I’ve come ‘next door’ to Havra, fired up the log stove and settled down with a cup of coffee and some of Tricias pancakes with rhubarb and ginger jam.
After nearly 5 months of amazingly good weather the Autumn Equinox has brought us wind and rain with some nice ‘days atween the weather’.
We’ve just taken the ponies for a good long walk to Bigton, then Ireland and Yaafield back to Maywick. Lancer was fine but Logie Bear still hates the rain and was NOT happy !
Our latest arrivals – 7 Buff Orpington chickens – are settling in nicely. Their house (Fort Knox) is my old stainless steel kipper smoker – easily cleaned and Polecat proof ! They will be going on to organic feed in a couple of weeks time once discussions with the local starling population have reached a conclusion ! Hopefully by next Easter the girls will be providing lovely organic eggs for all who stay at Havra.
The highlight of my Maywick year must be getting Havra’s roof cleaned, repaired and painted – it’s now black, not red – It took me weeks of my spare time to get it done but I’m very happy with the result. Old houses are ALWAYS a lot of work !
The good weather this Summer blessed us with many calm evenings. Coupled with an abundance of ‘feed’ in the sea it gave us a lot of amusement paddling with the ponies disturbing flat fish feeding in the shallows. Logie being so inquisitive was quick to spot these things darting away from his feet ! There can’t be too many Shetland Ponies around that know what a Turbot looks like !
The breeding seabirds have faired pretty well this year and even our local Terns and Puffins have raised some young. The Red Throated Divers have also done OK on the loch in spite of their having to share their home with a couple of pairs of noisy Greylag Geese that didn’t want to fly further North !
In August Maywick beach was visited by a loan Humpback whale who’s been living locally all Summer, followed a week later by 5 or 6 Risso’s dolphins. Our local Harbour Porpoises have been visible most days throughout the Summer due to the calm seas and just this last few weeks there have been as many as 50 or so porpoises feeding below the cliffs at Cunningsburgh.
‘Til now there have been very few migrant birds turning up in Shetland due to the unfavourable wind directions and also no stormy weather. There are a couple of good websites to go to for Shetland weather forecasts and I have added these to our links.
Those of you who’d enjoy a bit of ‘rough and tumble’ Shetland style, should follow the weather sites as a big blow will be forecast some days before it reaches us. Ideally we’d need continuous West or South West winds over gale force for a few days increasing to storm force or more to give us the amazing big seas we see almost annually.