a spring walk

Hello! As you may have gathered, our broadband definitely isn’t sorted out yet – in fact, Tom received a somewhat concerning text message from our provider reassuring us that our switchover was now scheduled to be completed “before June.” The currently patchy connection is certainly somewhat frustrating, but in the larger scheme of things, it is really nothing to worry or grumble about. . . . and look! I’ve even managed to upload a video and recording of a walk I took yesterday! Press play and pop your sound on. . . .

This is a 3 minute timelapse of a short walk up and down the hill from my door to Auchengillan, taking me and the dogs around 30 minutes. As well as wearing a gopro camera, I thought I’d try to use Tom’s audio recorder (you can see me waving the microphone about) and we’ve been able to overlay some of the sounds of my walk on top of the timelapse. Among the birds you can hear on this recording are goldfinch, chaffinch, cuckoo, curlew, and the “pinking” call of what I assume to be a great tit (though a more experienced birder may be able to set me right). You’ll also hear baaing sheep, a very large bumblebee, and the characteristic snuffling of the even larger black labrador.

I am quite pleased with this simple multimedia experiment, and if I can record a longer walk for you down the strath next week, I’ll hopefully be able to capture more pippits, chats and warblers – especially the amazing grasshopper warblers – who have been in full voice here in recent days.

I’d like to close by saying a big happy May birthday to my mum, to whom we were happily able to pass on some brief and acceptably socially distant celebratory greetings yesterday. I snapped this photo from below their balcony with my phone: Dad is brandishing a wooden paddle, a gift from his neighbour, Jake, who found it on the beach (and which will soon be incorporated into one of Dad’s driftwood garden sculptures) while Ma is gesturing towards (and quite possibly imitating the sounds of) the eider ducks, who have been gathering in their appealingly vocal groups on the sea loch beside their house. Happy birthday, Ma!

Whatever you’ve been up to this weekend, I hope you’ve had a good one.