Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Long time no blog

but I'm here today with a few pics of a great week of birding in the Highlands of Scotland and Orkney, and some poetry inspired by a very lovely group of people and some even lovelier birds, flowers and geography.

Navigating in Bird

What's that? Where? Over there
attracts a withering look from our guide
and a plea to make use of the clock.
Midday is ahead, add distance, a height
and then when you spot a small dot
on a pine in Tomvaich or Brodgar,
wonder if that's an eider on the water,
when the Skua moves as your bins focus in
or a Puffin breaks the boil of summer sea
you call two o'clock, low, fifty, flying right,
four o'clock, five o'clock, going and gone o'clock.

On Orkney

Leaving the shore at Yesnaby
we cross the peat soft meadow
to look for Primula Scotica.

Under our feet, stars of spring squill,
ruby thyme, golden vetch
hug the ground, and our quest

nests between these common plants,
it's saucers of bright leaves the setting
for rings of fairy amethyst.

On the horizon
the feeding frenzy rises
a triangle of fin

Against the tide
a seal in grey water
head up, swimming

On the ledge above
the guillemots, three puffins
shuffle shuffle in the nest

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