been blown across the Pentland Firth from the Scottish mainland. Photo courtesy of AG.
On the evening of the 8th August, the Flora sub-group of the Field Club met at a farm to learn about arable weeds. In many places these plants have been wiped out due to the excessive use of herbicides in an attempt to produce monocultures of specific crops.

Fumitories. There are six species in Orkney, two of which can be seen here.

Treacle Mustard

Annual Nettle, the much more potent cousin of the Common Nettle
Then, yesterday, Our Lass and I took a trip to Hoy in the hope of seeing the recently-fledged White-tailed Eagle chicks, the first brood to be successfully raised in Orkney for 145 years.

Looking across to the hillside of the Dwarfie Hamars, where the eagles had nested.

RSPB volunteers were on hand to help visitors spot the birds.

There are two young eagles in this shot, one on a mound towards the bottom left, and the other in a similar position top right.

A male Black Darter basking on a bridge parapet.

A pair of Common Hawkers making out.

A Black Darter perched on my camera lens (Pet, give us your camera quick!)

 And that's us up to date. Phew.


Anonymous said...

Wow! What a fantastic set of things to make me envious! The sea eagles! Marvellous! Such superb news. And the emerald damsel! And the views! I think we will have to come up to Orkney for a marathon and a holiday :o).

Imperfect and Tense said...

Can you bring a Purple Emperor, please? :o)

SharonLarkin said...

Fab photos as usual ~ the lichen "wig" is fantastic!

Imperfect and Tense said...

OK, so Orkney does lichen very well, but even so, this clump was impressive. I almost wished I had brought a pair of those stick-on googly eyes!

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

The lichen is extraordinary. Have never seen anything like it nor known of it either. It's amazing!

Imperfect and Tense said...

Lucy, the older I get, the more interesting lichen becomes. I rather like the fact that it doesn't run away before I've had a chance to have a proper look at it. That said, IDing is still a minefield, there's loads of them. I was reading an article last night which pointed out that latest research indicates that as well as a fungus and an algae, a lichen may consist of a yeast and a bacterium also. Quite a little community!