After a miserable week (weather wise of course!), we awoke to one of the most glorious days we’ve had yet! The sun was splitting the sky, not a cloud in sight and even the wind had abated slightly! Here was me thinking we’d have a lovely day of stick tossing and bog wallowing (found what I think is a great way to cool down at the bottom of the garden however I am assured by my humans that it’s not exactly clean – who cares, it cools me down!) and instead I was thrown into the back of the moving box and off we went to a fisheries conference which, surprise surprise, was all about fisheries……except for some lady who spoke about birds, a rather amusing gentleman called Duck who talked about sheep, I mean seals, and of course my human Sarah who talked about all the whales, dolphins and porpoises that they’ve been so fascinated with over the past month. I think I must state here that I am no longer under any illusion that us canines are their priority – very sad ?
(Human comment – “Not true!!”)
It wouldn’t have been too bad a day had someone not spent the session before lunch talking about Nephrops (otherwise known as Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawns, scampi – so many names…..but it all tastes the same!!). What a cruel thing to do…. especially as we didn’t even get to taste them….not sure I want to go to another one of these things! I spent the rest of the time dreaming of being on the beach and luckily my humans picked up on this and we soon went for a frisbee throwing session and a swim at the beach (and a quick stop at my new favourite shop – the butchers) before coming home to apparently go back “on-effort” – read as stick throwing and bog-wallowing for me and spotting for them! My humans have asked to interject at this point with some updates of their own so I’ll let them waffle on and be back to finish off the blog in a moment!
As this field season comes to an end we have some news we want to share with you. We’ve successfully managed to retrieve the T-Pod (so a big thank-you goes out to Ewen for preparing the weight for us – it worked and we didn’t lose it!! – and to Ian for helping to both deploy and retrieve it).
We’ve since found out that although from our experience here we’d believe that cuckoos are plentiful, they are in fact becoming worryingly rare. We’ve already noted our sightings on the Springwatch website (www.bbc.co.uk/springwatch) and if you happen to hear or see any then please do the same.
We’ve also been keeping a special watch for the return of the Arctic Skua as we’ve been told they arrive with the terns, which we’ve been seeing for the past week or so but it wasn’t until today, our last day, that we witnessed this avian treat.
On our return from the fisheries workshop this afternoon, we were delighted to come across a pod of at least 12 common dolphins in Loch Gairloch. We thought we’d ended our month of surveys with a splash! But no, on starting a 6pm watch from our observation point, we were treated to a barrage of sightings – 3 basking seals, 2 pairs of porpoises, some possible dolphins (we lost them in the glare) and 3 minke whales. So we actually ended the survey with a blow!
Nicola is off to the Moray Firth for more field work in a week or so, so keep your eye on the field blog as hopefully we’ll have a lot more to tell you from the (north) eastern side of Scotland… and we’ll see you back in Gairloch in September…!
And now back to Kila……
It appears to be all over up in this neck of the woods and we’re packing up and getting ready to go…..! It’s been a tiring few weeks for me but full of fun and I’m looking forward to coming back already!! Perhaps next time I’ll finally get a hold of one of those dastardly sheep, the lambs that I met when we arrived last month are looking more edible by the day.
Oh…and apparently there’s a chance I’ll be in the Moray Firth too so perhaps I’ll speak to you from there!! Although that trip involves boats and I’ve not really got my sea-legs yet…..gulp!!