Idle Hours

Golden plover on the banks of Loch Rannoch

I had some time to spare on my return from Perthshire last week, and I spent them driving slowly up the side of Loch Rannoch with my binoculars and camera lens sticking out of the car window. There were all sorts of things to look at, and by the time that I finally turned to head south, I realised that I had been taking pictures and watching birds for three hours. I was particularly pleased to get a close look at a party of half a dozen golden plover stuttering through a field next to the loch, and it was great to have the opportunity to watch those little birds going about their business. I noticed that they seem to yawn every few seconds, stretching their beaks open with a silent “peep”. I wonder if that is typical of golden plover, and it’s one of many questions I’ll want to have answered next time I see some.

I found oystercatcher nests and cursed a hoodie crow for lurking in the branches of an alder tree above one. It was a cracking day, and there were all sorts of things to look at, so that by the time that I finally turned to head south, I realised that I had been taking pictures and watching birds for three hours.

Sandpiper at Rannoch Station

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