Friday, 20 January 2012

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Bing Crosby

Scottish Joke, to be told in the dialect

What is the difference between Bing Crosby and Walt Disney?
Answer at the END!

The start of the heavy rain coincided with my getting up at 06:00 this morning, and with a fierce wind also rattling the panes things didn't look well set for a day birding. The B&B had been the same as Dave Tissington and I stayed in during our Spring Tour in April last year, with the breakfast remaining just as good despite the weather I was raring to go!

The minor road along the coast was preferred to transit from Fraserburgh to McDuff, while a stop at the first village, Roseharty gave a chance to survey the weather first hand. Not so good at present, which was the same as the road the diversion sending me back to the arterial to reach the destination.

This miniature Glastonbury Tor caught my eye en-route, not noting where it was, but interesting in as much like yesterday's church there was little habitation around.

Not having been this way before, there was a certain something about McDuff and its tiny Harbour, but first things first, there was a bird to consider. It was a full week ago since it was reported with little reason for it to leave, but the whole thing was a 'needle in a haystack' until bumping into a local birder.

He soon had me onto the Grey Phalarope* but advised that it is often absent or maybe just not re-found. That was a welcome surprise to say the least, but what was to follow knocked my socks off, as a Puffin* flew by. Recorded annually during all winter months from the Buchan Alpha so should have been considered, but this didn't even make the cut on a 'wants list'.

A little time was spent looking around the town, particularly this fine monument to whom I know not.

This 7 Arched Bridge over the River Deveron separates Mcduff from its twin town of Banff. It was then a full 70 miles drive to Inverness, passing on the way

more than one Whiskey Distillery and a view of the

'Jack-Up' Rig Mearsk Resilient being towed up the Moray Firth towards Invergordon.

The Kessock Bridge linking Inverness with the Black Isle, crosses at the point where the Moray Firth meets the Beauly Firth, and is the only bridge of its sort I know that doesn't charge a toll.
A few miles north is the Tore Roundabout where the road separates in 4 directions. I have always been successful with Red Kite* taking the A835 towards Dingwall and simply scanning from the large lay-by just 2 miles further on. The final visit today would also involve quite a long drive, but should the bird in prospect be sighted it would be worth walking.

By comparison Loch Fleet is only tiny, but searching a thousand acres of mud flats would take some doing, so help was again needed.

None was forthcoming and the task was further hampered as the heavy rain (turning to sleet) was forced to earth by a gale force wind, the approach seen in this shot Viewing was only possible from the shelter of the car, but that way a fair area was covered and in the process

Little Grebe,

many Hooded Crows,

the first Pied Wagtail,

hundreds upon hundreds of feeding Rooks

and almost alongside a Slavonian Grebe. The news on the much sort after bird, a long staying Greater Yellowlegs (a medium size and rare Wader from the Americas) remained unseen.

On the way back to the main road, this monument was noticed

but again have no idea who it is dedicated to. It was now time to think of a suitable location to begin tomorrows foray but with the weather now turned to continuous heavy snow, most B&B's closed for the season and the remoteness of the Highlands that may not be easy. The Inchbae Lodge Hotel some miles north of Garve would have been idea except with no Internet letting the readership down was not an option. It was now a choice of 26 miles to Ullapool or even more back to Inverness,

when I came across the Aultguish Inn a little further north on the A835.

So here I am safe and warm and sending out the post, question is just how long will I be here? See you in the Spring!

The Year (January) List now stands at 180

Bing Sings and Walt Dis - Ney!

No comments:

Post a Comment