But the Redwings just keep on coming, and a couple of Fieldfares deigned to show up too.
Then, a noise we'd been hearing all afternoon, whilst we concentrated upon more mundane matters, made itself felt. Opening the window further, we realised that it was the sound of Whooper Swans, newly-arrived from Iceland and refuelling before heading further south. We couldn't see them, so figured they were either foraging in a field down the hill, or maybe gathering on Graemshall Loch.
Jumping in the car, we drove in the general direction of the whooping, without recourse to a road map for the route to swanage. Sure enough, on Graemshall Loch, there were about twenty families of Whoopers, maybe 100 swans in all, busy socialising, feeding and preening.
We parked up and just enjoyed the sight and sounds of wildfowl and waders, as the fading light lent an atmospheric feel to the scene. Some gentle whistling indicated the presence of Wigeon and several wisps of Snipe burst into the air, but before I could voice a query of "I wonder why they did that?" a Hen Harrier glided by as sufficient explanation.
I've not seen a Swallow for a day or two, and wildlife-y chat is turning to the subject of Grey Seal pups on the nursery beaches of the islands. These are the things, rather than deciduous leaf colour, that tend to illuminate an Orcadian Autumn.
Fans of the Canadian rock band Rush may appreciate the pun in the blog title. 'Cygnus X-1' was the black hole featured in their eponymous track, whilst Cygnus cygnus is the Latin binomial for Whooper Swan. Researching this, I have just realised that the starship of the song's hero is named after Don Quixote's horse, Rocinante. Live and learn.