It appears that many of the blogs I follow are signing out of 2017 with the customary "review of the past twelve months" or "plans for 2018" postings. Well, it is that time of year, to be fair. I'm not gonna do that, though. I've already written about my plans for 2018 (which were met with varying degrees of ridicule and astonishment, but all in good humour naturally) and you can read them by clicking here.
Despite saying that my next day off work would be the 1st January, it appears that I've already met my hours for this month, so (apart from fitting a couple of door latches) I skived out of work and headed down to the beach where I could see the gull flock loitering by the river mouth. The weather was pretty grey and miserable, with a bit of drizzle that turned to sleet, but thankfully no wind to speak of.
It took me a couple of scans, but I soon found the Iceland Gull bathing just offshore where the river spills into the sea. I took another barrage of pics but they were ALL crap, apart from this one, which shows the spread wings quite nicely. In a blurred, crappy kinda way
|Lucky timing, I was just clicking away and hoping for the best!|
Suddenly the gulls scattered, I looked up expecting to see dogs or walkers on the beach but no sign of anybody. Odd. Then I looked properly up and saw this beast cruising overhead
|Massively cropped full adult barn door - and there were two of them!|
oooOOOooh, look at that, a pair of adult White-tailed Eagles directly overhead! I've only seen their youngster flopping across the bay and into NG3963 before, this is the first time I've seen the parent birds here. They nested a couple of miles away on the wooded cliffs across the bay, I occasionally see them at long range. They did a bit of wheeling around before slowly drifting off southwards and out of my square. Smart buggers.
A Black Guillemot, a pair of Black-throated Divers and the usual Grey Seal, Eider and Red-breasted Merganser combo constituted interest in the bay. The Wigeon flock was back up to 15 birds. I suspect they never really did drop to 13, I probably just missed a couple amongst the rocky shoreline where they tend to hang out.
Last pic of the year from me, this is the habbo at the top of Uig Wood slopes. Sycamore with some Downy Birch and Hazel along the edges with a screen of planted Sitka Spruce bordering the open sheep pasture. I'll be up here often next month, what with it being my Bryophyte Month. There's a good selection of mosses on the branches of the larger trees and quite a decent array of liverworts on the smoother trunks. There's also a complete and utter lack of people up at the top. No footpath and a steep ascent helps. So I don't have to worry about being stared at or challenged by anybody whilst "hiding" behind tree trunks....
|The quieter part of my playground :)|
If I may take just a moment more of your time, I'd like to offer a heartfelt thank you to all you guys and gals who visit this blog, especially those of you who leave such lovely comments. And I'll try not to have any more three month gaps between posts... Happy New Year to you all, if you set any resolutions or challenges I hope you do well with them.
Oh, speaking of challenges - now is the perfect time to sign up for the 1000 species in a 1KSQ Challenge. You just need to drop an email or tweet and that's it. Find out about it all here. The guy to contact is Andy Musgrove, you can do that by emailing him at andy at bubo dot org, or tweet @andymus1 (obviously put the email address together properly first) and that's it. Easy.
Right, catch you's on the other side, folks. Countdown is initiated!