I spend my workdays in the town.
Five days a week, as soon as dawn vanishes, my mind is set for tarmac and corridors, a blue office behind thick glass. As a general rule, weekends belong to the island - its barren hills and elliptic bays, when I do not end up at a friend's for a slice of life in tête-à-tête... I try as hard as I can to replenish larders and shelves some time between day 1 and 5.
Now, last Saturday broke the rule. Yet, and since am not bound by timetable, I took my time and involved my other half in the expedition. A simple thought would create twists for such a chore... The town usually bustles as soon as the week is about to end, as busy shoppers wander around Commercial Street and the two local supermarkets. To add to the "island mayhem", a local craft fair & food festival were housed at Clickimin...
Some twelve miles (around 20km) separates us from the island's only urban centre. A North-South stretch of tarmac, slightly sinuous in places, allows us to reach it in some 20-25 minutes... Yet we went off the beaten track to peep at meadows filled with life, as we left our hut in mid-Afternoon. Magic places, Aith Meadows, Fladdabister... Patchworks of colours during summer - teeming with life & breath taking scapes. In November light, autumn visitors land and find shelter around pastures, ditches and fields.
European White-fronted geese graced part of the afternoon as we meandered along Aith Voe, that long and narrow inlet of sea that serves as a local harbour & safe haven for seals, waders and seabirds. So soft in mild November light. Their pink bills differs from that of their counterparts from Greenland, that come in greater numbers around the island... Scarce treasure :-)
As we pursued our way northwards, the sea was bashing the coastline.
By the time we reached the town, we pit-stopped at Clickimin Loch to try and find an even scarcier visitor, a Great Crested Grebe. The last one recorded on that expanse of fresh water dates back to 1976 (!) How happy we were to find it as soon as I stopped the engine. Exotic fellow just before sunset...
Funny how a single food shopping trip can turn into a wildlife adventure...
All bird photographs courtesy of my other half,
with grateful thanks :-)