Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


23rd August 2010

Awoke beside the Moray Firth after listening to the birds nearby. Whitethroat in the gorse; curlew and oystercatcher on the shoreline. Raining 'til 7.00am then a cycle into Inverness, stocking up on food, 15 minutes in the library then off to the Dolphin Centre just over the A9 bridge at North Kessock.

5 dolphins were just in front of the centre and the excellent centre manager, Christina told me their names. 16 year old Kesslet was with her calf, Charlie who is 3 years old. Zephyr was with her calf, Breeze and Trailscoop ID748, a 16 year old male was hanging around too.

Christina started working for the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association whilst out in Taiwan and has come back to near her home to work with the dolphins here. Superb person.

Met a fabulous family from Witley in Surrey; John and Liz, with their daughter Fiona. Lovely chat and an invitation to visit next year.

Carried on and saw 4 red kites along a minor road. Next was a rather embarassing attempt to have lunch in a road side bird hide. At Munlochy Nature reserve opened the door to the hide to see a bottle of half-finished red wine and a broken wine glass on the hide shelf and an embarassed lady trying to pull her jeans over her backside. "Oh hello", and "I'll leave you to it," were all I managed to stutter as I closed the door and left quickly.

Rain for the afternoon and a visit to Fortrose Cathedral. Mind you I spent a comfortable hour in the adjacent Catholic Church, reading about Pope John Paul II and having a hot cup ogf milkless Nesquik. Not feeling too good, with a streaming nose and a bit of a temperature. Been lucky though because if a cold this be then it's the first one for months.

An afternoon walk along Fairy Glen RSPB Reserve didn't have many birds and even the predicted robin didn't show. Most interesting thing was a flying hawker dragonfly which didn't mind the rain. Any dragonfly in England would be roosting up if any dampness was in the air. they breed them tough up here. mind you I could have done with it landing so that I could have id'd it properly.
Right - back on the road!

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