Tuesday, September 6, 2022


Another Tuesday morning. Britain has a new Prime Minister, America gears up for the mid-terms and the war in Ukraine grinds on. Here we're woken just after five thirty by the whooping of a huge flock of Canada Geese descending over the garden and landing in the field outside the front door. The thundering noise of a thousand of them is not unlike a 747 coming in to land. 

More excitement follows. Down on the foreshore ( on the start of day 'comfort break' for Sophie )  dog and master stand transfixed as the sky turns black with kittiwakes blown towards the shore by this mornings brisk south easterly. There are  thousands and thousands of them. The village secretary , another early riser due to the demands of two boisterous Jack Russells, says the bird watching society saw more than fourteen thousand pass by yesterday. I wonder who in their right mind would spend their day counting kittiwakes but I keep this thought to myself. Sophie is not greatly enamoured with the Jack Russells who do pirouettes in the fields around her.

Outside the gate we see half a dozen comically obese birds waddling along the lane. Whimbrels. They're full to bursting with food - literally. The birds have bulked up ahead of the long journey down through Spain  to their winter home in Namibia. I'm guessing that this is peak migration season and that by the end of the week most of these exotic summer visitors will be gone and we'll be left alone with the Skuas and Petrels.

By the time we reach the end of the road the clouds have blown away and we're bathed in warm, bright sunshine. Sophie discovers the lake and the old bothy. Deer, some hidden, some not, peer at us from the reeds. The lake has a slightly sulphorous smell so both dog and owner maintain some distance from the waters edge.

It goes without saying that on our way back the weather changes and we're once again buffeted by a strong wind under a solid cover of cloud. Faced with weather like this the best thing a girl can do is slump inside the porch door for a napette to recharge her batteries. She'll need all her energy for greeting visitors. Nine deliveries are expected today including ( hopefully )  new power cables and remotes for the televisions.

Scotlands greatest culinary gift to the world on the shelves in the supermarket. Tomorrow Angus will have Tattie Scones with his breakfast bacon and eggs. I'm betting Sophie will score them 20/10.


WFT Nobby said...

The bird reports are interesting and the mention of a brisk southeasterly wholly unsurprising given your new location! Good plan to switch from croissants to tattie scones - when in Rome etc. The Novosibirsk kittens are, of course, adorable.

Lisa in France said...

New words every day now - whimbrels, skuas and bothys! Tattie scones I could figure out on my own. And then the unmistakably Japanese "Things to do with rice" and the beautiful Pallas wild cats. I'd never heard of them either.

Coppa's girl said...

Another good start to the day. What constitutes a best day ever now that you've relocated to such a different environment?
Hopefully all your leads and remotes will be safely installed by the end of today, in readiness for the big event of the week tomorrow. The New Bed!
My late husband's family were Scots, so I know all about Tattie Scones! My mother-in-law was an excellent cook and hers were delicious. Sadly, her efforts to teach me didn't have the same results! And what about Scotch pies? A trip up to Scotland by any family member always resulted in a feast of Scotch pies, Bridies, Tattie Scones, Morning rolls and black pudding! Sophie, I'm sure, would vote 20/10 for any one of those delicacies!
The Pallas cats are a new breed to me, and I smiled at the bemused look on the mother's face as she watched her boisterous kittens.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
The Kittiwakes are being counted due to their being on the Red Status of the conservation listings - as are Whimbrels, so that was a lovely spotting! To have such a large colony of Kittiwakes near you is quite something.

I was aware of the existence of Pallas's Cat but think this is the first time I have seen actual footage; very cute!

And yay for tattie scones!!! YAM xx

Travel said...

One, two, three, four, oh they moved again, four or maybe five, not again. There has to be some kind of formula for estimating the flock size.

Jake of Florida said...

Interesting bird lesson today. Thanks to the Internet, I learned that skuas are predatory sea birds, kittiwakes are gulls, and whimbrels are sandpipers. Whimbrels apparently have a migration staging point in South Carolina as well as in St. Andrews. In exchange, here in South Florida's Everglades I give you herons, ibis, and egrets; anhinga, wood storks, and roseate spoonbills. How blessed we all are!

Poppy Q said...

Big changes in the UK today. We are enjoying the new vistas of your walks.

rottrover said...

Such a zoology lesson today! Sophie, you've taken on the appearance of a real outdoors girl!

Penny said...

I enjoyed your waddling Whimbrel observation. A few days ago, a sleek one was photographed at a beach on the kwaZulu-Natal North Coast. A full tank would have been a definite necessity for the flight South. Thank you for sharing your and Sophie's adventures.

Teena and Lala said...

Who needs a croissant when there are tattie scones to be had. I think you will approve Sophie PON.

This soft southerner was introduced to them as a child by Granny Bell in Irvine.