Monday, 11 April 2011


Saturday was boat day for me. Neil picked me up at 0700 and in thick fog we set sail for Grutness. There was a small swell but nothing to worry about but birding/cetacean searching was pointless due to the fog. We arrived in good time at 1015. There was a huge amount of stuff to load and try as we might we could not get it all onboard - we had to leave two pallets of animal feed and it wasn't until 1330 that we headed for home once more, tummys full with Hol's shepherd's pie! I eventually came back to Burkle at 1800 and everyone was due at a dance at the hall at 1900!!! A cup of tea, check the sheep, shave and shower and then to the dance! It was the postponed 'mens dance' from New Year so we all sat down for food, wine and a raffle (no I didn't win anything - I never do, in fact all the prizes went to a select few multiple winners!!!) followed witth a few childrens games and some dancing. It was all over by 2330, by which time I was sat in front of the TV with Lachlan, trying to keep my eyes open to watch 'Match of the Day'.

Right on cue, early on Sunday morning (10th), our first lambs appeared - a set of twins to 'Two Nicks'. Hollie looked out the bedroom window at 0630 but said she could only see three sheep so would have to get up to go to check. She went to the bathroom and I had squint out the window and spotted her (the ewe, not Hol) in the bottom corner of the field with two cleaned-up lambs. We hurriedly dressed and went to see them, I checked them over (one of each), sprayed and named them 'Blue One' and 'Red One'. It was a damp morning but calm and it felt like it was going to be a really nice day. Two Swallows (the first of the year) flew past. We came back inside and an hour or so later, Raven got up and was very excited to see them, but said we could not use those names, so she named them Ginnie & Ron - who are apparently two characters from 'Harry Potter'. Anyway, whatever their names they are very healthy and feeding well. 

Hawfinch - on the garden list!
Other new arrivals on Sunday included Sand Martins, House Martins, Willow Warbler and Blackcap. This morning (Monday) a nice male Hawfinch was hopping around the garden and it found its way into the chick coop and couldn't get out. I therefore seized the opportunity to get Hawfinch on the Burkle ringing list and quickly and safely cornered it and transferred it to a bird bag. I phoned the Obs to see if anybody there would like to see it. The bus rolled up a short while later with a full complement of (current) Obs staff and one of them was delighted to be given the opportunity to handle and ring such a smart bird.

A Happy Anonymous Ringer!

Obs crews - new and old!


  1. Keep up the good work Deryk, pleased to see that you are settling in after "Retiring" from the OBS, best of luck to all of you.Derek Mercer

  2. Typical, Poor Simon tries everything to ring a Hawfinch and still hasn't....and to think all he needed was a Chicken Coop!

    Great to see you back on here Del, keep up the great work!

    Best Wishes