Thursday, 22 December 2011

One Windy Afternoon On Soil Hell

After a session of prolonged revision, I decided that ti would be necessary to get out of the house for a walk. As it so happened, there were a large number of snow buntings (9) reported on soil hill. I am normally dissuaded from going to soil hill due to the atrocious weather conditions, and today was no exception, except I had more of a drive. However, once on top I began to realise why I avoided this place with the speed making walking forward difficult.
Once on top, I began to wonder where the birds were, and where to start looking. However, circumstances took over very quickly. It started because I spotted a cloud that looked quite interesting, so I decided to take a photo of it. I took the photo, but when I checked it I saw those wretched words-NO CARD! There are no words to describe the emotions you get from seeing those words when you've spent 20mins walking up here. But then, as I was screaming out in annoyance and frustration, I spotted some small movement about 2m away, and saw that there were a pair of snow buntings right in front of me. There is a sense of despair that falls on you in this kind of circumstance, no camera, but the bird right in front of you. I spent 5mins admiring them, before I decided to go and get my card. However, there was now an issue with time, as the sun was going down, so light would be a problem.
So I began running as fast as I could go, in order to save time. I made it home in 7mins, which was pretty impressive, grabbed the card and headed back up. However, running down the hill is far easier than running back up it. After the first stage I was bent over, and the continued walk was painfully slow.
However I made it back up to the top, calmed down since from my departure. I went over to where I had seen the buntings but they were no longer there. I walked round the top and again found no buntings,
I gave up then, because the light was getting worse, and I had seen them, so it was all good really. But as I rejoined the main track the same pair flew out in front of me. It was an incredible relief, and began to watch and take photos.
After 5mins of watching the pair, they flew off a few meters away and I saw that they had joined a group of other males, bringing the total of birds up to 5, a reasonable percentage of the 9.

-Snow Buntings

So there are happy endings in birdwatching after all, and after such a disastrous start to the trip, I managed to view the birds and take photos. My second snow buntings of the year, and the first time this year I have seen more than one together. Its great, because they are such nice birds.

1 comment:

  1. Nice pictures. It's not easy Taking pictures up there.