Friday 3 April 2009

A Sunny Interval

I got up at the crack of dawn this morning and drove over to Whitford to look for an Otter, which has been reported there on several occasions by the same observer. There was no sign of one though and the area it was seen in doesn't seem a very likely one to me as it is a very popular dog walking spot. I was wondering, if perhaps, it was actually a Mink which was seen. Perhaps I'll go back one morning with Rex, his ratting days are certainly over but he'd probably flush a Mink from cover if there's one there. In the spot the Otter was seen yesterday I saw this burrow, I'm not altogether sure if Mink have burrows , but I think they can do.

Mink burrow possibly?

An atmospheric shot over the fields at Whitford Bridge.

After returning home, I fell asleep on the sofa until awoken by a text from Ian M. He'd seen a Ring Ouzel in the Under Hooken on Beer Head. I was planning on visiting Beer Head if the sun came out (and I could actually get of the sofa) but it was still really foggy in Seaton. I figured it must have been clear on Beer Head though and soon found myself there. As soon as I stepped out of the car I heard a Willow Warbler singing, my first this year. Shortly after this, on approaching the Under Hooken I heard my second, third fourth, fifth.......twenty fifth! There were heaps of them and Chiffchaffs too. The Blackthorn bushes were literally heaving with them! There were simply too many to count and their singing was a real tonic. There wasn't a breath of wind, the sun was out, it was sublime. I was finding it very difficult to tear myself away but soon enough all that changed, low cloud crept in off the sea, reducing visibility to almost nil. It got very cold. I went home.

Looking down into the Under Hooken, where there were at least eight singing Willow Warblers.

Willow Warbler

Oo0h! Number Eleven

Oh, get this! While I was on the cliff top I ventured towards the edge in front of the Lookout Bungalow. The chap who lives there was doing some gardening. I found the sun was too glary, so quickly moved back to my usual vantage point above The Under Hooken. A few minutes later I could see said chap, peering over the cliff edge where I had been, he looked a little vexed. I wondered what he'd seen, but soon forgot about him and carried on scanning the undercliff for a Ring Ouzel. Presently he appeared next to me, "Thank goodness" he said, or words to that effect. He explained that he'd seen me at the cliff edge and a moment later I'd gone. He only thought I'd jumped!! Now I know I haven't been blessed with the most cheerful countenance in the world, but really that takes the biscuit! :(

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