Sunday, 5 April 2015

The gloves are off!

Not a reference to the General Election campaigning, more a declaration that the Marigolds are out.

Aye, Our Lass and I spent the afternoon walking around Mull Head in Deerness, as the weather slowly improved from its earlier low point of moderately dreich.

As we walked north along the coast, there were plenty of auks on the water, with small rafts of Guillemot and Razorbill to be seen. Two Black Guillemots were spotted, one in smart breeding plumage, the other looking like it wasn't sure which clothes to wear. Standing on the cliffs, scanning the sea, we also saw three Puffins and a Kittiwake.

After we had rounded the trig point at the top of the reserve and were making our way back to the car, things took a decidedly raptorial turn (ok, it's not a word, but work with me here). Firstly, a Merlin shot across the heather to our left, then a female Hen Harrier quartered the moor and neighbouring farm land, and finally a Short-eared Owl was spotted sitting on a fence post, gazing hungrily at the grass verge beneath. Not a good day to be a vole.

Driving home in bright sunshine, our eyes were drawn to the haar extending from the Scottish mainland, across Hoy and over the West Mainland of Orkney.

Looking across Scapa Flow, the island of Hoy is somewhere under the blanket of fog.

The two transmitter masts on Keelylang Hill were just about visible.

We assumed that we would be underneath it soon enough, but as the afternoon wore on into early evening, the fog bank remained pretty static and we enjoyed a picturesque sunset.


Rhiannon Paine said...

Hi Graeme, I'm enjoying your blog, which I found via Sian Thomas's (on which I can't seem to comment with any acceptable "identity," but I'll keep trying). I'm a Californian (Healdsburg, Sonoma County) who loves Orkney. I've visited 4 times now and hope to come and spend 6 months some time. Happy spring!

Imperfect and Tense said...

Hi Rhiannon, welcome to I&T. Aye, Spring is springing, with the wintery reminders becoming fewer and farther between.