It's remarkable there's any photo at all today after my sufferance of Raynaud's syndrome/disease/phenomenon has made a startling comeback this winter. After not really having any issues for the last 10-15 years, I'm wondering if a shift to a gluten-free diet has caused a recurrence. Strangely, trying to find it this might happen using the power of the internet tonight I've found that apparently Raynaud's can be an indicator to gluten intolerance. Weird.
Anyway, my fingers were that glorious stereotypical white around five minutes after we left the car at Whitesands beach near Dunbar. They remained so, with no feeling, for most of the walk, until the wee cooking stove was broken out to heat some soup we had with us. And such is the way with Raynaud's - often the shock of a change in temperature, and not the low temperature itself, is what triggers it - once my hands had been warmed back into circulation they won't go white again. The human body eh?
Whitesands was chosen primarily because some Short Eared Owls have been prowling about the last week slightly inland. With nothing on view on first stop we made for the shore, where I added to my fledgling 2012 bird photo list (detailed below). At one point, watching some Stonechats, a small raptor flew into the grass beside them. I'd hoped for a Merlin, as it looked particularly small, and crept up. Obviously it saw me and bolted, and with hands of ice I fumbled a couple of quick shots (including the above) which confirmed (I think) that it's actually a Sparrowhawk. Bah.
Back to the car with warmed hands, the twitchers had started arriving in hope of seeing the owls as the sun started to slip behind the hills. We stopped for about 15-20 minutes, but with the best light gone, and still no sign, we drove on given we've got my mum and brother, and plumber, visiting tonight.
#4 Rock Pipit
#5 Sparrowhawk Above
#6 Stonechat (almost blipped)