Nearer home, the pools by the kirk were more sheltered, so we were happy to linger and watch the bird life. Well, I say 'watch', there was as much listening, because Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, a Sedge Warbler and even a Reed Bunting were singing for all they were worth. I guess we weren't the only ones to be happy to see the sun. Predictably, my camera was only interested in iridescent Lapwing plumage and cute ducklings.
Returning to Tense Towers, the sunlight on the flower border was beautiful, and from a different angle to usual (when we're in the house looking out).
The following day, we arranged to go for a socially-distanced walk at the RSPB's Hobbister reserve with Eagle-eyed M. It was wonderful to be able to meet up again and spend time exploring the wildlife of the reserve. This turned out to be mainly flora, though we did see a family of Ravens tumbling across the moor and several Red-throated Divers out of the waters of Scapa Flow. The small valleys of woodland were alive with Willow Warbler song, for me, the most perfect sound to de-stress a global pandemic.
|Common Carder Bee on Lousewort
|Garden Bumblebee (I think)
|Tiny trigonometrical toadstools
|Actually, they're a dung fungus
|All less than 5mm across
|I'm advised that this is a species of Cheilymenia (thanks LJ)
|Catsear, ID'd by M
|Sheep Sorrel (ID'd by several folk on Orkney Wildflowers FB page)
|And one FB-er informed me that these are male flowers. Now I will have to look for the female ones!
|Heath Speedwell, ID'd by M
|Unfurling ferny fiddlehead
|which will become a Hard Fern