Saturday, 5 February 2011
It was a dark and stormy night....
As you can see in the photo above the house had some damage. Two ridge tiles came off in the wind. Fortunately there is a waterproof covering below which will keep the room beneath dry (I hope!) but I shall have to visit a local builder's yard this week to find replacements. And no it won't be me climbing up to replace them! The lead covering of one of the chimneys also came off in the wind - glad I wasn't around when any of this debris was flying about, particularly having seen the dents in the ground they made on impact!
I was considering sending Button up to inspect the damage as she loves sitting on the ridge but unfortunately for some reason she didn't want to leave the comfort of her bed. (I'm always amazed at how cats can traverse roof tops without a second thought about gravity....).
But the damage could have been worse, and compared to the awful weather conditions in Queensland, Australia, this is just minor stuff.
But just before the worst force of the wind hit I witnessed an amazing sight. OK the blurry overexposed blob in the photo is indecipherable but it was a bird of prey having dinner just below my study window! I was gazing out the window at the stormy seas (I love watching storms as long as I'm safe indoors) and I saw a bundle of feathers struggling in the wind and do a rather undignified landing. I thought at first it was one of the island pheasants, but it's movement and behaviour indicated otherwise. Dusk had fallen and I had to get binoculars to see what was happening, but it seems that this large bird of prey had dinner in it's claws and proceeded to eat it. Sadly it was one of my blackbirds that had moved into the garden. I'm hoping the bird was a female hen harrier (they are frequently seen on the island) as I'd like to think that one of my beloved blackbirds was dinner for this beautiful rare bird. However whatever it was it needed dinner and I watched for quite a few minutes as it sheltered in the clumps of dead grass near the fence. Once it had fed it sat and thought for a minute before taking off, tacking across into the wind - amazing!