Paddles with an Anas acuta...... unashamedly biased toward the sea kayak of that name (actually the voyages of two boats, one 'traffic over gold', one 'quill')

Monday 26 September 2016

Two months in Scotland -Crowlin

 The three Crowlins are small, especially the northern most, but you could spend weeks there and still find something new every day.
 A place where even the Bonxies are pretty laid back, this one let me look at its nest as it was sitting a few feet away with a quizzical rather than an angry look.
 Camping spots are tight on the wave cut ledges just above HW, you can circumnavigate at this level with a bit of scrambling. Indeed clambering into the interior can be hard work. I had to re-open an old well for drinking water near the lighthouse.
 Eiders have an odd shaped egg and an eye for camouflage such a pity that plastic scraps are so universal just above the tide line the birds feel obliged to use them in order to fit in.
 The beach near the old village on the largest island has water and a spot for a tent
 It looks a nice place to have lived.
Not too many sheep so space for wild flowers.

Lunching on a beach, a raven caught my eye. It was watching over an apparently dead sheep, but the sheep, wedged upside down in the rocks, moved a leg so I went to have a look. It was alive but very weak and with its wool saturated was too heavy to move. Using some driftwood wedges I slowly managed to turn it. However, it only staggered a couple of metres dragging its hind quarters then sunk down again. I diagnosed a broken back and was sad to leave it to die, but happy for the ravens who were no doubt already planning a new family with the prospect of easy food. Next day it had vanished, so must have got feeling back and been able to move off.

These young Hoodies near my tent seemed to be expecting me to feed them if the parents were not around -very noisy kids!

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