Whilst the rest of the UK seems burdened with snow I must say we’ve been having a great time ! Most days are bright and sunny with no wind so we’re out and about from dawn ’til dusk. The ponies are loving it ! Their paddocks are all snow and ice but they’re getting fed every 3 hours during the day and we’re getting to the beach with them for a couple of hours every day. Logie Bear has more enthusiasm for life now than in the Summer, you’ll even catch him lying down sun bathing for a while in the middle of the day ! Shetland ponies are truely very hardy small horses !…and very hairy in Winter !
Snowy Logie Bear
The chickens seem OK too. We heard our first cockerel crowing on Boxing Day…sounded pretty dodgy but since then he’s been perfecting his ‘beautiful’ song and a couple of other cockerels are beginning to join in too. No eggs yet but we’re hoping come the warmer Spring weather the girls will be earning their keep…and there’ll be one or two less boys !
Re: Starlings ! Negotiations broke down but ‘Mannie’ the ginger tabby cat has taken to spending time in the log shed where the chickens spend their days and the starlings are staying well clear ! food or no food !
I've got cold feet !
We’ve been making good use of Havra during the quieter months. Ailish has now had 2 parties and 2 sleepovers and Tricia had all her girly rowing pals around for a curry night before Christmas and they’ve planned an Italian night for February ! Additionally we spent Hogmanay at Havra with a few friends and a roaring log fire. Come 1-00am we dressed up and headed for the beach ! There was a beautiful full moon and with the snow reflecting so brightly no torches were required. Great Night !
Hand-Made Fish was typically manic pre Christmas and I had so much smoked salmon to make that, given the real possibility of being stuck in Maywick with the snow, I spent 4 nights in Lerwick ’til Christmas eve. Ailish was stuck at her pal’s house for a couple of nights due to the snow, so poor Trish was home alone for the first time in 15 years !
We would have expected to have seen the Northern Lights by now with such clear night skies but I guess with the moon being so bright and very low sun spot activity there’s not much chance. However the other night on TV someone stated that most of the UK can’t even see the Milky Way due to light pollution…….Not a problem here (in the Winter !). And we can still go sattelite spotting…..
Not much bird activity at the moment but I was outside on the swing the other evening when a dozen Whooper swans flew South along the valley so close you could hear their wings beating and them ‘honking’ to each other as they went………pretty special.
October however turned out to be an amazing birdy month with so many rare and varied little brown jobs turning up all over Shetland. The Maywick valley and the South End of Shetland as ever getting more than their fare share of rarities. www.nature-shetland.co.uk gives a mouth watering list of bird sightings and sea mammal sightings going back to 2003.
Trish says there’s already 9 weeks booked for Havra this year, mostly mid Summer. I must say I love May and June. May for the long awaited Spring flowers and usually calm sunny weather and June for the arrival of the ‘Tirricks’ -Common and Arctic Terns. For me the Swallows of the sea. I love listening to their squabbling at their nest site across the valley from us up on the cliff tops and on calm Summer evenings watching them ‘dipping’ for sandeels in the shallows of Maywick beach. Those evenings that last forever………..