Summer has at last arrived here in Orkney – but it would be distinctly unwise to predict the length of stay! After weeks of bitterly cold weather with prevailing wind from north, east, and north-east, we have enjoyed a beautiful week-end of warm sunshine and clear blue sky, with little or no wind.
Orkney is well known for the migratory birds that pass through here, en route to both warmer and colder breeding grounds, but occasionally we enjoy sightings of birds that have absolutely no reason to be here. Such was the case this week when we received a phone call from our neighbour, Ross, urging us to drop whatever we were doing and come round to his garden. My wife and I jumped into the car, and taking cameras just in case, arrived at Ross’s house, and there perched in one of the few trees, was a ‘bee-eater’. Now I have never before seen this beautiful bird, and if I were to have seen it, I would expect it to have been in the south-west of England where we lived for many years. To see it on Stronsay, one of the northern isles of Orkney, was as unexpected as it was exciting. We watched the bird for several minutes, during which time it obliged us by flying down to the ground, and reappearing seconds later with a bee in its beak! The bird stayed in the vicinity all day, and the following morning I saw it again on a fencepost in a nearby field. I managed to take a few rather ordinary photographs, but one taken by my wife showing the bird with a bee in its beak, is brilliant, and is shown below.
'Bee-eater', Stronsay. May 24, 2013.
I think this sighting must rate with one of a blue-throat seen by me on Stronsay about five years ago, a photograph of which is shown in the heading of this web-site; also a hoopoe which visited a couple of years ago. There have been many other rare visitors over the past ten years, many of which I did not see but others did, Orkney really is a bird-watchers delight.
In spite of the recent vote in the House of Commons on the third reading of the ‘Same-sex marriage’ Bill, the battle against this proposed legislation still goes on.
The House of Lords has yet to approve this Bill and one hopes that good sense and common sense, combined with an awareness of the grave moral and societal implications inherent in changing not only the definition of marriage, but the whole ethos of marriage, will guide their Lordships to reject it out of hand. This undemocratic and unwanted legislation, steamrollered through the House of Commons by a combination of political manoeuvring, emotional blackmail and self-delusion, backed up by varying degrees of self-interest, represents a distortion of genuine democracy. The manner in which this particularly bizarre and un-natural concept of ‘same-sex marriage’ has been suddenly adopted by governments world-wide, unannounced, unexpected and for at least 95% of people totally unwanted, indicates a long-term strategy by an immensely powerful but secret lobby with influence in high places, intent on destroying the traditional family unit, the basis of society as we know it, and replacing it with a society governed by ungodly laws and increasingly despotic government. The ramifications of this Bill if approved, will be widespread, with the potential to affect every aspect of life from the cradle to the grave. Freedom of action will be limited and freedom of speech gagged, as those behind this legislation have been careful to ensure by means of previous so-called ‘Equal Rights’ legislation.
There have been a number of excellent posts on this subject by Laurence England which I strongly recommend
Acknowledgement also to Laurence, for the ‘Prayer to Our Lady, for the Conversion of England’ with which he heads his web-site, and with which it seems appropriate to end this post:-
‘O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us, thy children, whom thou dost receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother.
Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us, all dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works, we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.’
Our Lady of Walsingham