Been and gone

As suddenly as it began, the fall’s over. Last 48 hours have had nothing new here, just the remanants and tatters of what was around on Friday circulating around the patch (apart from the Marsh Warbler, which remains st.ubbornly wedded and embedded to the same patch of rosa rugosa).

A couple of Swifts moved through in a blink-and-you-miss-them kind of way yesterday during one of my brief moments at home on the croft, but that was about it. Went around the patch in the evening with JLI, more in hope than any expectation. It was fine, still and clear, high scraps of cloud in an otherwise blue and sunny sky. Marsh Warbler as unobliging as ever, a couple of Whinchat and Spotted Flycatchers, and that was our lot. No sign of any exotica like Red-backed Shrike or Common Rosefinch. (The 3 male Red-backed Shrikes of Friday had shrunk to just one by yesterday morning, and that had buggered off by the end of the day too).

To be fair, I was tired beyond caring – had spent the whole day driving to and fro between here and Lerwick, collecting van-loads of pallets. They’re a quick and easy (if unattractive) way of making windproof and rabbitproof fencing, essential here if you want to grow trees or sheltered crops. And I want both…

First the windbreak, then the cover, and finally the Sibes...

Have over 100 pallets now waiting for me to get fenceposts and nail them up. Pleased to see today my tatties and brassicas are all starting to accelerate and grow. Am starting small this year, but will scale things up year on year to provide as much cover for migrants (and food for the family) as I can.

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