Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Lunchtime on a Grey Day

Even on a grey day like today, with firm southwestly carrying a pervasive, thin drizzle, there's never a dull moment, even during lunch.  First, we had a visit from the Pimpernel, the most elusive sheep in Ormsaigbeg.  A wily old beast, she's not supposed to be in the croft lands but up on the common grazings with the rest of her flock, but she's very different from other sheep in that she doesn't like her own kind; and to avoid us humans, she keeps on the move, appearing in one field, then moving quickly to the next.

Today she appeared in the caravan plot opposite us, began to nibble the newly-appearing grass, realised she'd been seen, and hopped effortlessly over that fence behind her.  By the time I went down to find her and take another shot, she'd disappeared.

Then a helicopter flew over, heading northwest.  Thanks to the power of a telephoto lens and Google, we now know it's G-BFRI, a Sikorshy S-61N owned by British International Helicopters.  As one would expect of a helicopter of her age - she was built in 1978 - she's been around a bit, to the Falklands and Portugal amongst other places,  There's a picture of her in a different livery here.

Then this skein of geese flew low across the Sound below us, heading into the wind.  It's difficult to see what species they are but, from their dark colour and the white on the top of their tails, they may be barnacle geese.

Having leapt up from the meal three times, indigestion followed.


  1. La Pimpernel ,female ,enought said ! Maz

  2. Hi, your picture of your geese, I'm fairly certain that they are not barnacle geese their wings would be shorter, with the birds in your picture being very dark and look like full sized geese, I think they may be Greenland white-fronted geese, I seen two large gaggles feeding on grass last Saturday near Tayinloan opposite the Isle of Gigha who should have been making moves northward by now as all the other types of geese have done by now. So I am pointing towards your geese being whitefronts.
    Cheers Paul.

  3. Many thanks for the suggestion, Paul, which may well be right. It's a great pity they weren't a little closer so the identification could have been 100% certain - I don't think I've seen white-fronted geese before. Jon.

  4. Old grey face is said to be a former spook for MI5, maybe watch your veg patch Jon