Having spent a week down in the Preston with work I made my exit on Friday afternoon to start heading North before the forecast bad weather arrived. It was a dry run to my overnight stop near Pitlochry and from the clear starry sky it looked like it was going to be a very cold one.
However on waking the next morning the car was frost free but there was a very light dusting of snow on the ground. Setting off on the next leg North I was soon driving in some light drizzle which turned to sleet as I gained some height. By the time I had got to Dalwhinnie this had fizzled out and it was a dry run until Brora when I encountered some heavy rain, which stayed with me all the way to the ferry.
The only birds of note on the second leg of my trip were two Red Kites on the Southern side of the Black Isle. The flocks of geese I had seen on my drive South the previous weekend had all disappeared.
The ferry crossing itself was smooth and moonlit which was good, as earlier in the day there had been gale force winds forecast. So I had managed to get home without encountering anything too dramatic with the weather. Reading some of the news stories today it looks like my timing was perfect. Preston and the Fylde area were enveloped in fog today so had I been there this weekend instead of last weekend I might not have been so lucky with ringing.
This afternoon I had a call from my trainer who had just made a small catch in his garden so I was soon on my way and arrived just in time to extract a Starling and a House Sparrow from the whoosh net.
In total 13 birds were processed, 11 new birds and 2 retraps. The new birds consisted of 8 House Sparrows, 2 Greenfinches and the Starling. The 2 retraps were both Greenfinches. So that's my first ringing session on Orkney for this year.