Sunday, June 24, 2007

Flaming June

Went to bed last night listening to the rain. Woke up this morning listening to the rain. Went out, listening to the rain, and getting wet by it. We must be due ONE nice summer day soon. And cold as well, a chilly northerly.

And it's been raining in them thar hills as well. Look at the Elsick Burn. It's a bit swollen.

That yellow brown colour you can see is finest Scottish peat being eroded into the sea. Not industrial effluent. What you can't see is, tucked away in the vegetation on the right, a mother Mallard and her single ducking, which was cheaping desperately as it tried to stop itself getting washed away downstream. Unfortunately, as I watched it let go and was flushed down underneath me on the bridge and away. Mum was caught in two minds as she wasn't too keen on launching into the flood either, but maternal instinct got the better of her and she went off after it. I don't want to sat anything melodramatic like 'I never saw either of them again.'
But I never saw either of them again. I'm sure mum was OK, but duckling is probably being looked after by Buddah or St Francis of Assisi or the great Sky Turtle by now.

D0wn on the beach, there was a White-breasted Dipper on the tideline, no doubt foraging there cos it couldn't get a grip anywhere on the burn. Poor thing was forced to subsist on dead duckings and welly boots and anything else washed down onto the seaweed. A couple of predatory Rock Pipits her
e too.

I mention Rock Pipits cos there was one carrying food on the clifftops (actually a nasty looking brown
moth). This must represent a second brood. I dunno why, but that surprised me. I know they're pipits and should have more than one, but I'd always assumed Rock Pipits were single brooded. I look in BWP tonight and find out I was wrong. That has NEVER happened before. :-O

The Rock Pipit cheeped annoyingly at me while I tried a despearate 30 minute seawatch, still in the rain (43 Northern Gannets, lots of auks 3 spp. and a feeding flock of 150 Black-legged Kittiwakes), so now I suspect it's even the same nest site as last time.

A new Willow Warbler was singing in the rain at the Retreat as I went past, but I went on Jim Royle on it... 'Flaming June my arse!' Occurred to me that it was one of those days when the best sort of birding is looking out the window at the bird table, so I went home and did that with Lizzie. In the afternoon I put on my leather pants and treated the family to Pizza Hut. Will this unabashed decadence never end?

Have some Common Eiders

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