Uphilldowndale

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


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Red Shank

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.

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On Orkney again, near the magical Ring of Brogdar; a beautiful redshank. It was raining when we arrived,

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but as is the way, it soon brightened.  They are such elegant birds.

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I think by their agitation and shrill, piping call, that they had young nearby, and that they would like to lead us away from the nests.

Redshank flight

However we were well marshalled by paths and fences so there was no danger to their young, but also no hope of seclusion for their nests, so close to such an famed archaeological site.


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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.

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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.

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

Taken at Sand o’ Wright, South Ronaldsay, Orkney


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Curlew

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.

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Curlews are one of my favourite birds, at home in Derbyshire they are seasonal visitors to our upland pastures and moors,  apparently the collective noun for a group of curlews is a herd, which I think is very boring, given their enigmatic call, I think ‘a haunting’ would be a more suitable term. 

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In Derbyshire they seem to be nervy and reclusive, always out of reach of a good view, or just beyond  the reach of a long lens.

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  In the north east of Scotland and on Orkney, they seem to have no such inhibitions.  What a joy.

Curlew


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The Black Isle

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.

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The first lighthouse to shine here, so many lighthouses on our tour, the majority being the work of the Stevenson family, a gene pool of genius if ever there was.

Chanonry light house sits on a blanket of candy pink sea thrift 

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This is also a popular place to see dolphins, we were not disappointed, sadly they didn’t come in close enough to the shore for much in the way of photos. Sigh, but never mind I saw them!!!

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The nearby dunes were peppered with flowers, sheltering in the lee of the wind, under the strong arm protection of the grasses.

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The Black Isle was a slight diversion from the official route of the NC500, but definitely worthwhile.

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Giddy Pup

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 and a visit to Orkney. Stand by, for lots of sky, sea, wildlife, history, Spud the dog and random musings.

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I confess I’m a little overwhelmed by the number of photos I’ve taken, its an understatement to say that this part of the world is photogenic! So I’ll get in the groove with Spud the dog, being a little giddy on a breeze beach  (flapometer 9.7).

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It was here, a few miles north of Applecross we found the biggest starfish I’ve ever seen, I asked Mr UHDD to pose his foot next to it for scale (I’d like to tell you this shot is slightly out of focus to protect you from an uncensored view of a fellrunners foot, which is never a pretty sight, but actually it sloppy work on a windy beach).

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It was at this moment we realised its tentacles were still moving. Now I’ve had enough drama with Mr UHDD and stinging things to suggest he move his foot fast, he didn’t need any encouragement…

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We think it is a Luidia Cilliaris,

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Family

My father in law died peacefully on Tuesday of last week at the residential in Oxford where he’d been living for the last six months, he died the day before what would have been his 91st Birthday.

Up until recently he had been in very good health, fit and very active. He loved to travel, one of his favourite places (and he’d travelled to many) was the Isle of Eigg on the west coast of Scotland, he returned there many times.

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It’s been a difficult time, regular readers might remember my mother in law died last September followed by the untimely death of our friend Darren just a few weeks later. *Sigh*.

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97% of Islanders Won’t Be Wrong

The Isle of Eigg Says No to Fish Farm

The Isle of Eigg off the west coast of Scotland, has a special place in the heart of this family. I’ve been there a number of  times, I’ve had the privilege of watching otters, golden eagles, seals and pods of porpoise, going about their business. It is a magical place and the people who live there care about it passionately

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If the residents of Eigg say no to the proposal to site a fish farm of the coast of the island, it will be for good reason.

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Opposition to a Fish Farm on the Isle of Eigg

Eigg is owned and managed (including the foreshore) by the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, a community led organisation whose aims include taking all appropriate measures to conserve the natural heritage of the island for the benefit of the community & the wider general public.

To this end Eigg is building a reputation as a green island working towards sustainability. Visitors come to the island to learn from our experience and to enjoy the natural and cultural heritage of the island and the peace and quiet. Most of the islands electricity is generated by renewable technology and the sound of diesel generators is but a distant memory.

Highland Council has recently received an initial application to site a fish farm off the east coast of Eigg, north of Kildonan. The site identified covers an area extending to 20ha (this equates to 28 football pitches) & would consist of 14 x 30m diameter cages which would be serviced by a 10m x 10m permanently sited barge (powered by diesel generator).

The community has considered this proposal at length. The outcome of the resulting ballot which had an 86% turnout was 97% against the development.

Eigg lies within the Small Isles National Scenic Area. A large fish farm would have a considerable negative impact on the approach to the island and could also impact negatively on the peace and quiet that visitors seek when they come to the island, as well as on the quality of life of nearby residents.

Laig Panorama

Be a good Eigg, and pop along and sign the on line petition (and you can find some more photos of Eigg here, just a few, sadly I’ve not been up to Eigg since I got into the digital camera lark, I’m sure there would be 100’s and 100’s of images if I went now)

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