Monday, 25 August 2008

K: Hitch-hiker

We've just had a visitor! A juvenile Arctic Tern has been parked on Berri's boom for the last 20 minutes (we're motoring and the mainsail's flaked on the boom to stop it flogging in the light winds).

Before settling on the boom, our birdling first had a good go at trying to land on the anemometer, the remains of the windex, whizzie Lizzie (thankfully not spinning), the forestay (ambitious!) and each of the spreaders in turn. I thought it was going to try and land on me in the cockpit for a while! Anyway, after landing mini-tern settled in for a good squawk, a bit of a preen and then tucked it's head under a wing for a nap. All of which is quite some feat while balancing on a slippery dacron sail.

All this time, mum (or dad) was circling in some agitation overhead trying to get young birdling back in the air and on the way. Birdling was having none of it - and told mum so repeatedly and quite loudly. Mum then tried some fishing - unsuccessfully - maybe to bribe birdling back into action. Then she just plain gave up and flew off. At this point birdling worked out that he wasn't going to win this one and took off after mum. Hope they caught up with each other!

It's absolutely amazing to watch all of this going on, and the interaction between the two birds, from less than an arm's length. Birdling was completely unfazed by my presence, something you just don't see that much back in civilisation. Mum looked to be a bit more people-savvy and kept her distance.

Wonder how long before they start their winter migration south like us?

Scrambled pancakes for breakfast this morning - you know the sort, all going fabulously until it comes time to turn them over. Grr.

Corrie has been gloating non-stop about winning our water temperature bet. It's just not fair - the temp has now rocketed up to 8 deg C! Way above average according to NOAA, and we're still 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Oh well, warmer water makes washing up the scrambled-pancake pan that much easier.


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