View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Thursday 21 February

Although the day started with some cloud, the sun came out fully by late morning to leave us with a cloudless and virtually windless day. After an overnight low of -4C, we managed +6C, but as I type this (at 9pm), we have gone right down to -4C again.

Just as I was having a coffee around midday, I happened to glance out of the window to see this:

A sparrowhawk, with a newly culled sparrow - which it proceeded to devour within half an hour, to only leave a pile of feathers. We normally have up to 30 sparrows, a gaggle of starlings and up to five doves around the bird feeders, but following this instance that number dropped to precisely zero for most of the day. Whereas I normally fill up the feeders every day, I was left with them the way they were in the morning. A bit sad, but that's nature's way. Have seen this type of raptor here once before, at dusk a number of years ago.

In the afternoon, I went for a 3 mile walk to Strawberry Hill, which is always a fairly strenuous undertaking. Not because it's so high, the walk in goes along marked paths and gentle gradients. The exertion is caused by the very rough state of the paths, which are paved with sharp rocks.

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