Thursday, 12 February 2015

Some Sunshine

After a spell of dismal weather - ten tenths cloud, drizzle, light winds and chilly - there were signs of a change this morning, with the sun showing for the first time in several days.  This picture, taken from the road by Glasbheinn Cottages, looks across the entrance to Loch Sunart to the hills of Morvern, with Mingary Castle visible at bottom right.

Thursday is my day for a visit to the castle, and a skein of greylag geese flew over as I approached it. We've had a large number of greylags overwintering in the townships' fields.  Perhaps it's the lengthening days that are causing them to spend more time in the air.

The Castle itself was in bright sunshine by this time.  Work on it is progressing apace, with first fix electrics and plumbing almost finished in the north range, the main building in the courtyard, and the slates going on to the other two buildings next week.  Follow progress on a weekly basis on the Mingary Castle blog.

We ate lunch in warm sunshine in our conservatory, watching the creel boat OB5, Oban-registered Ceol na Mara, which means music of the sea.  She was lifting creels close in to the Ormsaigbeg shore, accompanied by a hopeful crowd of gulls.

Many thanks to neighbour Tony Kidd for the next two pictures.  This one spoilt my day, as it shows a tree creeper, presumably in Tony's garden, a bird which we know has been seen in Ormsaigbeg but has never had the decency to show itself to us - which perhaps isn't surprising since we only have one tree in our garden.

A goldfinch and a greenfinch enjoy the sunshine while sharing Tony's seed feeder.  While there are still quite a few goldfinches around, the greenfinches seem to have had a hard time this winter.


  1. Jon that gold finch seems to have a very long beak looks a bit unusual.

  2. You're absolutely right! Could be an evolutionary advantage as he can reach further into Tony's bird feeder! Jon

  3. If you're interested, there's quite a bit of "citizen science" research into such bill abnormalities - see here:

  4. Hi Steve - Many thanks for the link. WE are certainly guilty of favouring deformed specimens, having developed a great affection for a house sparrow with only one leg, called Hoppity. Sadly, having been around most of the summer, he disappeared early this winter, very likely taken by the sparrow hawk because, as the article suggests, deformed birds have to take risks to survive. Jon