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Friday 1 June 2012: Knockataggart part 2

This is what 5.15 am looked like!!!! I was up at 4.45, a quick cuppa, fed the startled cats and then headed off to Knockataggart to complete my countryside bird survey. The weather as you can see was delightful - thick fog, though the pier looked irresistable as I sped by. There was no mention in the instructions about fog - do not venture out in lashing rain or high winds but no advice about fog. I persevered. Knockataggart was also in thick fog as I arrived at my square at 6.05am. I got out of the car - not a twitter and I could see nothing. I persevered. Slowly birds loomed out of the fog and noises began. A farmer went by in his landrover, reversed and asked me if I was alright ie wtf can she be doing lurking in the fog at this time in the morning with a clipboard. I explained and he nodded helpfully 'blackbirds ... fog... good luck' and was gone.
The first bit was okay, a gentle meander down a small road and through farmland but then I had to go off piste and up the mountain. The sensible voice said this was not a very good idea, the less sensible said persevere. After much scrambling the lough came into view and the mist was clearing a bit. My map helpfully showed my path going across the lough. I found what looked like bogginess rather than water and decided to risk it. This time sensible voice won as I had visions of a slow and watery end. Eventually I opted for steep scramble down some banks and up the other side. On the mountain some cows watched with interest and a fox slipped silently by. With a slight detour to look at an abandoned house (you can see it in the image of my first visit , I was back at my car by 7.45 - very dirty, quite sweaty and oddly exhilarated.
The rest of the day has been spent weeding onion beds and mowing grass - everything has grown massively over the last week.
And I have a new camera - in the end I went for the canon G12. Lots to learn.

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