Monday, 10 February 2014


The slipway opposite the shop is a great place to spot birds.  To one side there's Kilchoan Bay with its mudflats, to the other a more rocky coast with plenty of rock pools and a small lochan which is flooded at spring tide.  A few minute's idling against the slipway's concrete wall produced this very welcome picture.  It's of two pied wagtails, the first we've seen since they departed south in the early winter, and a sure sign that, with the days lengthening, we're moving towards spring.

Their return from the south of England is early, but perhaps they decided it was drier up here.

The wagtails were keeping company with a small flock of these little birds, which are probably rock pipits.  The two species are related - see RSPB page here.  The several species of pipits are almost as unassuming as our garden dunnocks, and the more likeable for it.

Following his post on Saturday, Tony Thain has sent this picture of one of his regular visitors, 'Rocky Robin', enjoying a meal of mince put out for the Achnaha hedgehogs.  This seems to have been another good winter for the robin population, who are also showing signs of spring by becoming increasingly aggressive towards other members of their own species.

We, too, have had a visitor, a grey heron who stalked past our house this afternoon.  We've noticed that, with all the wet weather flooding the ground, the herons have abandoned the shoreline in favour of hunting in the croft fields.  This one, however, was walking up the Ormsaigbeg road in a very determined manner.  Perhaps he, or she, was off to see Betsy.

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