A bunch of keys jangles. . . heavy door creaks.

Footsteps cross the bare floorboards.

A match strikes and a lamp brings dim light to the room.

The thud of a large tome being laid on a desk. Dust is blown off. Pages turn. 

The cap of an ink bottle is unscrewed.

The nib of a pen starts to scratch. . .

Or something like that, anyway. Yeah, it’s been a while, but I’ve been ever so busy what with the pigs, the house, the stupid football team putting me through the wringer again, my 5oth birthday and the in-laws descending en masse.

So, with all that, who’s got time to blog?

Not that it’s put some of “the audience” off. Today 12 of you have checked out the site which just goes to show that there’s a dozen of you who really need to get out in the fresh air more often.

There’s plenty to catch up on which you may or may not be interested in and I’ll try to sort that out over the next few days.

But I’m just back in from a smashing walk in the warm evening Westray sunshine and Mrs Pig Farmer has made me a Margarita (Tequila, lime and Triple Sec, salt on the rim of the glass) so I’ll try to be brief.

We’ve been up to a favourite haunt Castle Burrian – a large rock stack a mile or so from our house. The main point was to see some of the 200 or so puffins that hang around there.

The best time to see the puffins is late in the evening, around 10pm, but after a hard day being bothered by pigs that’s a bit late to be perched on a breezy cliffside so I’ve never been there at that hour.

Many tourists do go, the island tour guide collects from wherever folk are staying and runs them up there, so I assume there’s some sort of parade. You know, puffin brass bands, puffin acrobats, puffin unicyclists, clown puffins with a little car that falls apart. . .

It’s the very least the modern tourist should expect of a top class holiday destination.

But I’ve never been that late, so I don’t know for sure.

What I do know is that we had a leisurely stroll in the earl;y evening sunshine, saw a good few puffins out at sea, on the wing and going in and out of burrows with sand eels in their beaks. We also saw gannet, fulmar, black-back gull, razorbill, shag (quiet at the back), and kittywake.

But the biggest treat was by the gate at the start of the cliff path where on a large field recently cut for silage, oystercatchers, various gulls and more than 300 curlew (yes, I counted) were feeding.

Bloody wonderful.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Curlews

  1. Sian says:

    Yes you’ve been neglecting your public! Fill us in on details. I’ve seen some puffins in the water around Graemsay but nothing to compare with the evening I saw them at the CAstle of Burrian – it was brilliant watching them going in and out of their burrows. 300 curlews – blimey AND you counted them! I love the sound of curlews. Before I moved to Orkney (and have them on my doorstep) I used to drag friends along estuaries just to hear the curlew call.

  2. dinahmow says:

    ” the swish of a light rain dripping through the palms, watery sunshine making raindrops into diamonds and fresh coffee on the desk. The elderly lady adjusted her half moon specs on her nose and settled down to read…”

    Well, something like that! Good to see you back, Malc. And I hope your 50th was as jolly as mine, all those years ago!

  3. Iain says:

    Love to see and hear the Curlew. Generally we’ve always lived in areas where they’re around – save for here in Andalucia; but we do have Golden Orioles as a compensatory substitute.

  4. The Birdwatcher says:

    One of the best sounds. Apart from a pint of Guinness being lovingly coaxed into a glass.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s