Sunday 6 December 2009

The Essex Factor!

Schoolton Nick's on a roll. He phoned this morning to tell me of a Waxwing in his garden. Lubo and I came across it on our rounds in Lower Stoneybrek garden. A cracking male, it flew around me a couple of times and when it saw I didn't have my camera with me, it perched on top of a rosa bush just five metres away from me and just sat there!!
There was no sign of the RN Grebe in South Harbour but I, sorry we, flushed a few Woodcock, a couple of Water Rails and found a dead Short-eared Owl.

We took the ponies a bit of hay and moved their electric fence to give them some more grazing. We also took them a wee tub of carrot peelings, but these were no ordinary carrot peelings. They were lovingly home grown, freshly picked today, totally organic, the sweetest, the softest, the cleanest, the orangiest carrot peelings from Hollie's Garden!! Whatever, the ponies seemed to like them as they ate them, well, like a pair of hungry horses!

Fyntan has just recovered from a sicky bug, so last night Ythan went down with it, resulting in lots of vomit and two bed changes, and then this morning Raven had the first twinges! But by 10am they had all rallied and been fine all day. Its an odd bug as it only seems to be effective at night! We shall see how much sleep tonight brings!

X-Factor semi-final result - Lachlan's favourite, Danyl is out leaving my (and Raven's) tip to win, Ollie plus Hollie's fave Dagenham Stacey and Ythan's choice Geordie Joe. Its too tense for Fyntan to make up his mind!

Saturday 5 December 2009

Nick's (a) Redneck!

At last, a bird to write about! Auld Haa Tommy phoned to say Nick (Schoolton) had found a grebe in South Harbour he wasn't too sure about. I immediately went down with a 'scope to meet them and after a few frustrating minutes trying to find the frequently diving blighter I had it in the 'scope long enough to see it had a thick dusky neck and alot of yellow in the strong dagger-like bill - a Red-necked Grebe! I thanked Nick for finding me an island tick (its the first on the isle since 1996) and Lachlan (who happens to be home this weekend) even got out the car and braved the rain get it on his list.
Its been pretty quiet otherwise though with a couple of dark-bellied Brent Geese and a Barnacle Goose with the 200 or so Greylags. The Chiffchaff just made it into December whilst the Jackdaw is still going strong! Three Grey Herons, a scattering of Robins and thrushes and still a fair few Woodcock, c20 Skylark, Merlin and a couple of Water Rail make up the best of the rest! Despite lots of gulls taking refuge on the isle during the regular gales, white wingers are noteable by their absence!! I guess we need some really cold arctic northerlies to get them, but I am quite happy to wait a few weeks!!
Aside from birds.......the most excitement has been a weekend out in Lerwick for the whole family - Christmas (and essential clothes/shoe) Shopping! Fun!? We returned on Monday morning a good few pounds lighter in the wallet but several pounds heavier round the waist having visited the Pizzaria, the Curry House and the Chippie on consecutive nights!!
Hollie's main (mane!) birthday present eventually arrived - a couple of sets of horse jumps, which she seems to be delighted with and hasn't sent back......although she hasn't (as yet) been near them with a pony! I think that won't be 'til next summer!
The Obs is progressing - even some carpets down upstairs now but, contrary to the headline in this weeks Shetland Times (!), it will not be finished by Christmas! The workmen on site are away from 16th and really looking forward to their, well deserved, Christmas break.
I checked out my AW Jack Ashton-Booth's new blog today - great stuff, he's such a nice lad!
Okay, X-Factor time.........Ollie!..... Ollie!...... Ollie!.......

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