By Orc2009

Ferry leaving Orkney

This is the Pentalina leaving St Margarets Hope for mainland Scotland. I headed down Hope- way as I hadn't been there for a while. The South Isles have been cut off frequently due to the weather closing the causeways. I debussed at the ferry terminal and walked along the shore. There were flocks of curlew and wigeon, red-breasted merganser, goldeneye, long-tailed duck, a single gannet and, the star of the show: a white-billed diver. Which is now more properly called a yellow-billed loon. It is a rare bird but this individual seems to have grown fond of Water Sound and has returned for about three winters in a row. I got record shots but nothing worth putting here. I made coffee in the lee of the bank which protected me from the icy wind, then walked along to the causeway between South Ronaldsay and Burray to the north. It has sand dunes and I flushed two short-eared owls from the marram grass. About twelve snow buntings flitted along the beach. More here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/octobermoth/

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