It had been a shocking day weatherwise - sweeping rain had covered Orkney for most of the day driven on by strong westerly winds. When I arrived to pick Alex and Kathrin up from Holland House in Harray, the visibility was probably no better than 400 metres - it was as though we were in cloud. I offered to postpone our evening out but Alex and Kathrin would have none of it and were happy to go anywhere. I wasn't...but thought I'd better brave it - so on the strength of what the Met Office had predicted for the evening, we headed for Mar Wick. It was inspired..but also lucky.
We arrived at the bay just as the skies were clearing to the west and great golden orange skies appeared in contrast to the sodden greys. Alex and Kathrin wanted birds and we began in exceptional style with a Long-tailed Skua which had been resting on the calm waters of the Choin before lifting, circling the bay and flying off. We were elated - a new bird for Alex and Kathrin and just my third sighting in Orkney of this most elegant of Skuas.
Birdwise we had excellent evening - all the Marwick Head regulars were there including Puffins. The continual procession of Kittiwakes carrying nesting material was both specatcular and heartening - at least the birds were getting down to nesting - their optimism fuelled my optimism.
|Sea Campion in bud|
|Lady's Fingers or Kidney Vetch|