Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

What was that noise?


Thirty Days Wild, a post each day throughout June, something that is grounded in our wild world. This year posts are from our travels around the  north coast of Scotland  on the North Coast 500 route and a visit to Orkney. Stand by, for lots of sky, sea, wildlife, history, Spud the dog and random musings.


Whilst I was revelling in the company of curlews, I was startled by a strange noise (I should have noted the curlews were unfazed by it).  I wondered for a moment if it was a badger, but then I didn’t know if the Islands of Orkney have badgers (they don’t it transpires, have a look at the beautiful blog)

If I’d tried to describe the noise I’d have said the sound was a cross between ‘some one shaking a rug and the sound of a pair of flip-flops in washing machine’.  I walked on around the corner and  in front of me was  a small lochan, here I found the answer. A swan running up for take off.

Swan take off  2 Uphilldowndale

I’m considering becoming a Foley artist… It sounds like a lot of fun.

Taken at Sand o’ Wright, South Ronaldsay, Orkney

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

6 thoughts on “What was that noise?

  1. You would always be in a work as a Foley artist if you were good at it.

  2. Good post and lovely picture. Seeing a swan land or take-off are both amazing sights and sounds, especially close-up.
    By the way I like this header picture. xx

  3. Looks like the swan has had it’s neck in some pretty grubby water!

  4. Your swan’s take-off reminds me of our coots: so awkward and funny. Noisy, too. I didn’t know what a Foley artist was, so I looked it up. It took me exactly five seconds, give or take, to remember Gerald McBoingBoing. Did you know him? He was a creation of Dr. Seuss before he was famous as Dr. Seuss, and I grew up with Gerald in books, on tv, and on records.

    Thanks to the marvel of modern technology, you can see the very same tv episode that I watched as a kid — right here! It’s just as good now as it was then.

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