Sunday, 16 March 2014

Atlantic Air

Yesterday's maximum temperature was 8C, and last night's minimum 7C, it's hardly stopped drizzling since the day before yesterday, and a slight westerly breeze just keeps bringing us more and more of the same mild, damp Atlantic air.  We started our day by walking into the hills at the back of the house - there seemed little point in climbing anything higher as we'd see nothing - so this view is of the western end of Ormsaigbeg, in one of the clearer moments.

For most of the walk we couldn't see much beyond the ends of our noses, so when we came across anything it was more by chance than judgement.  The hill sheep have had a hard winter: we stumbled across almost as many corpses as living sheep.  The remains had been picked clean and the bones scattered.

Despite what seems like a relentless continuation of winter, the small bird population is busy.  While we were sitting warming ourselves with a bowl of home-made lentil soup and peering out into the murk, a siskin appeared.  We haven't seen a siskin in months, and this male, in his full mating plumage, only stayed a few minutes, but perhaps he'll be back to enjoy some more of our peanuts.

We also had the pleasure of watching a pair of blue tits house-hunting.  This nest box has been on the fence for years, and has only been used once, but they seemed interested.  It's right by the bird feeders, which means that feeding a brood should be easy; on the other had, the constant traffic of other birds may put them off.

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