Friday, 25 June 2010

Computer stress

I've not done a post for a few days due to the PC monitor having a black out. Postie has kindly lent me a laptop (cheers mate) for a few days so here I am typing this but it won't feature any photographs until the new monitor arrives.
As you know nothing much changes up here so it stays warm and dry and the panic over water supplies increases. Quite a few people have run dry already and we have maybe a week before we join the rest of the waterless. Monday and Tuesday were both dry days but we did get a splash of rain on Wednesday.
Mondays sightings included my first returning Dunlin, a Golden Eagle that was seen by most people before disappearing but 2 other birds at close quarters made up for that and good views of Mountain Hare. A cracking view of a Snipe as the bird perched on telegraph pole before taking flight and landing not 5 yards in front of us!!
On Tuesday I got my first sighting of the male WT Eagle since I watched him fly past the shop.  We had a very obliging Adder before we picked up a juv WT Eagle...
...and an Otter in the same place. We waited with bated breath as the Otter got closer to the eagle, hoping the Otter would catch a fish but it wasn't to be. The Otter did haul out with food but it looked like a crab that was the meal - the eagle just sat and watched! Good views of a Whinchat and a Cuckoo sitting side by side on the wires were nice to see. The Redshanks were well admired at the end of the day with the Mountain Hares giving us the run around. Just before dropping off the last of the guests we managed to bag another Otter too.
Wednesday was clear to start with but the threat of rain was always there.We had a busy start to the day with Mountain Hare showing well and a family party of Raven with a Common Buzzard in tow were flying around causing havoc! A male Hen Harrier was nice to see as it quartered the moor but Cuckoo was not so obliging as it dashed across the road and out of sight. The juv WT Eagle from yesterday was still in the same place early in the morning but not there when we returned with the full group. We did pick an Otter though and also a Cuckoo perched up in a tree in the distance but good views in the scope - 'How did you find that?' I was asked by the guests....'Skill'was my reply;-) We had a couple of Crossbill flying overhead and managed to get an Adder too before we dashed off for Golden Eagle. We waited for about 15 minutes, taking in the flowers and butterflies, before one of the adults appeared carrying a Hare...
...stunning views were had as the bird sailed into the nest...
...with it's mate flying not too far behind. Both birds flew around showing well and then headed off just as the cloud base dropped. A curtain call if I ever saw one, as we moved off it started to rain!! We picked up another Otter asleep on the shore before we headed towards the WT Eagles. Just as we arrived one of the birds took flight and headed off. We found out why when we set up the scopes. The nest was being invaded by humans as the RSPB were there to put a satellite pack on the youngster. We stood around getting eaten alive by midges while the job was being done and eventually we saw the youngster returned to the nest. It was good to see the size of the bird with a person for comparison. The chick drew himself to his full height and looked very impressive - I wouldn't fight one:-)

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