Sunday, May 14, 2006

Peaks and Troughs

They weren't a devil-worshipping cult looking for their next virgin sacrifice ( for which I was over-qualified in any event). They were a very friendly, diverse bunch of normal folk ( and a couple of dogs*) despite all but one of them being bloggers.

The weather was reliably South Yorkshire summery - foggy and cold. The pied flycatchers were spotted, the spotted flycatchers were not. The ravens were abandoned for a slap-up lunch. Attempts were made to walk it off but one ( very short, less than 5m) look at the swirling mist and we bid our farewells, probably wondering who would be first to blog about it.

I fancied prolonging the experience and called into one of the local Nature Reserves ( a former sand quarry, now an SSSI) on the way home. Whilst the wildlife was beckoning, nature was calling a bit more loudly so I quickly dashed back to the car and headed for a more convenient public location - Far Ings ( there are toilets next to the entrance). I then sat for the best part of 2 hours, almost undisturbed in a hide. I heard a bittern call at least 6 times over that period, booming 4 times on each occasion. He didn't show himself, although I did get momentarily excited when a heron shape came towards me out of the descending sun, but it was a Grey.

As I left the hide, I heard a loud, definite, almost mocking Boom, very very close, leading me to suspect that Billy B. had been hiding beneath me the entire time.

I came home and found this in my InBox

Quick itinerary. Travel up to Glasgow on Friday afternoon/Saturday morning by bus train or plane. I pick you up and drive up to Oban. Light supper, B&B. Saturday - seafari plus walk around Oban. Saturday night, nice meal somewhere. Sunday drive up to Fort William, light lunch, drive back to Glasgow via Glencoe, Rannoch Moor, Loch Lomondside. Go home.

All that's needed is a weekend when we can both make it.

Will I go? What do you think?

* Dogs and Ed. not shown


Blogger Melora said...

Today's trip looks a bit damp, but that weekend away sounds wonderful!! Those islands look really pretty. Would the trip be with someone fun?

12:17 am  
Blogger CeCe said...

That's funny that you said "short walk-5Km" I did 6 Km today and thought it was SOOO LONG!!

4:12 am  
Blogger digi-birder said...

If you look closely you may possibly see several Ravens circling round behind us..... or maybe not!!

My photos didn't come out too well, as it was so dark in the woods. At least I got a new bird for the year list - the Cuckoo - despite it being a very misty view of one.

Wasn't it a dank day? When we needed the fog lights on the way to find the Ring Ouzels, I thought it best to call it a day. Wish we'd gone for the Dipper now. It didn't look as if it had been any better at home, either.

Anyway, It was a smashing weekend. Glad you trusted us enough to come and meet us.

Let me know when you do the seabird trip.

9:19 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Melora - he's more what you would call a Quiet Man. He's a good friend.

CeCe - actually, we didn't walk at all in the afternoon - what I'd meant to say was that the visibility was only 5 metres - we'd had a bit of a stroll in the morning as my calf muscles are now reminding me but I think you ourdid me on the exercise.

Digi - it was great. There was no fog back home but I would have liked to have gone looking for the dipper if only to enjoy the walk and the outdoors. I'll find out the dates for the Puffin boat trips.

1:33 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

Cherry, I'd go, unless the guy is a complete plonker. I mean he obviously has the hots for you with an invite like that, so take him for all you can I say.
Also you might get to spot some birds about the place too, which you know always make you happy.

2:50 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Tom - he's not a plonker and he does read this blog ( although being such a Quiet Man, he's never been heard to comment). It would definitely be Dutch and seperate rooms - are you listening, Gordy?

I can't tell a gull from a skua so I'd be happier to see a whale.

5:54 pm  
Blogger The Birdman said...

Thanks for nearly keeping me of the pic!

Birdy tip... a Gull is a predominantly coastal bird, a Skua is something you keep your kebabs on.

7:21 pm  
Blogger delcatto said...

Go for it Cherrypie, enjoy the weekend and increase your tally of birds spotted.
I noticed you have 'The Last Legion' by Manfredi.An excellent read, I was engrossed from beginning to end..very well written,imaginative and thoroughly researched.

8:07 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

Oh Cherry, I'm sorry for my awful comment. Please explain to Gordy that it was written in jest.

9:49 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Birdman - you have a great knack of looking the other way whenever I have a camera in my hand - something which I seem rather good at whenever there's a bittern about.

I'm not sure I'll ever be any good as a birder though, I just can't imagine ever being that bad at jokes xx

12:34 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Del - I'm not actually counting - yet.

I've got loads of Manfredi and really like them but I only put a couple on as to admit to further would be almost as bad as confessing to liking sci-fi ( which I DON"T)

12:35 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Tom - don't worry - he won't notice - he'll be too busy watching Top Gear x

12:36 am  
Blogger tom909 said...


9:43 am  
Blogger Anna said...

Oh god, she has a picture of me and thus now owns my soul...

Ah well. The soul in question is somewhat past its best anyway.


2:14 pm  
Blogger cream said...

Yes, Cherrybabe! Go, go and go but make sure you make a detour via Edinburgh to check out the cows and the Rosé!

5:08 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Anna - Don't worry. I stopped collecting souls a few years ago and even succeed in turning a few lost ones away too occasionally, although I'm still struggling with some lame ducks.

Cream - I shall try to heed that suggestion

5:45 pm  
Anonymous Sharon J said...

You're not allowed to remote link. Your thingy up the top says so! Tsk! Bloody Internet.

4:31 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

What's remote linking, Sharon? Should I have it? How does one go about getting it?

7:27 pm  
Blogger Quietman said...

Actually, I missed Top Gear.

Speaking as a Scotsman, anything other than going dutch would not have been considered. However, I do reserve the right to buy you a fish supper while we stand in the rain on Oban Prom. Never let it be said that I don't know how to show a girl a good time.

Tom, if the situation was reveresed I'd have said exactly the same thing about you. It must be a bloke thing.

I guess I'd better get round to organising a date for this trip.As the results are going to be posted on here, I'd also better make it memorable. Luckily, the Scottish Highlands will do most of the work for me.

Bye for now fellow Cherry fans.

9:01 pm  
Blogger Boo said...

Nice to get different versions of the day out birding. Sounds like you all had fun.

2:37 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...


12:52 am  

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