Thursday, 21 March 2019

Redshank and stone skimming

Wading back into blogging with a Redshank and a bit of stone skimming may seem like an odd start. However my blogging mantra has always been to share things new to me that perhaps others might be interested in too and both fit that perfectly.

In the far distance, my camera caught what looked like a wading bird on last week’s trip to Aberdour Beach on the East coast of Scotland. Not being familiar with waterbirds, I turned to a WWT book on watching waterbirds (with Kate Humble & Martin McGill) on my bookshelf for an ID. I discovered the Redshank is a winter visitor to this area. I do like the informal format of chat and images in this book and it is a great stepping stone from garden birds. I really should read it more, before we go on visits.



Closer up, back on Aberdour beach, a serious improvement in stone skimming could be seen by my daughter and husband! They had been inspired by watching the television programme ‘Sink or Skim’ which is still available on BBC i-player for a few more days and really worth checking out especially if you already enjoy stone skimming. Taking a slightly different approach really did make all the difference.

For the serious stone skimmer, did you know there are world championships over on a small island off the west coast of Scotland? We didn't. There are limited places but after watching the television programme, I’d say even just being a spectator would be fun, the atmosphere looked great. The 2019 World Stone Skimming Championships are on Sunday 29 September on Easdale Island, near Oban, Argyll.

“The World Stone Skimming Championships were started in 1983 by Bertie Baker, and then lay fallow until they were resurrected in 1997 by Eilean Eisdeal (The Easdale Island Community Development Group) as a fundraising event. Contestants hail from around the world and the championships now attract over 300 participants and many spectators. Anyone of any age and any level of skill can enter the championships.”
World Stone Skimming Championships, Easdale Island


A video flavour, with great views of this small Scottish island of Easdale, can be seen below. Enjoy!


Video by LoveLiveRun, see more on full channel.


Meanwhile back in the garden, this weekend we hope to have installed a new camera system in our hedgehog feeding station and making a few alterations. We’ve had no hedgehog sightings for 2019 as yet but we’re going to have food waiting to help build their weight up again after their winter hibernation.

The garden is certainly waking up properly now too with weeding and pruning needing attention. The wildlife pond is coming alive again with creatures seen moving around – the ones we are checking nightly for are frogs! We’ve seen one and have fingers crossed more will come and they will spawn. That would be great to see.

What are you hoping to do and see in your garden this weekend? Wishing you a good one and a great 2019 both in the garden and out and about! Happy stone skimming too – it’s great to be outdoors again don’t you think? So good for the soul :-)



This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in March 2019.

3 comments:

Sue Garrett said...

I'm not hot om water birds but I'm gradually getting better. I've graduated from the - that's a duck, that's a goose and that's something else stage.

Anna said...

Oh it's lovely to see a post from you Shirl :) Wishing you a happy new year. Spring has certainly arrived and it's good to be spending more time outdoors again. I'm not sure about stone skimming though after a mishap when I was in my teens. I bear a scar above my right eye, accidentally caused by younger brother who was stone skimming at the time :( Think that I would rather gaze upon birds and flowers instead!

Shirley said...

Hello again to you both, thanks for visiting after so long and taking time to leave your comments :-)

Sue, I am in your camp there although my duck level is limited with goose level just a little ahead. It’s an easy guess for a waders on a shore with its long thin beak but after that I’ll be needing reference books for a while yet I’d say. It’s fun trying to work out the ID’s just as I did when more garden birds began arriving in garden :-)

Anna, thank-you! And a very happy new year to you too :-) Ah, no surprise on the stone skimming - what a fright you both must have got that day. Yes, spring has definitely sprung alright. As you’ve seen from twitter tonight, the biggest spring activity we have had so far has been our first frog spawn and what a surprise it was. I never even noticed either as I passed by many times – too busy carefully wrecking border edges to make way for cables for new camera in hedgehog feeding station. Got a bit of tidying up to go plus more digging but it is going to be worth it :-)