Monday, October 09, 2006

The Birds and the sheep...

On the Monday suitably celebrating the Ryder Cup victory of Europe over USA...well Tony and I were.

We birded before we had to go to the Airport. We found a Moorhen...our first on Orkney. Now there are a few birds who are actually a different sub-species, as in Orcadian Wren...yes They are bigger...apparently they have longer toenails...not that we noticed...but they do weigh heavier..

(Just remembered forgot to mention the huge numbers of Black Guillemots - not looking as smart as usual but in their Black and White Plumage!!-we saw hundreds!!)

I actually wrote some notes to help me but I'm finding more memories than I took notes on!!
Yesterday we went to the best public WC anywhere...yes the World!!
And I cant remember the name of the place...but I will back in a mo....

Waulkmill Beach, Orphir thats it even has a loo listed on the council web site!!

What I was supposed to say was that on our way to the Airport we stopped to look at waders and found Black tailed Godwits, a moorhen and a Male Hen Harrier sat on a stick!!

Defo my bird of the week....altho not the rarest the best!!!
They are not two a penny tho...
Circus cyaneus-


not for nothing are they known as Ring tails...this is a Northern Harrier -same species..just couldn't find a better shot of a UK bird!!

We exited the airport and climbed into a Land Rover complete with Border Collie(vvvvvvvfriendly)and drove to the Observatory to dump our bags...what bags? Have coffee/tea .
The views from the Observatory were great.The sea in front with a field containing lots of rabbits - more about rabbits later.
Wheatears - more about them later too.
We then ventured forth (little knowing that Mike and Frank were not to arrive until the next day!!) saw a Robin which we looked at and smiled and carried on. Didn't know it was one of two that had arrived that day and is a rare bird well a scarce bird for N.Ron. Wewere to learn a lot about what was rare for N.Ron during the week.

We walked down the the main road...did I notice the difference? I think the main road was slightly wider! Stopped at a Gate and looked down on a Beach- Nouster (I know that because my room was called Nouster as my view was of this beach- I didn't know that when we first spied the beach inhabitants) Sanderling doing their Keystone Cops imitations- I think there were 13 (this became a hot topic later..and during the week at the evening callover-more later!!) Turnstones, a Knot, and some Ringed Plovers.

and SHEEP....everywhere on the beach....well eating the seaweed.
N. Ron is known for its Sheep - they roam around anywhere outside a wall built to keep them off the land , to eat the seaweed.(there are a few usual sheep kept in some fields as well) these produce the Famous N.Ron Mutton. Mutton which I had on my last night there...roasted. It was very nice...a bit stronger than normal mutton - which is much stronger than the Lamb that most of us eat.
Read more hear

I think that the price in the Observatory was £2.00 extra for a Mutton Dinner.

See the sheep look different too.
They are very quick and when you go onto the beach when they are there they look at you...then they bolt for it!! Only going out of range for being caught. I have every sympathy for the men who have to do the catching!

One unexpected side effect - was that my thumbs which have been quite painful recently and I thought I'd have to go to the GP worried that it was the first signs of Arthritis.
When I got home on the Sunday I realised my thumbs were working properly when I opened a jar with out thinking!! So Kelp tablets from the health food shops are on my list for tomorrow!!

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