Random thoughts of a dawn goose counter

Loch Lomond NNR

Last week, before the lock down, RSPB and myself carried out the last dawn goose roost count of the winter. It is a brutal one as you have to be in place well before first light so I was up at 03:15, left the house before 04:00 and after a long, extreme wet and muddy walk was in place by 05:15, standing in the dark, drizzle and mud. One’s mind tends to wander a bit for these tasks. So over the following 2 hours here are just a few of the thoughts that passed through my mind:

What a bloomin’ job

You know it is early when you have arrived and in place before Vanessa Feltz is on the radio – a silver lining!

I must be the only person up and about, no-one was on the roads but good to know that across the river the RSPB are in place counting as well……unless I got the wrong date………or they have set me up?

Thank God for neoprene wellies,

Damm selfies never work if you don’t put your glasses on,

Loch Lomond NNR in the winter is only half a reserve, the rest is underwater,

For the sake of the geese it is great that the RSPB are restoring habitat on their part of the reserve making it even better for geese who are using it a lot, but personally I would like a few more to count on our side.

Hope the water level goes down before we have to do the breeding bird survey otherwise I will need to get out snorkel and flippers,

Its true what they say, from this angle the island of Inchcailloch looks just like Dolly Parton lying on her back.

Those goldeneyes seem to be having a good time – 10 birds getting very frisky across the marsh first thing in the morning,

The sound of a curlew in full voice at first light must be one of the best sounds in the world…….and the sound of a reed bunting doing the same isn’t,

Sunrise at last,

Brilliant, the first meadow pipit I’ve seen this year doing its parachute display flight, but the reserve is so wet it is doing it over water! Not sure what it is planning?

The high water has brought in a huge amount of plastic rubbish – that is another job for the list,

Ahh, there goes the Greenland white-fronts – always last out of bed – 20 mins later than all of the other geese – wonder why that is?

Ok, maybe the job is pretty good – wonder if there is anywhere selling bacon sarnies and coffee yet.

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